I was going to start off my blog with a series of posts on what coaching is and how it can help, but I’ve decided to launch into my favourite topic – the breath.
When I speak to mum the most common theme is the desire to be a calm and patient parent. Ha! When you have kids running around, not listening, throwing tantrums, not eating their dinner, talking back, being aggressive to siblings and asking a million questions it is SO hard to keep your cool. As mums we’re only human. We have to do the household tasks, some of us work, others are SAHMs, we have relationships with partners, family and friends that we need to nurture AND our ultimate role is to provide the environment for the lovely creatures that are our children to grow and develop in. This can be HARD WORK!
My girls were up at 5:30 this morning (bring on daylight savings!). And from the second her feet hit the floor my pre-schooler, Maddy, was talking. Asking a million questions, telling me stories, having an argument with me over what she wanted to eat for breakfast, she was far from quiet. Don’t get me wrong I love her vocabulary and the fact that I can interact with her but this morning it was too much. And I snapped. I lost my cool and got quite cranky at her. My solution = put Peppa Pig on and I went to have a shower to reboot.
As I was standing there feeling the water wash away all my stress I was thinking of techniques to use in the moment. It’s all very well and good to sit down later in the day and use relaxation techniques or meditate (both of which I’m a huge fan of). But what do you do when you can start to feel yourself beginning to get overwhelmed? BEFORE you loose your cool.
It sounds so simple. But all you have to do is focus on your breath. Don’t try and slow it down. Don’t try and control it. Just be mindful. Feel the breath go in through your nostrils, fill your lungs and then flow out again. It could be fast or slow, shallow or deep. It doesn’t matter. Just observe.
Now I know that you’re thinking, how am I going to do this and calm down while the kids are running a muck. But even focusing on just a couple of breaths will start to make a difference. It might release all the tension, or it might just decrease it. Either is good. If you can walk into another room for a short period of time then do that. If you can’t leave the room just turn around, look out the window, stare off into the distance. Do whatever you can to just break your connection with the chaos around you.
Once you’ve had even a minute to just pause and breathe, then get on with it. You can go back to the household tasks, running around after the kids, trying to get ready. By taking even a short period of time out to release the pressure you’ve take steps towards being a calm mum.
It takes practice and there are still days that you’ll snap. And that’s OKAY!!!
Have a go, try it out and let me know what you think.