Being at home with the kids is rarely a walk in the park. It’s more likely a mega tantrum, poo explosion and realisation that you forgot the nappy bag, while in the park. If you’re finding the kids challenging, don’t worry; help is at hand…
Before the summer holidays began, I was fretting. My usual two half-days a week with both children in childcare would disappear on the last day of term. Our childminder returns to Italy for the duration of the holidays, and (pre) school’s out for summer.
That meant I’d also have my four-year-old around the house, so when the 18-month-old was napping, I wouldn’t be able to cram in a few hours of work. At least not without the guilt of having to put my daughter in front of the telly for that to happen.
We went away for the first week, came home and I arranged some ad-hoc babysitting – four hours a day, two days a week. This meant both kids were being looked after 8am-midday, so that I could go and work in a cafe, and I’d get back, put the youngest for a nap and get a few more hours in.
It worked well.
But I also realised that it’s actually really nice having both kids with me through the week. My son has more company than usual, and it’s lovely chatting with my daughter. She’s funny, and says things to me like: “Mummy, why are you stressed?” reminding me to stop panicking and chill out.
We’ve done cooking together, painting, face-painting, playdates. But we’ve also had quite a few stern words, bribes, light threats (“do that again and there will be no ice-cream this afternoon”) and all the other crap disciplining stuff that comes with parenting. And TV – lots of that.
However, the hardest day I’ve had so far was last Sunday. We had various friends and family staying over the weekend, which was lovely, but meant our timings were out. So we went for a walk, not realising our son wanted to eat then nap, and he screamed until my husband took him home.
This annoyed my daughter, who wanted a trip out, so I stayed out with her and my sister, and we had a coffee together. But this was followed by more moaning, tantrums – and all that other shit. Nothing terrible, but all quite testing. And it left me feeling stressed.
I messaged my friend – and business partner – Kim, who’s always helpful in difficult situations and she suggested listening to the five-minute ‘Tough day at home’ session in the Clementine App. So I did. I sat in my bedroom, headphones in and spent five minutes de-stressing.
It worked. It reminded me to breathe. It put everything into perspective. When a child has a full-on meltdown, it’s hard to focus on anything else. If someone tries to talk to me, I ignore them. (Sometimes intentionally; often accidentally). It makes me feel deeply uncomfortable.
And so having a short hypnotherapy session to soothe me; that I could listen to at home, via the app, saved my sanity. I didn’t have to do anything. I wasn’t expected to participate, just to listen passively. And that’s why I love hypnotherapy: it’s so easy. Which is just what I need, when everything else feels hard.
That put an end to my stress. I then went downstairs, feeling refreshed, and went for a pint with my husband and the kids. We had a lovely time, the tantrums eased, and I went to bed that night feeling like the day’s tension had been resolved.