When you find out you are going to be a parent thousands of questions start to run through your mind and it can be hard to find structure and answers to those questions. I remember feeling totally overwhelmed and instantly buying four or five books that only served to confuse me even more!
I was recently sent some Coaching Cards for New Parents from Kim Morgan at Barefoot Coaching Ltd and I instantly wished I’d had these cards when Little Miss MIP was born. The pack contains 50 cards that each have a question on them that is designed to encourage honest conversation about your experience of being a new parent. Not only do they make you think about your everyday parenting life but they also help to focus your thoughts on what kind of parent you’d like to be in the future.
I’m really pleased to be taking part in Kim’s #yougotthis blog tour and to answer the question on one of the cards for you now as an example of the questions the packs contain.
This made me laugh when I read it because I feel like the honest answer is “all the time”.
I feel frustrated when she doesn’t listen to what I’m asking, I feel frustrated when I feel like she isn’t eating properly, I feel frustrated when she won’t go to sleep and I feel frustrated when she doesn’t focus and pay attention to what I’m trying to teach her.
Feeling frustrated as a parent is a permanent mindset I think and I think it’s ok to feel like that as long as you can capture why you feel like that.
I get frustrated and cross when she won’t listen and do as she is asked – I feel like she is actively ignoring me and not making the choices I would like her to when ask her to do something. I feel frustrated and often like I’m failing but sometimes I can take a step back and try to identify why she isn’t doing what I ask. Sometimes she is just being a little minx and pushing boundaries but quite often her behaviour is a result and reflection of my behaviour.
As an example in the mornings I’ll often say – “can you pop your coat on please along with your shoes and pick up your school bag so we can go to nursery and see your friends”. Most mornings she’ll ignore me or start to have a tantrum and if that happens it’s pretty much my own fault. I’ve given her too much information and now she doesn’t know where to start – I’ve overwhelmed her and she isn’t quite sure what I want her to do so she responds by doing nothing. I then end up repeating myself until we end up at me counting to three, her shouting at me, both of us feeling frustrated and everything taking a million times longer than it needs to.
If I’d just asked her to put her coat and shoes on and left everything else out of the instruction it’s 90% likely it could all be avoided and we have a much more peaceful morning.
When she goes to bed she always gets over excited and I end up frustrated and the pattern repeats. I mostly go into bedtime and dinner time braced and ready for conflict but the times I don’t start off frustrated and anxious it generally ends up ok.
Frustration is a natural state of mind for parents – I’m frustrated I don’t have the flexbility I used to before children to enjoy sunny bank holidays in the beer garden, I am frustrated I’ve to put my hard earned career on hold and I’m frustrated that I don’t feel like I’m getting it right most days.
But I’m also happy – I’m happy this tiny terror has landed in my life to frustrate and delight me in equal measure. I’m happy that I’ve got this whole new life together to explore as a family and I’m happy that almost every day I can go to bed knowing that while I might not be the person I was a few years back the person I’m turning into is ok.
The coaching cards are a really interesting concept and I would recommend them to others. You can buy them from the Barefoot Coaching website here from the 1st September at £15 per pack and I’ll be giving away a pack on my Facebook page shortly.
You can follow the #yougotthis blog tour by using the hashtag or visiting the blog pages below – Mums The Law will be posting next followed by Squished Blueberries, This Glorious Life, Beautiful Things and finally Glossy Tots on the 9th September. You can also catch up on the ones you missed from Barefoot Blog, Messy Blog and Beauties and the Bibs to find out what they thought of the cards and what questions they answered.
I was sent these cards for free in return for an honest review – all opinions are my own