I seem to get asked at least 2-3 times a week how I cope with so many kids and appear to always be smiling. Firstly to clarify, I am NOT always smiling! But it IS true that my most usual 'state' is one of happiness. I recently asked my hubby why people kept asking me this and he made me realise that it's because there ARE actually things that I do that bring this state about... So here are a few of them in case you feel drawn to adopting some of them too...
1. I CHOOSE to love my life and I make decisions that prioritise and honour that choice every day (we ALWAYS have a choice!). It means I say no to lots of things and I let go of various options if they are not aligned with my number one priority which is to be happy!
2. I build a buffer of time into everything I do (I do this 80% of the time because I hate to be rushed and stressed).
3. I find ways to bring fun or joy to as much of my day as I can (playing uplifting music, driving a scenic route to where I'm going if it's possible, being silly and playful with my kids, working in beautiful places, moving my body in fun and invigorating ways).
4. I spend time getting to know myself and understanding what I want and need and then finding ways to make all that happen.
5. I delete or delegate the tasks that really bring me down or I find a way to enjoy them more (ie. Don does much of our shopping because I hate doing it and he bizarrely enjoys it. I on the other hand love driving so I do most of the kids lifting and taxiing about which he does not enjoy at all).
6. I spend time in nature every SINGLE day!
7. I try to look for the lesson in everything 'bad' that happens to me.
8. I keep control of my mind and try to catch it when negativity sets in. I examine the thought and then I decide if there is anything I need to do to make it better and if there is, I take action and if there isn't I choose a new way of looking at the situation that works better for my mood.
Ginny Johnstone is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator, consultant and Heal Your Life coach specialising in teaching conscious parenting ideas and self-awareness tools to parents and teachers in South Africa.