I consider myself a pretty easy going, not much ruffles my feathers, loving life kind of gal. I teach yoga, so I’ve studied how to chill out. I’m a former Radio City Rockette, so I’m used to handling intensity and exhaustion. So, why are these meeting of minds and battle of wills with my toddlers so beyond challenging?!
My name is Amy Griffith, creator of my own prenatal yoga DVD’s and boss momma at www.ExercisingBalance.com I have 2 super fab kiddos. Clara is 19 months and Wesley is 4 1/2 years old. My Wes-Man has always kept us on our toes. He never slept through the night on a regular basis until just recently. The 2 year old phase hit, then the 3 year old phase. Hello! There was a moment when I considered only having one child because, man, it’s HARD WORK!!! But, we made it through, as we always do.
After many articles, blogs, and these goodies they teach us in yoga, I am learning how to “coach myself through” these challenging moments. Here are my top 5 reminders, tips, mantras, whatever you’d like to call them. They will get you through, but you’ve got to commit and believe, beauty...
“I can do this.” Have you ever said this to yourself, mommies? No? You absolutely should! It’s what gets me through those moments when I doubt myself. We all need a cheerleader, and sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to call your “life line” on the phone. So, that’s where multitasking mom comes in. You are your own cheerleader. Say it silently in your head or chant that puppy out loud. “I can do this!” Look at yourself in the mirror, maybe give a solo fist bump, take a deep breath and then proceed, my Warrior Mom!
“It’s a phase.” Ahhhh….. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before, but it’s the truth so don’t get hung up here. I know it feels like for...e...ver… when you’re waiting for your child to practice putting on their socks, buttoning their shirt, clipping the buckle on the stroller. Or those newborn moments when you’re waiting, pacing, praying, hiding, sending telepathic communication, tiptoeing and collapsing while you try to get them to sleep. It is all incredibly taxing, but in the end, it’s short lived. It’s just a phase and will pass before you realize your shirt is on inside out…. Again…
This mantra plays on repeat for me right now as my 19 month old begins to express independence that doubles our time getting out the door. But how can I resist letting her try repeatedly, to fasten the velcro on her shoe. A girl’s gotta learn somehow.
“His actions are not my own.” (I wish I could give credit to where I read this from, but I can not remember. It was somewhere on Internet-Land. Thank you for this mantra, whoever you are…) This one is gold when you are trying to calm yourself down before you explode like Mount Vesuvius! There are times when my 4 year old acts out in such a nasty way that I want to retort with the same nastiness. I may have actually thrown my shoe across the room out of sheer madness and frustration. ( → not proud of that ←) It was a huge wake up call for me though. When I feel myself absorb my son’s meltdown or tantrum, I repeat “His actions are not my own” as many times as I need to. When I realize this, I’m able to handle the situation with clearer focus and I act independently from his emotion. I am the adult. I am calm and capable of displaying the proper behavior and I can do this without flipping out! “I can do this without flipping out.” That might be a lovely addition to our first tip.
“Stop. Breathe.” Just F-ing Breathe!!!! Yes, I’ve told myself this before… in that tone. Ok, that doesn’t work as well when you’re trying to breathe through clenched teeth. So, may I recommend, stopping before erupting. Maybe you even walk out of the room. Close your eyes and take 3 slow, deep breaths. If there’s one thing yoga has taught me, it’s that focused breathing makes a world of difference in moments of stress. Wake up that parasympathetic nervous system and bring your body back to a happy place so that you can relax, focus and handle the situation with a calmer, clearer head. I coached myself through this mantra when I was frustrated (i.e. tired) at the end of the day during teeth brushing. I calmed down, took a look in the mirror and realized I could let go of the grip I was holding onto and let them figure it out.
“Tomorrow is fresh start.” Sometimes at the end of an exhausting day, I collapse on my bed and am grateful that we get to close the book on that one. I remind myself that after a shower and that dear old friend, Sleep, I can wake up with a recharged battery. I’m given another chance to work on this role of motherhood.
We do the best we can, some days we soar, some days we stumble. I encourage you to quiet down the outside noise and really take a look at what is in front of you… A whole lot of love that you created. Life is full, crazy, and beautiful. Coach yourself through the tough spots and soak in the goodness of the moment you’re in. I promise, you can always find something to be grateful for. You’ve got this, momma! You’ve got this.
Visit Amy at www.ExercisingBalance.com to follow her blog, check out her prenatal yoga DVD’s and connect on:
AMY GRIFFITH, RYT, CPYT, Prenatal Yoga