Sometimes after a particularly hard day, we find ourselves snapping at our kids and partners more than usual, and while everyone has a bad day here and there, one thing's for sure: patience is a virtue when it comes to parenting. Although no one ever said taking a few seconds to calm down without totally freaking out after your kiddo somehow managed to get into the pantry (again) is an easy feat, 2018 is a new beginning. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make next year your most patient one yet.
1. Try seeing things from your kiddo's point of view. Taking a step back and approaching an issue from your 7-year-old son's perspective might not make you agree with him necessarily, but it will make you be more understanding. For example, will it be the end of the world if you're running five minutes behind schedule because he wanted to kiss the dog goodbye before going to school? In the scheme of life, probably not, so no need to lose your cool.
2. Make an effort to listen more closely. When you're stressed out, it's easy to get ahead of yourself when another problem gets piled on, but taking a moment to gather your thoughts and really listen to what your child is saying or asking can make a world of difference and prevent arguments from even occurring in the first place.
3. Worry about one thing at a time. No one enjoys being overwhelmed, but when it feels like the sky is falling down on you (e.g., every little thing is going totally wrong), make sure you prioritize which ones need attention ASAP and which ones, well, aren't really problems at all. What does that mean exactly? There's no need to get frustrated if you didn't have time to vacuum the living room or if your little one dropped a plate and it broke. After all, a huge part of being a mom is going with the flow, right?
4. Try your best to plan ahead. Look, you're not going to be completely prepared for everything in life, but a little planning can go a long way. Are you consistently late to the bus stop? Try knocking some of the little (but needed!) things out of the way the night before like making your kids' lunch, picking out everyone's outfits, and putting the coffee pot on a timer so it's ready when you wake up. Getting ahead of the craziness can help you avoid it altogether.
5. Remember the world's not out to get you. At your very worst, it can feel like that whole mercury going into retrograde phenomenon seems all too real. Don't forget that everyone makes mistakes, including your children, and kids don't wake up plotting to act up in the supermarket or throwing a tantrum in church, so breathe!