You know that poem, “The Little Girl”?
There was a little girl
And she had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead,
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.
Well, I have three boys and the last one fits this poem to a tee, just title it “The Little Boy”. One minute he is sharing with everyone, running off a list of who he loves, playing fetch with the dogs. Then he turns into a mini tornado and goes around tormenting the dogs, snatching his big brothers creations and purposely breaking them into unrecognizable proportions and even gets into full on tantrums where he then yells out the terrible “H” word and proceeds to list in great detail everyone he hates. I often catch myself shaking my head and chuckling at his ability to be at two such extremes. Laughter is my sanity saving mechanism!
As I have tried to understand this as a mom, looking for ways to help him deal with these emotions, I have uncovered some simple truths about kids (and moms).
1) They need their sleep. It is so true; it isn’t just a lame excuse we as mothers made up to somehow cover up our mistakes at raising respectful, cooperative children. It is a real problem, when children are lacking sleep then we are ready for meltdowns in every shape and size.
2) They need proper nutrition. When kids are hungry they act like a bear after hibernation. It is so important to give our kids healthy snacks and meals to fuel their endless stream of energy!
3) They need our attention. This is sometimes the most difficult to control because often they really need your attention right in the middle of that important phone call or when the bills have piled up or the floors really need to be cleaned. I find that as a ‘to do list’ person I need to actually schedule in the things of most importance or else my list just contains those every day really unimportant things and while I am busy crossing off my list, the most important things are getting the short end of my time. I have started to notice that when I stop what I am doing and go watch my sons new karate move, or look at the bug my youngest has found, or listen to the newest song created on the piano, then my sons are much happier. Their happiness equates to a happy mom and a happy home. When we take time to connect and to spend even just a few moments of really special time with our kids they know we care and they are more at peace.
4) They need to create and do things that interest them. Kids are imaginative, creative creatures by nature and they need to have that fueled to feel content. My boys rediscovered the massive tub of Legos slipped conveniently under their beds the other day and have been so content creating a myriad of interesting spaceships, trucks and creatures. They have played amazingly well because they are content with creating, building, and using their imaginations. They have also been enjoying time exploring and playing outside with the sunshine finally coming out more often. I find one of my happiest moments is when we get together and create something, the kids have my full attention and they are doing something new and exciting. There are many wonderful websites with an endless supply of ideas for kids crafts, creations and experiments. Most only take a few minutes to prepare and use supplies already on hand. It is amazing what a little time creating can do for your kids and you!
5) They need to get moving! Kids have energy and need to exude that energy in positive ways or they will find other means of doing so. So crank up the music and dance, take them for a bike ride, go geo caching, jump on the trampoline, have a family soccer game. Just get moving and you will find positive dividends for doing so.
So, as I am writing these points down, they miraculously also apply to you as a mom. Strange huh?! The same things that kids need to be at their best, we as mothers need too!!!
So, my invitation to you is:
1) Get enough sleep!!! This is my trouble spot right now. But, with the flu knocking me down for a couple days this week, I am now listening. Funny how it usually takes something like that to get us tuned into what our bodies are telling us.
2) Feed your body! We get so busy taking care of everyone else that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves! When you fuel your kids with all those healthy things, remember to save some for you! Don’t forget to drink some water too.
3) Take some time to really connect with those you love each and every day. The things that really bring us lasting happiness are the positive, loving relationships we build. If these are being neglected no one is happy! So, take time to smell the roses and to let those most important to you know it!
4) Take some time to create and use your imagination. I am a creator, I love to create and so I know this to be so true. We all have the need to create and in many different ways. I have friends who are so organized; that is creating. I know others who love to garden; that is creating. I love to write and that is creating. Paint, dance, sing, play, cook, bake, write, design, organize. Just create, whatever that looks like to you!
5) Get moving. Use that body you are blessed to have. I look at my parents and see how they are struggling to do the things they want to do because of pain they are experiencing and limitations their bodies are placing on them now. Take advantage of the time you have right now to move and to enjoy every minute of it!! Dance, run, jump, play, roll, wrestle, tickle, bike, just get out there and move!
I hope you will do some of these things and keep track of the difference they will make to the atmosphere in your home and in your heart! I know these things are so important but there is a big difference between knowing and doing. I need to do these things too, so let’s do it together and recharge our batteries! Remember when mama is happy everyone is happy!!!
QUESTION: Do you frequently find yourself meeting your kids’ needs, while yours go unmet?
CHALLENGE: Follow through with Chantelle’s invitations, and see how much better you feel!
C. Olsen says
Love this! Thank you for the reminders!
Creating really does lift the soul. It’s amazing.
This is a great reminder for us all, especially the part about what we need to do for ourselves! Sometimes it’s my perception of the situation that needs adjusting, not my child. If I’m too tired to play, or haven’t had dinner yet, I can be the grumbly, mean bear and not realize that when she’s banging the spoons on the table and singing that she’s just being a child, and a content and happy one at that. The noise isn’t hurting anything, and neither is she… I try to remember that, then get some spoons (and a bite to eat!) and sit down and help her with her song instead of losing my cool!
Thanks again for this wonderful article! I already feel better…
Chantelle Adams says
Thanks for leaving your comment!! It lifted my day to receive your words and it was also a timely reminder for me!!! It is so comforting to know there are so many other moms in the same position as you, it is wonderful to empower and encourage each other! Thanks again!!!
Laurie Brooks says
THANK YOU for this Chantelle. I am also a mom of three busy boys, and I often find myself lately struggling to keep my wits and humor in the midst of the moments. That first paragraph where you explained the two extremes that can happen with kids and how laughter can keep you sane is really what I need to hear right now, so thank you!