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?
Kathleen is an anti-bullying specialist, a conflict coach, a teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend...