It’s not always easy trying to be a confident working mum. You know that; I know that; and so do the mums I talk to every day.
What’s stopping you from being a confident working mum? And whose help do you need to change that?
Earlier this year, I was talking to a mum after I had interviewed Jo McCormack on coping with picky eating. (By the way, I’ll be talking to Jo again for The Confident Mother online conference). This mum was telling me about a challenging situation she’d faced with her daughter at dinner time and she’d stood her ground. She had come to the realisation that she needed to break the cycle.
Sometime when you face a challenging situation, it helps to talk it through with somebody more objective; who is less emotionally attached to the outcome; who can reflect back what you are saying and not saying; who can show you alternative tools and strategies. What I notice as a mum is that what drives us crazy about our kids and their behaviour, sometime these things are a habit – a habit which crept up without us even noticing.
I worked with a parent coach, Elizabeth O’Shea, earlier this year for help to break a similar habit cycle. One daughter (aged 10) was consistently coming down from her bedroom at 10pm to get a drink of water, to have eczema cream applied, to ask a question like “why is the sky blue” or to ask me to remind her in the morning to pack her homework in her book bag. ENOUGH!
After spending time talking to Elizabeth over Skype, we then sat down as a family and discussed the bed time routine. We agreed what it was, what time it starts, and what time it finishes, what she needs to do before she goes to bed for example refill her water, have her cream applied, pyjamas, brush teeth, shower etc. We discussed how it’s her responsibility to remember the different tasks. We also agreed that if a non-urgent question pops into her head such as “why do chickens lay eggs” or “what time is my swimming lesson on Friday”, she should have a notebook and pencil by her bed and she would write down the questions for us to discuss in the morning. The ‘carrot’ being that if she went to bed and stayed in bed every morning for a whole week, she would be allowed her favourite breakfast (Daddy’s famous American pancakes). When she’d managed it for two consecutive weeks, we would have a treat e.g. go to her favourite park.
This is something I ‘could’ have fixed on my own. But sometimes when you are frustrated or you get cross in the heat of the moment, it’s not so easy. Elizabeth’s help was simple and straightforward, not rocket science. It’s like when you attend a customer service or dealing with difficult clients or time management workshop at work. It’s common sense. But sometimes we need to be reminded of the common sense and bring it into our awareness.
To be a confident working mum, you need to feel confident to ask or accept help when you need it. To give yourself permission to be stuck or frustrated. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.
What about you? What is getting in the way of you feeling that you are a confident working mum? Whose help do you need to change that?