- Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.
Yes, I said it. Learn how to ignore your children. Sometimes they need to entertain themselves; you do not need to be at their beck and call 24/7. Don’t check on them every few minutes, let them be. If they are content playing away from you, let it happen. Obviously check on them if it goes quite, for all you parents of toddlers and young children, we all know that means disaster. Also, if you have a trouble maker that you can’t trust alone for more than a few minutes; I’m sorry and check on them regularly. 🙂 Back to ignoring; you are setting your children up for failure if they think you are going to jump when they say jump. They will become entitled and expect that from everyone else. I think we can all agree that’s not a good quality in a person.
- Don’t expect perfection.
I know it seems like everyone on Instagram and Facebook has a perfect life, marriage, kids, etc. but it is all a lie. No one has their shit together. Some people are just really good at hiding the bad behaviors, fights, tantrums, messes, etc. I will be the first to admit that my kids can be little brats. They drive me insane. They throw tantrums. I long for alone time. I long for girls nights or a night out, better yet a weekend, without the kids. However, I don’t post these things on Facebook. I don’t post about the arguments I have with my husband. I don’t post my kids’ tantrums. I want to change that, though, without being annoying. I obviously won’t talk about mine and my husband’s arguments, unless they are like my post here where I am just being dumb. But I want to show you the real Marsh family. I think being honest either on social media, with your friends and family or even with yourself will let you relax a little bit. You won’t feel like you have to be perfect when out of the house. You won’t have to worry about putting out a perfect cookie-cutter family on social media. You will be able to go to that work BBQ without major anxiety. People will be expecting your kids to be kids. No one expects them to be perfect so don’t pretend they are. Start posting those candid photos; those are usually the best anyway.
- Ask for help.
Kids are a lot of work and it’s okay to struggle sometimes. It’s okay to ask for help. This particular habit is still a work in progress for me. I have gotten better about asking my husband and others for help but I still have some work to do. Have you ever heard the “It takes a village” saying? It’s so true! I find myself wishing I had family close by so I could ask for more help. I truly believe it’s in your best interest to ask for help. It’s good for your mental well-being, it’s good for your marriage, and it’s good for your kids.
- Spend time away from your children.
Take a vacation with your significant other. Go on a date. Go to lunch with your girlfriends. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, go out and do it, but don’t bring the kids! As a stay at home mom, I felt like I had lost my own identity for a long time and I’ve been working on getting it back. A lot of that has been going out and doing things I enjoy without my children. I look forward to taking vacations without my children when they are a bit older. I look forward to more girls nights. I look forward to more date nights with my husband. I look forward to continuing to find my own identity as my children grow older. Going out and making yourself happy shows your children they are not the center of the universe. Yes, I know what a crazy idea! It shows them you need alone time and it’s okay to take it. It shows them you can make yourself happy. I think all of these are good qualities for a person to have as an adult, and watching you do it will encourage your children to do it as well.
- Be honest.
We need to raise our children, to be honest people. Liars only make this world worse. Children learn their habits from their parents if you lie they see you get away with it so they believe they can get away with it as well. Obviously lie to them about Santa Clause, if that’s what your family does until it’s time to tell them. Lie to them when they ask you what you’re eating and you don’t want them to have candy before dinner. White lies are different than flat out lies.When your child sees a gay couple on the street and starts asking questions, don’t lie to them. Tell them the truth. When your child sees someone who has a handicap and asks a question, be honest with them. Tell them it’s not this person’s fault and they may have been born that way or had an accident, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. Help the next generation be accepting and loving adults.