I’ve wrote a lot of posts about fashion, which let’s face it is what people are probably more drawn to. But then something happened this morning. I got a really nice comment from someone on Instagram. It was the husband of someone who “loves my blog”. I couldn’t believe it! I write blogs for dozens of clients and get countless shares and comments etc. But this is different, this is a little piece of me that I’m sharing so I want to try and accurately represent who I am a little better.
I love the fashion stuff but let’s face it; sometimes it can feel a little vapid. A lot of the time I am sitting in workout clothes writing about designer clothes following other people with their pretty things, possibly making other people feel a little inadequate for reading our posts wearing the same workout clothes we are secretly wearing behind our computer screens. Clearly, I have nothing against the pretty things but clothes alone does not a person make.
So even if this post gets just 1 view compared to the massive traffic my Tieks versus Tory Burch post got, I’m still going to write it. I’m still going to share a little more so that we can connect on a different level than prints and purses.
What’s My One Piece of Parenting Advice?
I just got asked to film a quick video segment for a friend’s upcoming baby shower. The question they are asking all the guests to answer is “What is your parenting advice for the parents to be?”
At first I thought that I was completely unqualified to be passing out unsolicited advice, but then I realized; I am no more or less qualified than any other parent. And lord knows I love giving out unsolicited advice so here goes…
Embrace the Chaos
Life, marriage, kids it all can be chaos. Not just the momentary chaos of a busy week but real chaos. Maybe you and your spouse are learning to adjust to life as a married couple, maybe one of you is trying to go back to school and you and you are working with some tight finances.
Kids are a whole new level of chaos that I didn’t know even existed. I have nieces and nephews and was never fazed by watching my siblings struggle with toddler temper tantrums. Instead I just sat back and watched still thinking they were just the cutest little kids ever. However, when you have your own kids that same exact interaction can be colored so differently. I don’t think it’s so precious when my two year old treats the Costco aisles like a slip and slide. She is mine, my responsibility to keep alive and my responsibility to mold.
All parents probably know the exact moment of chaos I am talking about. The one where you look around and have to think really hard about how you are going to turn it around. Maybe it’s a screaming infant and toddler in public or maybe its kids up with croup or the flu at 3 a.m. I find myself in those situations time and time again. In that moment, it’s hard to see that it’s just a moment. My kids aren’t going to scream forever, maybe just another 5-10 minutes. The sun is going to come up and everyone will eventually fall back asleep until we get to the doctors in the morning. Looking back the next day, I have such a better perspective. Why was I so overwhelmed over a bad 10 minutes a bad hour or two? I try to hold on to that perspective and bank it for the times I’m in chaos. Talking a deep breath and reminding myself that this too shall pass, can make all the difference in how I don’t let life’s chaos take hold of me.
Two Techniques to Stay Calm When Your Kids are Passing Around Chaos Like a Cold
1 . Breath: So simple, yet so wildly overlooked. I seriously believe in this, so much that I have it tattooed in white in on the inside of my wrist. The breathe is powerful and sometime we often take for granted. As someone who practices yoga I am very attuned to how my breath is my life force. When you are sitting at a red light with a screaming baby try it. Take 5 deep breaths in and 5 deep breaths out. You’ll be surprised as how powerful of a technique this really is.
2 . Change Scenery: My husband and I used to refer to 4 pm as “the witching hour”. That hour after naps when baby are super fussy and just nothing will do. Witching hour always hit our house bad! It was a bummer because what husband wants to come home to a stressed out wife and screaming kids. I had to do something to fix it so we walked. I’d strap up the kids in the Bob grab the dog and we would walk. We would just walk and walk until everyone stopped crying. Changing scenery works great for toddlers who are freaking out in a store. Try and stay with them inside and the temper tantrum can go on forever, carry them outside and it stops a whole lot quicker.
How Do You Embrace the Chaos?
My sister Bridget’s favorite memory of our mom was when Bridget dropped a tub of yogurt on the floor in the kitchen. Bridget wasn’t supposed to be getting a snack and my mom was busy watching my 3 siblings and me along with several other kids she did childcare for. Money was tight and that lost yogurt meant that we weren’t getting a replacement until next week’s budget kicked in. Many parents in this situation would overreact and get mad at their child over the split yogurt and all the additional inconveniences it created. So did my mom get mad? No, she sat down with Bridget who was expecting a scolding and started finger painting with the yogurt on the kitchen floor. Within minutes there were 8 little ones and my mom creating a lasting memory made possibly only because my mom didn’t let life’s chaos get the better of her.
No matter what your life’s chaos is at this moment, it’s fleeting. You will not permanently be in this current state of chaos so instead of fighting it so adamantly, embrace it. Accept the chaos as your current state and be resolved with it. Doing so will let you weather this time so much better. I wasted too many days with my babies under 1 year old feeling like I was drowning in chaos. What I couldn’t see at the time was that this chaos was momentary and along with it would go the memories I missed because I was too busy fixing that moment rather than just accepting it.