A recent argument arose in the Baxter house between my daughter and one of my step-sons. Now this is nothing new in a house with four kids but this one stuck out a little more than the rest. A simple one liner by a six year old was a mind-blower and made me think of how I deal with overcoming stress.
“Deal with the one I gave you!”
As I was in the middle of working on blog ideas, I heard Marley in her little screech voice yelling at her brother, “deal with the one I gave you”! Again she repeated “deal with the one I gave you, it doesn’t matter”. So I sat for a second chuckled and waited to see if they would work it out or if it was time for mom to step in. After the back and forth continued for a few more minutes, I finally decided to see what in the heck all the commotion was about.
Turns out her brother needed a towel to get out of the bath and the only towel left in the linen closet was a smaller towel she has had since she was a baby. You know the kind with the animal head that you can wrap your kids up in and it makes you go aww (see photo). Now mind you my kids are not huge and this towel was plenty big enough for him to dry off and continue about his day. So with that in mind I had no time for this argument to go any further and I quickly responded with; “Boy dry yourself off and stop fussing. Do you know how often I have to just deal with things.” As the words left my mouth I said yeah…do you know how often I have to deal with what you kids throw at me? Heck how often do parents have to deal with what is thrown at them on a regular. Do we get to just loose our shit every time – NO! We have to solve the situation and move on.
Such a simple concept but for many parents including myself this has been a lesson we have had to learn. Now I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you what keeps me from going to the crazy house when my kids throw me a curve ball.
I know, I know, sounds simple enough right? Well sometimes when the emotions are ragging the last thing we want to do is walk away. We want to either do one of two things: 1) stick around to solve the problem, or 2) let everyone in the vicinity know how frustrated we are that we now have to deal with the situation. So what do we do? Well let’s be honest it usually isn’t pretty and leaves us with an elevated heart rate and seeing red. So instead of doing this to yourself – just walk away.
Say No – Not Today
It has happened to the best of us…your child leaves his/her backpack at home, they forgot the field trip pass that you told them to put in their bag on the counter, their lunch is still in the fridge. These are all examples of those lovely calls we get in the middle of the day to come to our kids rescue. Afraid that saying “no” will make you a bad mother? Well don’t be. It is okay to simply say I am not dealing with this today and let them learn a lesson. We are allowed to not be perfect parents. Let them deal with it!
Understand that B****ing Doesn’t Help
Now this is the hardest one for me. I am normally quick to let people know my frustration but what I have found out is that it doesn’t help. Once it starts my kids go deaf. I literally become the mother on Charlie Brown and all they hear is “blah, blah, blah…do you hear me”. Response is usually something like this “yes, mom I hear you”, then they go right back to doing what I was just fussing about. So why waste your breath and your energy? Instead, take a breath and calmly state your point. Trust me they will hear you much more clearly.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Ever have those days when you told them to clean their room and they are now at school and it is not up to your standard? Well instead of going into a tizzy and cleaning it up for them, just shut the door. Simple as that. They can clean it when they get home. No reason getting yourself all worked up about it, right? They have to learn that the work doesn’t go away just because they leave it.
Just Deal With It – This too Shall Pass
Laundry is piling up, you have to meet a deadline at work, the kids have science projects due and you still need to wash the day old mascara off your face. Sound familiar? Stress is nothing new. We will all have to deal with it at some point. It is how we manage it that matters. Here it is important to recognize the stress and deal with it. Because let’s be frank in some cases it is not just going to go away. So put your big girl panties on and kick stresses ass. Although it may be uncomfortable, recognizing the feeling of stress is the first step to fighting it. It’s true, accepting feelings of stress and anxiousness will actually help activate the body’s natural relaxation response. So don’t fight it, deal with it!