Today I am thrilled to have Linda Anderson as a guest on my blog. I relate so much to her story about self care and how it can stop you from yelling at your kids and I am sure you will too.
A few weeks ago this conversation happened …
Miss 3: “If you don’t take me home RIGHT NOW to make me a new breakfast I will take my seatbelt off”
Me: “I am not going home to make another breakfast. We are going to day care now. Do not take your seatbelt off, that is very dangerous”
Miss 3 (getting louder): “If you don’t take me home RIGHT NOW to make me a new breakfast I will take my seatbelt off”
Me (taking a very deep breathe): “We are not going home again and if you take your seatbelt off there will be consequences. You will have a TV lock tonight when you get home”
Miss 3 (yelling now): “ I SAID …If you don’t take me home RIGHT NOW to make me a new breakfast I will take my seatbelt off”
Me (in my firmest but calm voice I can find): “And I have said we are not going home and you will not take off your seatbelt”
Miss 3: “Fine, I just undid my seatbelt!”
I live on an island, with narrow roads and only ditches on the sides, which means when my child takes off her seatbelt in defiance I can’t just stop and pullover.
I was utterly furious with her. I finally pulled over, got out of the car and opened her door.
In my sternest but still super calm voice I said “It is very dangerous to take off your seatbelt, you must never do that. You have a TV lock tonight and now we will finish driving to day care”. Seatbelt done up we continue on our way in silence.
I was telling another Mum this story the next day and she couldn’t believe I hadn’t lost my cool and just yelled at my daughter. I truthfully told her that on another day I may well have totally lost my shit with her but on this day I was able to keep my cool because I had been doing a good job in recent weeks with my 5 minute self care practices.
With three young children I have learned that the key to not yelling at them (or at least reducing the number of times I might yell) is ensuring my own self care is a top priority. Picture a bubble around me. When I practice self care the bubble increases in size around me and allows me to be calm and resilient when my kids are pushing my buttons. I can be firm but I do not lose my temper.
When my self care has been lacking the bubble deflates and the buffer around me disappears. So when my kids push my buttons I am likely to react quickly and often resort to yelling at them in frustration. I really don’t like to yell at my kids.
I have learned from experience that my bubble stays inflated when I take 5-10 minutes most days of the week to look after my own needs, rather than holding out for a big chuck of time on a Sunday. If I wait for the big chunk of time my bubble is at risk of deflating during the week, causing me to lose my temper before I have a chance to refill my bubble.
It is this simple – frequent, short pockets of time, dedicated to my self care stop me yelling at my kids.
It might be:
A walk down to the beach and back
A short run
Putting my legs up the wall in my bedroom, out of sight from the kids
A cup of tea in the garden with my book
How inflated is your bubble right now?
If you are feeling really deflated and know that your fuse is short right now, consider how you might start finding 5 minutes in your day to fill it up again.
I believe so strongly in the power of this 5 minute self care ritual that I created an online program to support other Mums to start looking after their own needs better, 5 minutes at a time. It is called 5 Minutes 4 Mum.
Imagine feeling less overwhelmed so that you can enjoy the journey of motherhood.
Imagine feeling more energised and less stressed.
How can start filling your bubble up today?
Linda Anderson is a life coach, blogger and Mum of 3. She recently moved from Sydney (Australia) to Waiheke Island (New Zealand) to fulfill a family dream. You can visit her website, or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
If you have been struggling to find any time for yourself in the mayhem of motherhood I would love to invite you to join the 5 Minutes 4 Mum program. The program is enrolling now for the last time in 2016 and if you join before 8th September you will save $50!
This post contains affiliate links so I earn a small commission if you click through and join the program. I only ever promote products and programs I truly believe in and reinvest affiliate commissions into my blog so I can continue to provide free content for you :