You're not Superwoman, so stop acting like her!

superwomenYou’ve had four hours’ sleep; your four-year-old just dumped cereal all over the floor (milk included); the baby is grizzling and you’re meant to be taking a conference call in an hour, which you need to prepare for. And you need to take your older child to preschool in, hmm, twenty minutes. Your first instinct might be to climb back under the duvet, but as tempting as that sounds, there are other ways to get through.

1. Ignore the spill for now. Imagine there are orange witches’ hats around the mess, and deal with it later.

2. Call a nearby friend, perhaps from your mothers’ group or playgroup. If they can take your child to preschool for you, brilliant. If they offer to take the baby too, just for a while, this friend is worth their weight in gold!

3. But if that’s not an option, there are worse things than putting on the television or handing over the iPad to your children if you really need them to be occupied for a while. When I was new to motherhood, I vowed that my children would watch hardly any television and that we would instead be doing craft or playing blissfully in parks all day. But the reality is that Peppa Pig, Shaun the Sheep and Thomas the Tank Engine proved my salvation many times. Everyone knows too much television or time on devices is not ideal for kids, but small doses canbe useful – as useful as a Really Useful Engine. If that call is important – or you need to work for 20 minutes on the laptop in peace – and your kids are happily watching Peppa jump in muddy puddles, go for it.

None of us are Superwoman. It’s impossible to get through the day without the best laid plans going awry in some way when you’re a parent. That’s the way it goes.

Setting reasonable expectations for how and when you do things is a way to be kind to yourself – and others. The trickle-down effect is always positive.

Jane Woolard
Jane Woolard


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