Month: April 2014

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Tip 5: Live life as a guilt-free momma

Is it just me or does it seem like everywhere we look there are posts designed to make us feel bad?

“The 10 parenting habits that are harming your children.” “How to Complete Every Pinterest Project while Keeping the House Spotless and Making a Fantastic Dinner while Being a Present Parent.” “Are You Setting the Best Example?” ARGH! Enough already! Here’s one for you: “Don’t Beat Yourself Up!” I have felt the pressure and the anxiety—throw the perfect party, have the kids enrolled in sports, show you care by being on the PTO. How DARE you drop your child off to school in PAJAMAS?!?! A few sayings have helped me combat the Momma Guilts:

 

You only have an obligation to keep yourself and your children happy, most of the time

Your kid is not going to be happy all the time, and usually when they’re not it’s because they have a good mom. Keep in mind—the rough times foster the greatest parenting opportunities. It is hard to see your child upset, but let go of the guilt and remember to trust your motherly instincts. You know what’s best. And a note on happiness: it’s really hard for your kids to be happy if you’re not. Take time to work on yourself. Don’t forget about yourself. After all, you are your kids’ most important person. Stop worrying about keeping up with the neighbors and the PTO President; her parenting style isn’t better than yours. You both do what’s best for your family.

 

Be happy with what you accomplished, and don’t feel guilty for the things that have to wait

I have to remind 6 constantly that there are only so many hours in the day and that sometimes things have to be rescheduled. Instead of worrying about disappointing her, I use it as an opportunity to show her that things pop up in the “real world” and you just gotta roll with the punches. Be proud of yourself and your children for that day’s accomplishments and show them that we don’t need to stress over the desire for perfection.

 

They won’t remember the expensive toys. They’ll remember the time shared

Think back to your childhood. What were your favorite memories? Do you remember the most expensive gift you ever receieved? Was it all it was cracked up to be? Or do you think about tickles and laughter and smiles and playing? Kids don’t need everything you can afford to give them. Often living with less encourages character. Don’t feel bad about what you can’t afford. Spend that energy playing with your kids or going on a walk. Create a free family tradition like Movie or Game Night. And nights when you’re exhausted and can’t read that fourth book? Well, that’s okay too.

 

What are your mantras that help keep the Momma Guilt at bay? Let me know below! <3, M

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Tip 4: Procrastination kills

Okay, maybe a dramatic title to catch your attention, but procrastination really does throw you off your game and makes your life dramatically harder…

Don’t set yourself up for failure

You know you need to get the task done anyway, so why set yourself up for failure? By the way, this is what I tell myself daily. It has taken me a long time to combat procrastination and task-avoidance. I have found through my trials and tribulations that there are a variety of different reasons why people procrastinate.

 

Reason #1: You don’t enjoy the work

It’s harder to tackle a lengthy paper or reorganize your closet when you’d rather be doing something else. However, those are the crucial times when your reasoning needs to remind your instincts that you’ll thank yourself in the long run for having an organized closet and for not being up all night completing a paper the day before it’s due. If it NEEDS to be done, it needs to be done. No point in dragging it out and stressing over it.

 

Reason #2: You can’t make a decision

I often put off choices and struggle with coming to a decision. I have learned that I do this when neither option is the right one. If I can’t come to a decision, I need to create an alternative. If I can’t decide if I should visit friends over the weekend or spend it on the couch, it’s because I know I really should spend that time studying and playing with 6.

 

Reason #3: The task is overwhelming

It stresses us out and overpowers our senses when projects are daunting. It’s hard to see the finish line when it’s so far out. Often this anxiety makes us just throw our hands up from the get-go and give up. The key to combating this anxiety is to break the huge project up into small manageable tasks. If you can’t complete the project in a day’s time, you need to do it in parts. Maybe just sort the laundry into piles the first day. Takes twenty minutes while you’re watching your favorite TV show. Then wash a few loads the next day. That will give you the motivation to put it all away the third day: because you’re so close to the finish line. Remember—it always seems hard until it’s DONE.

image depicting the vicious circle of procrastination

The Vicious Circle of Procrastination
Art by Paige Martin

How do you combat procrastination? Let me know below! <3, M