20 Ways to rock at Being a Mother: Parts 9 and 10

20 Ways to Rock at Being a Mother Nos 8 and 9 – De-stress your Life

Radio Transcript

[00:00:01] JASON: Ultra 1 0 6 5, it’s a Friday morning which means it’s time to catch up with Jenny Baxter, and Treasuring Mothers. Good morning.

[00:00:07] JENNY: Good morning Jason. How are you today.

[00:00:09] JASON: I’m enjoying our series. I’m really enjoying our series. Tips to rock at being a mother. Now, I’m not a mother, but I’m enjoying these tips and things that I’m grabbing for myself.

[00:00:18] JENNY: Oh really that’s great. We’re up to numbers nine and 10. And both of them, really, are talking about de-stressing your life. Do you need to de-stress Jason?

[00:00:26] JASON: After the week I’ve had, yes

[00:00:28] JENNY: Yes.

[00:00:28] JASON: It’s just been a crazy week.

[00:00:30] JENNY: Yes, you do have crazy weeks, don’t you? Well, one of the things that I remember when I was growing up was Sunday mornings. My dad would be ready for church, you know, ready early, in the car, engine running. And Mum wouldn’t be anywhere in sight yet. And I remember him tooting the horn and all sorts of things. It was a bit awkward, and we’d always arrive, not too late but we’d arrive during the first hymn. That was our usual thing. To my horror when I married Stephen, I discovered I had married someone very much like my father, who is always ready on time. He doesn’t … I told him he wasn’t allowed to sit in the car with the engine running, and tooting the horn. But he is already ready, well before I am ready and I have…It’s taken me years to work out that I have a much looser sense of time. And so, I’ve learnt now that I’ve got to aim for five or 10 minutes before the time we’ve agreed to go, so that I’m ready when he’s ready. Otherwise I’m always five or 10 minutes late. This is called building in margin in your life. Is that something you ever do.

[00:01:33] JASON: Well I have to, here on radio, because I said if we are on air at 6 o’clock in the morning or 7:00 or 8:00 o’clock or whatever your shift is, you just can’t be rolling in 10 minutes late because you’ve missed “Now for the good news”, now you’ve missed the weather, now you’ve missed this. Or if the computer’s not set properly you’re going to walk into silence, so you’ve got to build that margin.

[00:01:50] JENNY: You do. And it can be very stressful if you don’t build the margin in. And I think that’s part of the reason why it’s a good way of rocking at being a mum, because you don’t want to be doing the motherhood thing stressed or anxious, because you’re not your best in those places at those times. And it’s not just about building in margins with time either. It’s got to do with how you manage your housework, and how you help the kids manage their homework, and helping them to aim ahead of time. One of my kids was terrible at doing that, but others of them learned.

[00:02:24] And also another element of building margin is saying “No” to things and it’s so easy to keep on saying “Yes”. I’m a terrible one at this, but I have learnt slowly to say no. It’s okay to say “No”. I give you permission!

[00:02:37] JASON: Actually, I heard it on Focus on the Family earlier this week saying again, “Do you really need to be on all these committees? Do you need to be doing this? What do you actually need to be doing?” You’re just increasing your stress too much.

[00:02:48] JENNY: You are. And when you’re anxious, and under stress, then you tend to resort to unhelpful behaviour. You fly off your handle very much more quickly. You might end up doing things the way your parents always did them, which you don’t necessarily like. I mean, obviously there’s some thing that you do like about the way parents did things. But there are things that will happen that you would prefer not to have happen. And if you’re under stress, often those things bubble up from somewhere. And so if you build in margin, and take time out and say, “It’s okay,” to the kids. “You don’t have to do anything. It’s alright to be bored. I don’t have to fill in every moment of your day,” those sorts of things can distress your family life considerably.

[00:03:32] JASON: So you’re really leading us into Point 10, which actually comes to being responsible.

[00:03:37] JENNY: That’s part of it too. And interesting to think about responsibility with these words: response-able. And when you’re able to respond without that stressed reaction, or when you don’t have to just have a knee-jerk reaction, but in fact you are taking responsibility for your responses. Then you can be in a much better situation to take your kids, to enjoy what they’re doing or give them the time they need to do what they’re doing. You can be less cross. Less focused on now, now, now, now, and being a not very good version of yourself. But having the space to be response-able. Do you understand what I mean?

[00:04:19] JASON: I don’t see the word blame anywhere. I’m looking for blame. There is no blame, it’s about actually taking personal response-ability, I guess.

[00:04:28] JENNY: And so it’s a very interesting thing to get your head around. “Okay,” I’m going to take this on as, “this is where I want to make a response.” So when you’re at supermarket, the kids are screaming, what do you do? Well sometimes the response-able thing to do, is to pack everything up, pick up the kids, walk out, and not deal with that just at that moment because it’s just too difficult. Then again, you may have another tactic to deal with screaming kids in the supermarket. But that’s …

[00:04:59] Jason: That’s called react.

[00:04:59] JENNY: But yeah, you don’t want to react crossly in that environment, of course, because you’ve got everybody watching you. So it’s a really awkward situation. And being able to respond without flying off the handle, that’s taking a step back from it, being a bit more objective about your behaviour, and hopefully being able to be calm in the moment.

[00:05:22] JASON: So really there are ways of, you know, building in the margins, being responsible you can actually de-stress the situation, and not make things worse.

[00:05:30] JENNY: Exactly. That’s right, that’s what you’re aiming for. You’re aiming to rock at being a mum, because you can take a step back from your behaviour. You can be objective. You’re not being re-active, you’re being pro-active, and taking the time to slow down a little bit saying, “No” to things, and really, yes, de-stress your life.

[00:05:50] JASON: It’s a big challenge you put out there today Jenny. For more great tips to rock at being a mother, Jenny how can people contact you?

[00:05:56] JENNY: The easiest thing is looking up treasuringmothers.com. And by all means subscribe to my update, I’ve got a new one coming out just after Easter, so lots of good things going on there.

[00:06:08] JASON: Jenny Baxter, Friday mornings on Ultra106five.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *