I’ve gone through cycles in my parenting – sometimes multiple times per day – where at the top, I loved and enjoyed my kids so much I thought my heart might burst, then on the bottom, finding them incredibly annoying and wishing they would just be quiet for a minute so I could get something done.
Sometimes I wondered if I was bipolar.
Obviously, that has to stop. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the next twenty-five years being annoyed and stressed by the most important people in my life, and there are a number of things that I’ve started noticing strongly influence my feelings.
Now let’s address two things here: Feelings are wishy-washy things that we need to watch and control very carefully, and I am never saying it’s okay to be unkind to your kids if none of the things listed below happen during the day, or you feel they don’t work.
Secondly, there’s a very important precursor to these things working. Really, it’s step one:
Get paper and pen out, and empty your brain. Write out your to-do list.
If you’re like me, you have a million things going on, and when the kids interrupt you, it’s frustrating, because it causes you to lose focus,
But when you brain dump everything onto a piece of paper, or a document on your computer or phone, it frees your mind of all those things swirling around causing you to get stressed any time you get interrupted.
Instead, you write them down and don’t have to worry about getting distracted, because you can get yourself right back on track after answering “why is the sky blue?” for the hundredth time, by just glancing at your paper or computer.
That’s exactly what it takes to stop being stressed out by your kids – or anything else in life. Just get it out of your brain. That’s all!
Okay, so with that, here they are:
25 ways you can enjoy your kids:
- Turn off the background noise and give them your focus
- Turn around and give them a big hug
- Say yes
- Help them build a fort out of the couch cushions
- Dance with them
- Squeeze them and tell them you love them
- Read a book to them
- Cuddle with them when they go to bed
- Rock them when they wake up
- Give them kisses
- Let them kiss you (it’s gross, but sweet)
- Go on an “adventure” around the block
- Ride bikes together
- Start dinner early so they can “help” you cook
- Watch them play
- Make special treats just for them (it doesn’t have to be unhealthy!)
- Have a picnic on the kitchen floor
- Or outside
- Teach them knock-knock jokes
- Laugh at their jokes – because they’re so completely bizarre you can’t help it
- Have a face-making contest
- Chase them around the house
- Let them take pictures with your phone, then delete the ones that make you look terrible. 😉
- Make a mess, and help them clean it up
- Have a dance party in the living room – and then hide behind the couch when your husband disapproves of the music your letting the kids hear.
These are all super simple things, so why should they help you be less annoyed with your kids?
Because the more quality time you spend with someone, the more you love them. Not only that, the more time you spend with them, the happier they are, and the better they behave.
People – and this includes me – often worry about losing themselves to their kids, and not having “a life”. But what we forget during all the hustle and bustle and pulling our hair out trying to do it all, is that the little years are very short, and once they’re gone, you can’t get them back.
So be there, be present, soak it all up, and have the best life anyone could possibly ever have. Because your kids really are a delight!