6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Parenting Life
Feeling stuck or uninspired with your role as a parent lately? Spring is a time of growth and renewal, and it’s the perfect time to freshen up your parenting skills with Mighty Mommy.
Here in New England, we are coming off a very long, icy, snowy winter. I can’t remember when I wanted spring to arrive more than this year. With the warmer, fresher days of spring right around the corner I’m preparing to transition seasons by performing my annual spring cleaning with the help of Domestic CEO’s tips. By the time I’m done, every corner of our home will be scrubbed and freshened so that my family and I can enjoy as much time outdoors as possible.
Spring is not only the perfect time to clear away the dust and dirt in your home, but as a parent it’s also a great time to clean up your overall attitude and stagnant outlooks about raising your children.
Here are Mighty Mommy’s 6 ideas to help you get reenergized as a parent:
Tip #1: Take Self-Inventory
Taking self-inventory is the process of asking yourself certain questions that will reveal how you feel about who you are. This is so important because sometimes we can get into negative thinking and we don’t even realize we’re doing it! Here are some questions you can ask yourself about how you perceive yourself as a parent:
What makes me unique and wonderful as a parent?
What can I do today that will make a difference in my child’s life?
What is my favorite part of being a parent?
What qualities do I love about myself that I would like to pass along to my child?
If you haven’t taken the time to go over all of your best qualities in a while, spring is the time to do it! Start by focusing on what makes you shine as a person and let that be the foundation for polishing up what you’d like to improve in weeks to come.
Tip #2: Bathroom Mirror List
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s working on being the most loving parent of all? Ok, so you don’t have to actually talk to yourself in the mirror every morning, but it is a wonderful location to post a little reminder about some key things you’d like to remember every day. My bathroom mirror list has 3 phrases on it:
Remember Patience. This is my reminder that no matter how harried I might be getting my 7 kids out the door to school each morning, I need to slow down and treat them all with love and patience so that they don’t go off to school all strung out because of my actions.
Be Present. One of my ongoing parenting goals is to be present and live in the moment instead of borrowing worry from tomorrow or next month! Our entire family relaxes and enjoys life more when I set the tone for living this way.
Love Yourself. It may sound corny, but if we as parents don’t learn to love and appreciate ourselves on a regular basis, how can we be the best parent, spouse, coworker, and friend to everyone else?
Tip #3: Let Your Curiosity Bloom
Kids see life with awe and wonder. Adults tend to see life through their to-do lists, with never-ending bills and non-stop schedules that keep them hopping from morning until bed time. Wash away your practical side for a change and start exploring new possibilities with your kids.
This past weekend I went to a neighborhood party with my kids. It was a bit cold outside but they were all in the backyard kicking a ball around and dancing to some very energetic hip hop music. Instead of heading inside to the party, I stayed out with them and tried to learn the latest dance moves. My kids thought I was pretty funny, and I actually impressed myself and some of the other adults with my new moves! I’m going to look for more opportunities like this to engage with my kids on their level in the weeks to come.
Tip #4: Clean Out Your Parenting Attic
Forget the attic in your house, it’s time to dust off your own attic—your mind! Find 5 - 10 peaceful moments every day to spend alone with your thoughts. Stop analyzing your past parenting mistakes. Let go of things you cannot change in your current family situation. Even mommies need to take a break and regroup.
In a previous Mighty Mommy episode called The Overwhelming Truth? you will find some instant ways to clear out your mind and get re-centered as a human being and a parent. I give myself “Mommy time outs” on a regular basis where I remove myself from the fray and grab a good book. Or I turn on a mediation CD which has natural sounds like waterfalls, waves crashing to the shore, or the sounds of birds and bees softly chirping and buzzing in the background. I may only have a few minutes to do this, but now that I’m in the habit of taking these breaks, I’m able to step back into “real life” and feel more refreshed and peaceful.
Tip #5: De-clutter Your Calendar
No matter how many wonderful gadgets and material items your kids may have, what they all really long for is something money can’t buy—time with their parents! And not just a few scattered moments when you’re completing your expense report while counseling your friend’s relationship crisis via instant messenger, all while your son desperately tries to show you the science fair project that won him first place. Once time is gone, you can’t get it back, so clean up some free time on your calendar by eliminating obligations that you don’t need to keep and use it instead to give your uninterrupted, undivided attention to your kids and family.
Tip #6: Tune Up What’s Not Working Well
You schedule tune ups on your car when things are riding a bit rough, so why not do an annual tune up on your family life to fix any areas that need to function a bit better? These areas could include your kids’ homework routines, spending less time on the internet, establishing a chore schedule, curfew adjustments for your tweens and teens, or finding ways to get your kids more active. Spiff up some of these areas now so that come summer, your family will be happier, healthier, and completely refreshed.
Do you have an area in your family’s life that you’d like to you’d like to spiff up and polish this spring? Let me know in the comments section or on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. I’m also on Twitter @MightyMommy. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check back next week for more practical parenting tips. Don’t forget to check out my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT. Enjoy some renewed time with your families and until next time—happy parenting!