17 Ways Chill Mums Think Differently Than the Rest

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"The best grades doesn't mean she's mumming better than me."

With motherhood comes a massive laundry load of labels — some of which are distracting. Attachment parent, helicopter mum, tiger mum, free-range, and then we can also get into stay-at-home mum, working mum, and on and on and on. Labels are labels, and we certainly don’t like to be confined by any of them. Parenthood is an ever-evolving way of life, just like everything else, and things can change quite easily depending on circumstance and how old your child is. However, there is one “form”/ of motherhood that we wish on all mamas. And that’s the gift of being a chill mum, stress free and without any worry at all. (Okay, okay — worry just comes with the gig, like it or not.)

Chill mums, however, do things a little bit differently and after asking the chillest of the chill out there for their insight, we realised there is a whole lot to learn.

Being chill isn’t easy when it comes to motherhood (or anytime for that matter because, well, LIFE). But there are things to glean from the calmest, coolest, and seemingly most collected mums out there. 

Here’s a secret — every mum is stressed about something at least some of the time. So do not put the most minuscule amount of mum guilt on yourself for feeling any ounce of stress. What these mamas have shared are ways they have let go of some of the control and just let it be. In doing so, they created a more laid back parenting environment with a little less stress for their lives. And sure, not every one of these tips will work for you, but some may very well change your life for the better. Plus, no judgement — mamas are just doing the best they can.

1. They don’t stress about food

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“Dinner doesn’t have to be a production,” said Tiffany K. “I tell my kids, If you are hungry eat. If it’s cereal, it’s cereal. Also, if you don’t like what I made, you are welcome to make a sandwich.”

Stana W. also shared, “Never force anyone to eat anything.” So if you have a picky eater, encouragement is great, but forcing … no go. See Tiffany’s tip on cereal for dinner if necessary.

2. They let their kids roam

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“I have joked for years that my kids are feral because I gave them so much freedom in running around doing whatever they wanted in the village. Now (they are teenagers and) I am thrilled how autonomous they are,” KT T. said. 

Giving your child some (age-appropriate) free-range can be good.

3. They skip bath time

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“Bathing doesn’t happen every day. If they were in the woods all day, covered in big spray, sunscreen or been in the pool then yes, at least a rinse. But often we go a couple of days. And sometimes, even a week,” Stana W. shared.

4. They let their kids miss school on occasion

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“Sometimes my kids completely miss school or camp because we just weren’t feeling it,” Christina V. said. She also added, “We’re usually last to arrive and first to leave at events. We eat potato chips for dinner and some times no dinner at all. I’m pretty sure an alternate for this life choice could be called ‘I suck parenting.'”

We’re going to disagree only with that last sentiment.

5. They don’t stress so much about screen time

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Jen P. shared this with the caveat that her kids are now teenager. “I’m kind of in between. I have high schoolers. I feel like they need to not be attached to their devices all day, but they also need a break.” We think chill mamas of younger kids may also agree that a little screen time is just fine. 

And to combine food is with screen time is an okay thing for some chill mums, too. “There are times when my kid needs to watch TV in order to finish her dinner,” Rebecca W. said. “That works for us, and so no one is stressed, and my kid eats a whole dinner!”

6. They don’t have strict bedtimes

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“I’m laid back about summer bedtime,” Sophia B. shared. “Yes, it would be nice if my 5-year-old went to bed at 8pm, but if she wants to catch fireflies and listen to music on the porch until it’s dark outside, then be it!”

7. They aren’t so concerned about grades

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“When it comes to grade reports, I always read the ‘comments’ first before the grade itself. If my kid is doing their best effort and is cooperative and participatory in learning then that is the most important thing,” Maura O. said.

8. Age-appropriate content isn’t a worry

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“I’ve never been worried about any of my kids seeing shows or movies with ‘adult’ content (within reason, of course),” Jacqueline B. C. said. “For a few reasons: I come from an acting background, so I’m always conscious of the ‘pretend’ element. Like if there was ever a scary creature or something, I’d find a behind-the-scenes video of the actor getting their zombie makeup done or the CGI process or whatever. With more ‘mature’ subject matter, I always tried to turn it into a teachable moment (even though I hate that term!). My oldest is 17 now and she always says that she’s so glad that I never sheltered her from things … because as she gets older, ‘real life’ isn’t such a shock.”

9. Sometimes anything goes

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Jen T. H. had some simple yet super chill advice. When it comes to what she lets her kids do, her mantra is: “If we’re not gonna die, I say ‘it’s fine.'”

10. They mind their own business

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Sarah M. shared her chill mum tip that is especially relevant for mums of older kids. “I am the chill Mum of adult children whose mantra is MYOB. I listen but never ask.”

11. They don’t mind if their kids get dirty

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“Go get dirty!” Amy K. shared was one way she activates her cool, chill mum status. What’s a little dirt going to hurt anyway?

12. They don’t freak out about curse words

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“If they say [email protected]#k, they say [email protected]#k,” Christina V. shared. It’s just a word, right? Besides, cursing is great stress relief. And what better way to be chill than to let the stress out.

13. They don’t rush if they are late

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Here’s one tip from me: I don’t worry so much about the clock. If I realise we are going to be late (and I often am with two 8 year olds), I refuse to rush. So what if my kids are 10 minutes late to elementary school? The rushing creates too much stress and stress isn’t serving anyone well.

14. They yell sometimes

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“Sometimes worrying about not yelling is stressful in itself,” Diane D. said. “Just because I’m chill doesn’t mean I’m always super zen. Being chill means being able to be me all the time. And sometimes my kids push my buttons to the point where I yell. I’m not a monster, and we often all have a good laugh after because it’s so infrequent that I do yell, but it’s effective because my kids realise they went too far … and I release that tension and go back to being super chill mum.”

15. They are spontaneous

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“Not everything has to be a giant production,” Jen R. said. “Yes, you don’t want to forget the wipes and the water bottle and the whatever it is that you think you absolutely need, but sometimes just getting in the car and going wherever with the kids is a great thing. And it helps teach the kids to be adaptable, which will serve them well in life.”

16. They don’t compare their kids to other kids

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Comparing anything your kid does or doesn’t do can be dangerous, Mary E. pointed out. “Never compare your kid to anyone else. They are their own person, an individual. Comparing only stresses you out and therefore, your kid gets that stress, too,” she shared.

17. They also don’t compare themselves to other mums

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“Just because my neighbour (who is always dressed impeccably) puts her kids to bed at 8pm and they eat the food homegrown in their garden (even all the green stuff) and they have perfect attendance at school, the best grades doesn’t mean she’s mumming better than me,” Janice D. said. “She’s just mumming the best way for her — and that’s great. That’s just not me. So do you — whatever that is and don’t compare yourself.”

This article was first published on CafeMom.

ALSO READ: Panda Mum or Tiger Mum: which one are you?

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