As I sit on a busy train on route to London an element of ‘Mother guilt‘ kicks in…..the mornings are often like a military operation in my house in order to get my two young daughters up, ready, fed, watered and to school on time in order for me to catch the 09.04 train.
There seems to be no time to slow down to de-stress. However some mornings as I step into the shower I do take a moment to think about how I want to be ‘calm mummy’ because being ‘calm mummy’ always has a better outcome than ‘stressed and frustrated mummy’. Some mornings I manage it, other mornings I simply don’t.
Keep Calm Mummy
This morning I remained ‘calm mummy’ even when the cat was sick, the juice spilt all over the kitchen floor and my daughter couldn’t find her glasses. By remaining in ‘calm mummy’ mode meant that the girls had a positive hour with me, albeit still working to a tight time schedule. They got dressed without me nagging them or using my ‘in a minute I’m going to get cross’ voice, they ate their breakfast without any moaning about the day ahead, and resisted the temptation to argue with one another. We even listened to some music and had a brief minute of dancing around the kitchen…..something we don’t do enough of.
As the school doors opened and they walked in holding hands with a ‘bye mummy I love you’ I smiled to myself and felt a sense of achievement that I had managed to be ‘calm mummy’ for the whole duration of the military operation that is the morning routine, especially on mornings like this when I need to catch the 09.04 into London.
Stressed and Frustrated Mummy
On the flip side lies ‘stressed and frustrated mummy’. This is the mummy that I don’t like being, the one I know will be disappointed in herself when she waves at the school gate, the mummy that sets herself up for an average day rather than an outstanding and productive one. So where does she come from and why do I allow her to take control sometimes?
Make a Choice
Maybe it’s the full moon, hormones or tiredness…..whatever it may be, it is a choice. I can blame all sorts of things and remain firmly in Effect, or I can take a moment to think about what type of mummy I would like to be and shift myself into Cause. This is often easier said than done, especially when the clock is ticking, the kids are arguing, the milk has run out, the toothpaste has gone all over the school cardigan and the car needs to be de-iced before we can go anywhere. Maybe it is in these moments that we need to work even harder at stopping just for a few seconds, taking a deep breath so that we can make a choice to step back into Cause and allow ourselves to be ‘calm mummy’. I know there are times that I could do with listening to my own advise.
It’s all about choice and taking control.…as a working mum (and one that is lucky enough to love the work I do) mothers guilt can often play a part in my day….if I choose to let it. I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine about being a working mum….you can choose to feel guilty about not always being with your children because you choose to work, or you can look at in a different way….what a great example you are setting for your children. You are demonstrating that you can be a mum and work doing something you love. You are showing them and teaching them a great work ethic and also reinforcing something – that they have choice- choice to follow their own paths and create a future that they are in control of. A sense of independence. A sense of choice.
It’s worth remembering this when the ‘stressed and frustrated mummy’ decides to make an appearance. We are all doing the best we can with the resources we have and we shouldn’t let the Mother Guilt get to us. On that note this ‘calm mummy’ is ready to have an outstanding day.