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Getting Over The STRESS Of Demanding Children

by Mamapumpkin‏
Posted on 29 February 2012

It is no secret that I have a lot on my plate. I have a full time job to grow a business and a part time job in my blog which earns me an income. I also have other writing assignment commitments that are more spread over the year (manageable) and I get ad-hoc paid blog assignments (increasing now but declining quite a bit too) with deadlines which I must fulfil. There are also my charity obligations to consider. On top of that, I still manage a household (bills, groceries, home maintenance), manage our support help (an Indonesian helper and a British nanny, no Filipinos for me, thank you), exercise regularly with a personal trainer, drive the kids everywhere they need to go (swimming, TaeKwonDo, school – everything else come to our home!), see to their homework needs (thank goodness T1 is really independent!), spend quality family time every week and still have some me time. I also force myself to sleep at least 6 hours per day. How do I do it?

I really haven’t a clue. I just do.

For the month of March and April though, I have no support help as they have both gone on holiday and on day one of having no help, I was already STRESSED!!! The old pattern of not having any help returned – I was constantly texting the Hubs to ask what time he was coming home as I’d be at the end of my tether, I’d be food binging as I’d be SO busy throughout the day that I only cooked for the kids and forgot about myself so what do I eat? Chocolate, cookies or bread! I’d be shouting at the kids because I’m already exhausted and they are slow in moving to the bathroom for a shower……you know the drill. So how am I going to survive 2 months without help? I’m frigging nervous thinking about it but I know that I just have to wing it.

One very important thing I plan to do though is to FORCE myself to be patient with my kids.

How many times do I feel like just shouting at them and throwing them out the window or flushing them down the toilet??? More than a million I can safely say.

But one thing I’ve realised is that it really isn’t worth it to terrorise your kids. They are kids!!! They were born to be demanding, they were born to crave attention, they were born to want to play ALL THE TIME, they were born to make a mess………..that’s what kids do!

We, as parents, are here to teach them right from wrong and all the other life skills that will enable them to grow into useful adults one day, but not by shouting at them or punishing them physically?! NO.

Our responsibility as parents is to do THAT JOB by merely repeating ourselves over and over and being consistent with our teachings till they get it one day. If kids want our attention, we need to give it to them, even if we are at the end of our tether. We just need to take 10 deep breathes and just do it. Everything else must wait. The more often you do this, the more you will find that your child gains security with your love and will start trusting you more and listening to you more. Not by shouting, although shouting works too because the child then obeys your command out of fear, but is that what is conducive to his development? Not at all.

When children want your attention, they need it and I reiterate that it is our responsibility to give it to them. It may be the last thing we want to do when pressing matters are majorly stressing us out but parents need to put things into perspective. We might not even want to give them more attention because it’s BORING, because what? You want me to draw with you again??? They are only little kids for a few years. What is that few years in the course of our entire lives? If we didn’t want to put in the time (the what seems like forever kind of TIME!) to raise healthy, good kids, why make them in the first place? Oh, you didn’t realise it was this difficult to raise kids? Well, it’s too late now. Be responsible, do your job and be a good parent. Whatever your reasons for making them, just smile, bear with it and know that it isn’t forever. 

I have 2 very demanding daughters who are in constant need of attention. The big one is 7 and mature enough now to understand that I am very busy yet I give her at least 5 minutes of my time each day, a pure 5-10 minutes just for her, filled with kisses and cuddles and some laughter and chat. This usually happens before bedtime or whilst we’re in the car. The small one’s only 2.5 years old and is at that it’s all about me stage. She has the capability to play around the house by herself yet every so often, she will come to my desk to ask for something. One minute it’s to get a toy that’s out of reach, the next it’s to make her some milk, then she wants some snacks, then it’s to find her her pen (and you know how it cannot be any pen, it has to be THAT pen!), then it’s to read to her, then it’s to draw with her, then to put on the DVD for her, then it’s to dial her Ama for her so she can have a conversation, then it’s back to wanting to sit on me whilst I work……..it’s a never ending list of demands. It is exasperating!!! How do I even get any work in???

The reality of it is, some days are good days, some days are bad days. On the bad days, I accept that this is going to be a non-productive day for me and I just devote myself to my child. I tell myself that I will just sleep a little later that evening and work even more efficiently and that means NO CLICKING THE FACEBOOK BUTTON. You will find that after giving your child some quality attention (even if it’s just 15 minutes), they will tend to be independent for a while whilst you rush back to continue your work. Another trick is to give them something new to do, raid a jewellery drawer or play with make up or paint, whatever, and that will free some of your time to work. The mess can be cleaned in less than 10 minutes later but the half hour you get for work is priceless.

So parents, please don’t cry your eyeballs out whenever your kids drive you nuts. Just go with them. Don’t fight against the forces. Remind yourselves why you were chosen to be your child’s parents and do yourself proud by making a damn good job out of it. Nobody said parenting was easy. It is THE hardest job in the world, but by supporting each other, together we can make it happen. My prayers are out to you for an easier parenting journey…….*a big hug to every parent out there*

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