The truth? Sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I snap, or yell, or pick a child up and move them somewhere else.
I try really hard to make those moments the minority though.
It is HARD to be calm, and curious, and non-reactive with 3 small children whipping around me at warp sleep. Really really hard some days. Finding my strong and kind voice as a parent has been one of my toughest challenge yet.
So - I'm going to share with the best wisdom I've learned along the way... maybe there's a little nugget in here to help you out.
1. I go to therapy. We make sense of the past, of lessons we learned, and the person I want to be instead. It's given me clarity, and relief, and has helped me find the voice I want to use.
2. I read parenting books. When we find a behaviour that seems impossible, we look for an answer in the research we have found (next week I'll share my favourite books and blogs with you!)
3. Being a mom and entrepreneur and wife is HARD... and my legs tell me to "flight" sometimes. So - I do the thing my body wants me to do: I run away almost every day. And then (of course) I loop back home. By doing what my parasympathetic nervous system is asking me to, I can return with a better hormonal balance to be the calm and centred mom I want to be.
4. I sleep. My goal? 8.5 hours a night. I find there's a direct connection between my mood and sleep. Bad sleep = angry mom. Good sleep = calm mom.
5. I have figured out which emotion is hard for ME to feel: grumpy. When my kids are grumpy - I have a hard time being supportive of them. I have found a mantra that helps "he's grumpy. This is hard for ME. Let him feel it, it will wash through him."
6. I practice acknowledging my kids thoughts and feelings so intensely that it's now THE habit. It easily pops out of my mouth.
7. And then, when I mess up... which I do... I apologize. I want them to understand that when I lose my cool, it is not because they are bad, but because I am a human and imperfect. I find those moments to be hugely connecting - they soothe the bad moment, and teach them how to apologize too when it's their turn.
What can YOU do to support YOU through this hard work?