On Thursday I spoke at a local MOPS group. I had presented at this group and a couple of other MOPS groups last year. I feel privileged that that this group and the others have invited me back to speak on different topics this year.
One thing I like to point out at the start of my talks is while I share on my blog lots of plans, processes and tips that help to make our life a little less chaotic and more fun, I didn’t parent like this from day one.
My parenting has been an evolution from baby 1, to baby 2, to baby 3 and so on. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some experience and the benefit of hindsight that I am very happy to share. I often think about the way I manage the household now and I wish I knew to do it like that back when I had baby 2 or 3 etc.
After my presentation, there was question time and then the mums broke out into small groups for morning tea and discussion on the topic of the day – which in my case this week was Finding Time For Mum. (I did recently write a guest post on “Finding Time For Me” on Feel Gooder if you are interested in this topic!)
I sat in on a number of different discussions and as well as contributing my ideas, I picked up and shared some great tips (all a bit random!) that I thought I would now share with you:
- If you can’t do a date night, try ordering in and eating just as a couple once a week/fortnight to make sure you have time to meaningfully connect with your partner.
- With the kids games, make sure you use ziplock bags for all the small pieces that make up the game. That way if the game box gets knocked over (or tipped over by a toddler which is happening lots in our house), all the contents stay together in the zip lock bag and make it much easier to clean up.
- It is okay to tell the kids that you need 5 minutes of quiet, where no one talks to mum!
- Even the most supportive of partners might not think to offer you time to yourself – you need to be proactive in seeking it.
- There are seasons we move through in our parenting journey and we need to adjust our expectations to reflect this. For example, the amount of time we can eek out for ourselves will often be less when we have very little ones.
- As a parent you never know it all. This year with my son entering secondary school, it has seen me on such a steep learning curve! I am in information seeking mode, on strategies to find the best way to guide and communicate with my soon to be teenage boy.
What have you learnt from other mums recently? I would love it is you shared your learnings in the comments!