Whoever enters the apartment or house of a family with children usually sees at first glance that children live there. Shoes are piled up in the hallway, the kitchen is full of children’s dishes and toys can be found even in the most remote corners of the house. Well, that’s life with children – always a bit chaotic! In the past, when I didn’t have children, everything in my apartment had a place, but today I’m much more relaxed about it.
Of course my kids have to keep their rooms clean and tidy, but their toys are automatically spread all over the house. And quite honestly, when I’m sitting on the sofa in the evening and the pirate battle from the afternoon is still set up on the carpet in the living room, it reminds me of a wonderfully playful day with my kids and not of chaos that I have to clean up immediately. And tomorrow is another day, after all, and they want to keep playing.
I’m sure there are no parents who are one hundred percent consistent! After all, just like us, they are only human. In a discussion with my children, a no sometimes turns into a maybe and later even into a yes. Why? Sometimes children simply have the better arguments and saying no all day long is no fun either! Why shouldn’t we have ice cream on a sunny day, even though there was already too much sweet stuff at the weekend and I had actually resolved to be a bit stricter during the week. Well, admittedly, I may not be the staunchest mom either, but so what? When it comes to important parenting rules, on the other hand, I stay firm and my kids know that too. So I can live quite well with this form of inconsistency.
Lack of creativity
I can’t do crafts and I can’t paint! I admire other moms who send homemade cards for Christmas! I can’t do it and I’m not going to pretend that I can. Are my children missing out in this sector and possibly not getting enough encouragement from me? The honest answer is yes! Does that bother me? Yes and no. In the past even more than today. In the past, I always had a guilty conscience, spent vast sums in the craft store at Christmas and Easter, and was always full of beans. At the end of the day, I could rarely motivate my boys to tinker with me. In the early days, I still made the Christmas tree tags for the grandparents and godparents myself until late at night. I don’t put myself through that stress anymore.
My strengths and those of my children currently lie elsewhere. We ride our bikes in all weathers, run through the woods, discover new things all the time. We create our own fantasy worlds and spin them further and further. Do my children lack creativity just because they are not good at handicrafts? Definitely not! Do I still have a guilty conscience? No, because creativity is what we make it!
Too much television
Of course, I realize that television can be quite harmful to children. But if we parents keep an eye on what our children consume and, above all, keep an eye on the TV times, we should all be a bit relaxed on this point. Because right now, please raise your hand if you’re a parent who has never turned on the TV or tablet to attend an important meeting at the home office without being disturbed, or just to take a deep breath for 10 minutes after a hard day. Sometimes the square nanny provides us with valuable minutes that we simply need, and we shouldn’t have to apologize for that, let alone be ashamed of it!
A healthy and balanced diet is important for all of us, but especially for children because they are still growing. So fast food and sweets on the daily menu are actually a no-go. But in my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with having them once in a while. Because quite honestly, we parents have enough on our plates every day, so there’s no need to have a freshly cooked meal on the table morning, noon and night. So if, after a long day at the home office, we reach for frozen pizza for dinner, we shouldn’t be ashamed of it! Tomorrow is a new day and there will be more fruits, vegetables and whole grains on the menu again.
The day was long, maybe we have a lot of stress at work right now or we were annoyed about something. Then you want to end the day quickly, enjoy a little time for yourself, but the kids are absolutely not playing along. They are loud, don’t listen and certainly don’t want to go to bed. That’s when mom and dad can get loud and annoyed. It’s only human that our nerves get the best of us. Should we be ashamed of these emotional outbursts? No, but we do it anyway! Why? Because no one likes to yell at their children!
I always feel guilty right away when I get loud, but instead of letting that gnaw at me, I explain to my kids why I just reacted that way. And even small children understand when mom says that she’s had a hard day. That doesn’t mean the kids put themselves to bed and give me the rest of the evening off, but it does give them a sense that parents aren’t perfect either. That they sometimes have a bad day and don’t want to be like the others.
Who manages to have their child in bed at 7 p.m. sharp every night?! Nobody! In the summer, it’s light longer in the evening and the kids just want to play outside in the garden a little longer. So it may be that they go to bed later in the evening. Or maybe the child is so exhilarated from an exciting day and just can’t get any rest. Don’t we know this from ourselves?
Another point where we parents should stress less is with the fact that our children do not sleep in their own bed every night. Sometimes they wake up at night because they have had a bad dream, are particularly restless or simply seek parental closeness and need security. And honestly, what could be better than looking into the face of your peacefully sleeping child in the morning? That immediately makes up for a restless night. And instead of stressing and feeling guilty, we should rather enjoy this time, because in a few years we will miss it.
So dear parents, stay more relaxed, don’t be so hard on yourself and above all, don’t be ashamed of the little mistakes in everyday life, they happen to all of us!