Leaving the house in peace
author By Emilie Leeks,

Supporting my children to get ready to go out - one finds it harder than the others.

I gently prompt them towards the things they need to get ready:

Do you have your water, sweetheart? - No, it's not been filled up.
Could you fill it, do you think?
[Slowly, gently, or things will feel panicked] - Oh. Yes, I could do that.
Water in bag, sweetie [with a smile]. It gets done, but it's so so slow.

Recognising my own triggers here. My impatience to get three children ready, to support them in the way they need whilst also knowing that we need to get things done - knowing I would be much faster doing it myself. Holding onto the fact that the speed isn't everything. Isn't anything - if I want them to keep practising, to feel good about what they achieve, to get better at it.

It's hard though! My whole being is encased by a 'get it done' mentality (and by a 'get it done perfectly, messlessly, quickly' mentality, what's more).

I have to notice that. I have to acknowledge and embrace that part of me. That part of me that wants to rush everything through, because I'm quicker, more skilled.

I have to notice everything that's coming up for me - and remember that it's all about me. That it doesn't reflect the children's competence for the stage they're at, or their willingness to try, or their enthusiasm with new or tricky skills.

And when I get snippy with them? I have to remember that that's from other pressures - that it's nothing to do with them. That it's about time pressures on me - the constant weight of 'too much to do'. And that the feelings are also a carryover from a childhood experienced in a culture where 'fast' and 'perfect' are highly valued. Where children are held to adult standards which are unreasonable and unreachable for people still on the learning path.

I squeeze my hands into tight fists for a bit, to relieve the pressure. I might stamp my feet. It's not directed at anyone. The children are used to it - they know I'm doing something good, something helpful. Something to let off steam - to avert a big eruption.

Sorry sweetie, I'm feeling a bit pressured - I'm sorry I snapped a bit. - That's ok, Mummy.

Noticing, remembering, embracing those parts of me that are under pressure. Doing a bit better all the time. Honouring my journey - where I've come from, as well as where I'm heading to. Taking my time, and inching forward. Because they deserve it.

water bottle

A word or two about Journeys in Parenting; a responsive parenting community

Emilie is a Hand in Hand Parenting instructor, and was a paediatric speech and language therapist in her former life. She provides support and coaching for parents via the Journeys in Parenting community. Emilie lives in Berkshire in the UK with her husband and 3 children.

Journeys in Parenting is a community group for parents, carers and parents-to-be, who want to find out more about parenting in a responsive and peaceful way. The community offers information, advice and emotional support for this hard work we do as parents. The vision of the group is to be a safe space, where parents are supported in guiding their families in ways which: are respectful to children; meet the parents' needs; and lead to a more peaceful planet for all.

To work one-to-one with Emilie , request a free 15-minute trial call here or visit the website for more details

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