I wanted to share with you today how I learned to provide a calm and peaceful home for my children. And why being a good role model to them is more important to me than anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, I like you and like everyone else make my mistakes. Parenthood isn’t about perfection and nor should it be. But now I understand myself as I do and being able to make sure that my children grow up to be happy, healthy and thriving young ladies is, in my opinion the most important job in the world.
Family life is crazy and chaotic. Married life is crazy and chaotic. Striking the balance between being mindful, present, child focused, happy, healthy and everything else that we have to do as mothers is very tricky! But a balance that is very important to me, even if scales tips in one direction or another from time to time.
Life is complicated! Being a kid is complicated! Being an adult is complicated! Helping them to navigate through their childhood without any additional emotional bruises, that’s what it’s all about, right!?
So my priority really is making sure that home is a safe space, and I don’t mean in the most obvious sense of ‘safe’. I mean creating an environment where I am happy, calm and present. Where my relationship with my husband is happy, calm and present. So that my relationship with my children is happy, calm and present.
Is it that easy?? No, of course it’s not! I get it wrong like everybody else.
Here are a few ways to make it as best as we can.
1. Acknowledging my strengths as well as my flaws.
I think as mothers we can so easily tear ourselves to shreds for all the things that we get wrong, but life is about balance and because of that, we need to do a much better at acknowledging our strengths; what we manage to do right every single day and not just focusing on what we get wrong. Understanding our flaws is important, after all it’s how we improve. But life has ups and downs, good and bad. So I learned to be kind to myself and focus more attention on what I get right rather than all of my attention on what I get wrong
2. When you get it wrong, acknowledge it and move on.
This is so important! Like I said at the top, this isn’t about perfection. But being able to acknowledge when we get things wrong and talk it through with them and apologise is an absolutely essential part of parenting. Not only is it about me acknowledging my faults, it’s also teaching them that adults get it wrong to. Just like they will and just like their friends will. No-one gets it right all of the time, and that’s not even starting the conversation about values, morals, attitudes etc. Helping them to understand the difference between right and wrong is as crucial as understanding the difference between night and day. Fact!
3. Being present with them as much as possible
This doesn’t have to be for hours and hours every day. Some people can only manage half an hour bursts. Not everybody wants to be sitting on the floor playing games with their kids, no matter their age. But being able to be present with them, for as long as you find tolerable, will make a huge difference in your relationship with your children. Personally, I absolutely love spending time with them. In fact, I found them going back to school after lockdown really hard. But, we all have a finite amount of time that we can play Guess Who, Top Trumps or play in the park. This is definitely a case of quality not quantity. So stop beating yourself up and do what you can. But while you do it, make sure you’re in the zone fully! They can tell the difference I guarantee it!
4. Have a good relationship with your husband (or wife)
Teaching them about family life and relationships is at the core of everything that I do… Professionally and personally. How are they going to navigate healthy relationships and have aspirations for a healthy family dynamic when they’re older if we’re not demonstrating it to them when they’re young. Again, let me reiterate really clearly. This is not about perfection and I do not get it right all the time. My husband and I have a wonderful relationship most of the time but sometimes we don’t. That’s just life! That’s just how it is. But, as per point 1, this is about teaching them that it isn’t always perfect, but that when we are honest and open we can figure out together.
I want to help you figure it out and create the most calming and peaceful home for your family.