So you might think that I am crazy when you hear that I feel like more kids = less stress, but I really believe it, in our family. I have written several posts about why I think this is true, but it just seems to become more true as time goes by…
When I am out with the kids, I often hear people tell me “You are always so calm.” The first time that I heard it, we all laughed because if I never considered myself to be a calm person… until I had my children.
I have so much MORE on my plate now than I did before I had kids. Often times, I can’t even remember whats on my plate, because there is so much. I have 4 kids, I work part-time, take care of most of the finances, sports, packing lunches, making dinners, mommy groups, school things for the kids, etc… I’m sure you can relate! You are probably doing the same thing at your house! However, I am less stressed now than I was when I only had one, two, or three kids:
IT’S NOT THE NUMBER OF KIDS…
It’s your attitude.
Yes, there is more to worry about. Yes, there is less time. Yes, there is more to do. Yes, there is less energy. However…
I CAN’T CONTROL IT ALL…
So just enjoy it.
I CAN’T DO IT ALL.
Neither can you. Embrace it.
Why I won’t be stressed…
1- If I worry about not doing it, it won’t do me any good. I can’t spend one on one time with every child all day long. I can’t cook gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can’t be everywhere on time every time. If we have to eat out tonight or if we eat chicken nuggets tonight, that’s OK. really.
2- If the kids are doing well (for the most part), I’m doing a good job.
3- Sometimes playing is more important than cleaning or cooking a great meal. Sometimes messy play is more important than a clean kitchen table (it can be cleaned after).
4- Sometimes snuggling in their bed with them while they tell you about their day is more important than making sure that they get to bed on time. (I try to put our kids to bed at 7:00, but if it doesn’t happen every night.. that’s ok!)
5- If they don’t eat their “well-balanced” dinner tonight… that’s OK. They’ll eat breakfast tomorrow (just no snacks tonight).
6- They have a built-in play mate constantly when they have siblings.
7- There is always a party when there are 6 of us around! Someone is always doing something fun or exploring something new.
I’m sure that you get the idea… If you can have a more laid back attitude, for the most part, you will feel less stressed & happier, too. That joy will spread to your children.
When you can’t control it all, you stop trying to control it all. Instead, you start teaching your children to love life and you start enjoying this life with them… and these moments as a family. You learn that your children will mimic your attitude and your actions. You learn that your voice becomes their inner voice. Being relaxed and happy seems so much more healthy than being stressed and angry.
Plus- did you know that the #1 thing that kids want from their parents is for their parents to be less stress? (It’s proven)
How to you get to this “less stressed” state of mind?
Just REMEMBER TO SAY “So What?”
If we are late to that party, but the kids aren’t stressed from rushing them to be there three minutes sooner… so what? If our kids don’t want their hair spiked for church today, but they did put on a dress shirt … so what?
You are reading this post, so you already care. You are already a great parent or you wouldn’t be trying to do more. Embrace how wonderful you are, stop right now and run off to play with your kids (or do it when you are with them again, if you are out.) Be happy and calm. Spread those feelings to your kids. It is contagious.
If you would like weekly emails of tips and encouragement sent to your inbox, please sign up for my (free) newsletter here. (I’ll send you my Parenting Hacks book for free!)