How to be a positive mum

Use the New Year as an opportunity to ditch the negatives and think positive!

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Letting go of unnecessary habits, as well as streamlining and simplifying day-to-day activities will make life as a mum so much simpler…

1.GO TO BED EARLY

It sounds obvious, but getting good nights sleep is essential and makes a huge difference. After being suitably rested, you can give your children 100% and really enjoy it.

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2.RETHINK YOU LUXURIES

Could you be using your money in a more productive way? Consider swapping a luxury from your weekly shop for a cleaner for a couple of hours a week.

3.FILL YOUR FREEZER

However good your intentions, some days you will need a quick meal that you know your child will eat as back up in the freezer.

4.CHEAT AT IRONING

Guinevere Webster, mum to Rufus, 2, and Jemima, 5, recommends ‘just ironing the bottom third of skirts or trousers’ (the bits that you notice) and never irons anything for her small children ‘unless it’s for a special occasion’.

5. TRY TO BE ENERGETIC

Rather than spending your morning stuck in traffic on the nursery run, try leaving the car at home whilst you jog or power walk back from dropping your children to nursery instead- a far more invigorating start to the day.

6.GO HANDS-FREE

Use a small sling for your baby, leaving your hands free to do housework or chat on the phone whilst your baby is snug and secure.

7.TALK ABOUT SEX

It may feel like everyone else is having loads of sex, but don’t kid yourself. Make time for you and your partner, maybe once a week, to discover your new sex life.

8.COOK CLEVER

When cooking for your children, think ahead to your own evening meal. Can any of the ingredients be re-used in an adult dish later on? Develop purees and sauces that you can also use for yourself, saving you the hassle of cooking twice in an evening.

9.ENJOY YOURSELF

Get rid of negative emotions by being childlike and playful with your child. Pull faces, sing and dance, become their ultimate plaything!

10.LIMIT HOUSEWORK

Make sure you don’t spend all of your babies nap time doing chores. Limit yourself to half an hour and then allow yourself to have some much-needed me time.

11.BOOK A PLAY-AND-CLEAN DATE

‘A friend and I combine playdates for our boys with cleaning each others homes’, says Anna Renton, mum to Felix, 2. Take it in turns to keep an eye on each others children whilst the other one catches up on housework.

12.PICK FIGHTS WISELY

If your child wants to wear their favourite dressing-up outfit to the park then let them- it’s a lot less stressful than arguing with them!

13.UPGRADE YOUR MOBILE

Many networks now offer free upgrades. Use this to keep up-to-date with your to-do list by using your free internet time to reply to emails, etc whilst your baby is breastfeeding.

14.GIVE UP ON GUILT

Stop wasting your time on this toxic emotion. ‘You can never go back in time and undo what you feel you’ve messed up, so instead, ask yourself, “what can I change so that I feel more positive in a similar scenario next time?”’ says Linda Blair, author of The Happy Child (£10.99, Piatikus).

15.DITCH THE STRESS

Don’t spend your time worrying about whether or not your child has the latest developmental toys, a baby will be just as interested and stimulated by a treasure box of household bits and bobs.

16.STOP THE WORRY

Stop worrying about what other women think of you! If you’re child is having a strop, stop assuming that other women are tutting at you- they are probably sympathising with you!

17.BE A COUPLE AGAIN

Make sure that you and your partner allow yourselves some time together as a couple. Whilst you both love your roles as parents, try to limit the parent talk and concentrate on each other.

18.USE ‘NO’ SPARINGLY

It’s really important for your child to know that no mean no, so only use it when there’s an issue you really care about, and when you’re prepared to stick to it,’ advises psychologist Kathleen Cox.

19.BE GOOD ENOUGH

Your child needs to experience frustration and how to deal with it, so being a “perfect” parent may actually hinder, rather than help their development.

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20.ASK FOR HELP

Asking for help does not imply that you are not coping. You are entitled to a break now and then and (if you let them), there’ll be plenty of volunteers wanting to help out.

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