Lots of people make promises to themselves at new year to change a habit or implement a new behaviour or hobby. It’s also well known that not everyone will be able to live these promises out. I can see why lots of people choose this time of year to embark on new habits but often we put too much pressure on ourselves. Think small steps to make it manageable and successful, too much too quickly and it will just feel overwhelming.
We have put some tips together which cover the areas of life that busy mothers commonly want to improve.
- Commit to create time for yourself. Do that creative project that’s been on your mind for ages, start that exercise class you’ve been meaning to join, read that book that’s been sitting on your bedside table. Just choose one thing, the thing that would make you feel satisfied and like you’ve achieved something.
- Stop the negative talk. Many of us talk to ourselves in a way we would never talk to someone else. We can easily be overly critical of our efforts which builds a negative cycle. Be your own friend. Every time a negative thought pops into your mind, push it to the side and instead replace it with a positive. E.g. ‘the house is such a mess, why can’t I manage to get the anything done’, switch to ‘I will choose the 1 or 2 most urgent things that need to be done, everything else can wait.’
- Take time as a couple. Once you’ve had children it’s likely the priorities and dynamics of your relationship will change. This is normal and expected. How you navigate the changes can be tricky. Keeping the communication open, without judgement would be ideal but not always possible. Take time to talk to each other or simply go for a walk together. Doesn’t have to be big gestures but the result can be enough to keep the closeness.
- Eat for yourself. When the children are small, lots of us just eat the food the kids eat which may be quite basic and boring. In the early years of parenting we are often on survival mode and just do whatever makes life easier. As the children grow older it’s time to get more adventurous and try and eat like a grown up. Ideally the whole family would eat one meal to save you cooking two or three separate meals. Batch cook and freeze meals in small portions so you can put a scoop full of curry next to their fish fingers for example, keep encouraging new foods, start by introducing one element at a time.
- Start small. Just one thing at a time. Most importantly with all of the above it’s so so important to start small. If you say to yourself you’re going to clean the whole house, then realistically it’s not going to happen, cue the disappointment and negative self talk. Start with cleaning out the cupboard or shelf or whatever is bugging you the most, because this will give you some satisfaction, of completing a task, giving you the impetus to continue.
If you want help implementing a plan or creating a new habit for you and your family, book an appointment with Emma, our Mother’s Mentor. Having someone to talk things over with, help you make the plan and be accountable to, can really help you stick to your own promises. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book and check out our Mother’s Mentor webpage https://the-gentle-touch.com/mothers-mentor/