This weeks best parenting advice: breathe, flex and keep moving

Parenting advice is everywhere, some of it helpful and some of it not so much.
The best advice is often that which aims to improve the mental health of the parent, either in the short or long term! If this is somewhat well in tact then the functioning of a family is generally on a fairly even keel. (I say ‘somewhat’, ‘generally’, and ‘fairly’ with emphasis, so don’t hold me to this)

With that in mind, one of the greatest pieces of advice I think I will give to any new parent is to be flexible! There are so many skills, strategies and support systems that you need to effectively run a household and rear a family, but no amount of strategizing will help you cope with the flap and tizz that ensues from a down to the second plan gone astray. All the expert knowledge in the world will count for nothing if one doesn’t have an adaptability and agility to change direction at the last minute. A simple bowel movement, a fall in the mud or a bump on the head can ensure the most thought out plan goes belly up and threatens to derail the most organized of operators.

This past week I have had one child’s surgery postponed which in itself has sent off an annoying and disruptive chain of events that I am still getting my head around. I have twice had kids throw up during the night upsetting my plans for both a full nights sleep and of the following days activities. A school kid at home that couldn’t venture far from a toilet bowl is enough to frighten anyone into an unplanned home day. I was also called at a function to pick up another child whose lunchtime antics resulted in a knee injury that threatened to see him pull out of a football match that he desperately wanted to play. I have been in the car ready to head out to said football match (he made a miraculous recovery) when the babies nappy required urgent attention and the shoes that should have been on his feet were found to be left at Grandmas after many frustrating minutes of searching. I sit here now at the end of the weekend wondering just what delights the coming week will impart.

When all else threatens to bring everything unstuck, I will remind myself to take a deep breath, count to three and say to myself….”If this all doesn’t go to plan, what’s the worst that will happen?”……and more often than not, it wont be the end of the world

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. I think like that too. “Does it really make a big difference in the big picture” etc. Usually the answer is no :). I hope next week is better though. Rachel x

    1. Martine

      Thanks Rachel! It is one of things we know, we just need to remind ourselves of more often!

  2. yvette

    definitely hope next week is better!!

    I must take ur advice.. if all goes wrong.. the world will not end!!

    1. Martine

      Thanks Yvette, so far this week better!

  3. It makes it hard to imagine ever going back to work in an office, for someone else. Not that I want to do that anyway, but on days (and weeks) like you describe above, I just think – ‘and what if I now have to put in a 10 hour day in the office?’ It would be the path to certain insanity for me. You are so right, flexibility is the best characteristic to have as a mum, because not a single day will go to plan.

    1. Martine

      Yes I often wonder how i could ever put in a full week of work outside the home as well, especially when dealing with the unpredictable nature of kids!

  4. I really should listen to this advice. I am such a stressor, especially if things don’t go to plan. I get myself all worked up and then I am in a bad mood for the rest of the day/night, or I lose my temper and feel like the worst person ever!

    1. Martine

      do try to ask yourself that question next time….”whats the worst that could happen?” I have done it many many times, especially useful for the little things that cause you stress but all add up to be a big stress or bad mood!

  5. Bachelormum

    Totally agree Modern Parent. When we try to control things it only makes us more upset when they go wrong. I’ve done the delayed surgery, caught vomit in my bare hands … Changed tack on my plans so many times. I think the hardest for me though is being flexible during morning madness, when we are trying to get out the door. I met a mum on the late ferry today … We laughed … Say no more.

    1. Martine

      Oh wow! Adding a ferry into the mix poses a whole new set of challenges!

    1. Martine

      Thanks Kelly…absolutely we need to keep a close eye on ‘the bigger picture”.

  6. My Mummy Daze

    ” When all else threatens to bring everything unstuck, I will remind myself to take a deep breath, count to three and say to myself….”If this all doesn’t go to plan, what’s the worst that will happen? ”

    Best advice Martine! If only I could remember it AND execute it in that moment!! I’ll get there eventually Fi xxx

    1. Martine

      Yes you will Fi! Even using it a few times a week will make a big difference! x

  7. Mum of Adult Kids

    I’ve used the “what’s the worst that could happen?” technique more times than I can count, followed by the “what’s the likelihood of that actually happening?”. Whatever the {potential} issue, usually isn’t so bad afterall!

    Great post, great advice!

  8. Drivelology

    I am the world’s biggest stress head. I stress over the tiniest things and have to constantly remind myself to breathe.

    Will definitely have to make an effort to ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen?” more often.

    Perfect advice!

  9. Prue

    I have just found myself having one of those mornings. Reading this post could not have come at a better time. Ahh, breath. I feel much better now 🙂

  10. Grace

    Oh, Martine! Again, a timely post! I’ve just had the most horrendous afternoon with the twinlets. They didn’t go down for their sleep; they were crying straight for 2 hours; I had to walk out of the room several times. But thanks for the reminder that no, it’s not the end of the world. (Deep breathing right now).

  11. mumspk

    This is exactly the reason why I love working for myself. If my kids aren’t well or if things aren’t going to plan, my work can be shuffled around to suit them. Great reminder! Thanks.

    1. Martine

      Yes, that is a definite bonus of working for ones self 🙂

  12. Nice post here Martine! 🙂 To all the parents in the world just don’t forget to BREATH and always think that there STILL “tomorrow” perhaps things will get organized the way you want it to be. Just enjoy moving whatever things will come up.

  13. Melisa

    Hello
    Thank you for an inspiring article. Some of the parenting tips I have been following are: celebrate achievements, trust and together time. I feel that those three rules will keep the family stress away and enhance the positivity between family members.
    Best Regards
    Melissa

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