What to do when even your children notice how busy you are?
Have you ever noticed that when you are not feeling well, your children are crankier!? When you are nervous or stressed, they ask for more attention? Well, I knew my actions had an influence on my children, but I noticed first-hand how my mood directly affects their mood.
It was a crazy busy month of September! Both of my kids started school (kindergarten and preschool), and I went back to work (part-time, at least!). Not only that, but we also had parent-teacher meetings in the evenings for my children, as well as for myself as teacher in the two classes I’m split between. Furthermore, fall extra-curricular activities have started: two activities for each boy. All of this has created a drastic shift in our daily routine : my boys go to bed earlier (a LOT earlier) and they wake up earlier too (which helps getting out of the house in a peaceful way, but it also means I have to wake up earlier too!).
I have to admit, I was really nervous about everything: I got sick, I got insomnia, I got worried for my eldest’s success in his class, I had tons of “to do lists” all around the house… I was not in an optimal mindful state. I was always thinking or wondering what needed to be done next, not really spending quality time with my children and/or husband.
At that time, my children were crying in the morning, not wanting to go to school, they were crankier than before and/or were asking for attention (not always in the way I would have like!). Obviously, the crying in the morning and not wanting to go to school has also to do with the beginning of the school year! But I noticed a change in their behaviour when I’m not working, or when I am at ease in the morning.
Solution!? Time to rectify my priorities! I should be the top one, not behind my kids, my husband, my work, my blog, etc. Everything else will follow if I take time for myself. I know it, and you probably know it too, but it’s time to act NOW!
Have you done something for yourself recently!!?
Alright, now that the emotional part is out, let’s back it up with some scientific proof that I was right, and talk about what we can do to ensure that our stressful life gets a little bit easier.
Some researchers have found that a stressful response – quicker heartbeat, higher level of cortisol, etc.- can be found in really young babies when around a stressed parent. Furthermore, other researchers found that, as I noted, children are often “acting out” AFTER they feel the stress from their parents. Do we really need more research to tell us that we need to do something about our stress? I didn’t even mention the effect on us. If we want children able to cope with stressful events, we need to show them how by being able to do it ourselves first!
So what can we do? There are a lot of thing we can do!
- Find what is making you nervous. Try to find solutions, ask for help from your family or friends or a professional!
- Go see some friends. A good social support is really important, so go have a coffee or a drink with some friends.
- Do an activity you enjoy, or at least, one you enjoyed BEFORE KIDS! Find that activity you enjoy and make some time for yourself.
- Go back to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Get some fresh air and exercice. Just by getting the blood circulating faster in your body will help restructure your mindset.
That being said, I am off to the grind…