10 Ways to Handle Difficult Days
Motherhood is amazing, but it’s also frustrating, exhausting, overwhelming, and (dare we admit) sometimes boring as well. Don’t let the tougher parts of being a mom get the best of you. Mighty Mommy has 10 inspired ideas to try when parenting tensions start to mount.
Even the best moms turn into stressed maniacs when there’s too much on their plate, I know because I used to try and load one week’s worth of “to do” items onto just one morning’s schedule. No one in the family wins when Mom is rundown and irritable, not even the family dog!
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When feeling overwhelmed and run down, it’s easy to want to run and hide, or worse, get angry, frustrated, and take it out on your family. That’s why Mighty Mommy has 10 inspired ideas to try when the tensions of motherhood start to mount. Each of these stress-busters takes less than 10 minutes so you can easily fit them into your busy life!
Tip #1: Get Out of the House
It may be easier to stay cooped up in the house when you’re having a trying day, but getting out of the house and soaking in a fresh atmosphere such as the park, a stroll through the neighborhood, even sitting outside in the backyard or on your porch with a cup of tea or to nurse your baby will not only break up the monotony of the day, but the change of scenery can be enough to reenergize you as well. If you can’t get away from your kids for this quick break, check out Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active and you will both benefit.
Tip #2: Take 10 Minutes of “Me” Time
Stop and do something just for you as soon as possible when you’re having a difficult mommy moment. Treat yourself to a hot shower,, if your hobby is taking photos, grab your camera and take some random shots that make you smile, pick up the phone and call a friend, paint your nails, straighten out your make-up drawer, grab your calendar and schedule a date with yourself when your spouse is available (for the same week if possible) so you will have something fun to look forward to. See also 5 Ways that ‘Selfish Parenting’ can Benefit Your Family
Tip #3: Mix it Up
Sometimes stressful days happen because we are in a rut. Every once in a while do something totally different and unexpected, like put on a new music station while getting the kids ready for school, spray fragrance on your pillows before bed, drive the scenic route to work even if it adds a few minutes, buy a box of cereal you’d like to eat and hide it for yourself, or change the part in your hair. Shake it up on a regular basis and it you will be motivated when things are tough. See also 6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Parenting Life
Tip #4: Go to Bed When Your Kids Do
Mothers are often programmed to jump to work the minute the kids are in bed. Whether it's completing an obligation for work or the PTA, or struggling to get the laundry done so the household has clean underwear, busy moms don’t know when to use their off button. When my kids were younger, I chose one night a week to go to bed when they did and it was the best night of sleep I had each week. Now that I have 6 teenagers, if I’m having a rough day during the week, I get into bed soon after homework is done with a good book or a bowl of frozen yogurt and chill out until the following morning.
Tip #5: Drink Up
I’m not referring to uncorking a bottle of wine to serve with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but dehydration can leave you feeling even more tired than you already are. Consistently drinking 8 servings of fluid, including fruit and vegetables, milk, and even coffee and tea can really boost your energy throughout the day. Check out Nutrition Diva’s podcast for more on how much water you should drink.
Tip #6: Write it Down
When I feel harried with my kids or other family matters, I write down my worries or frustrations and list them under “Things I Can Control” and “Things I Can’t Control.” Just getting my challenges down on paper helps me see what I can work on to solve and what I need to let go.
See also 8 Best Kept Motherhood Secrets
Tip #7: Create a Great Escape Box
Of all my stress buster tips, this has always been my favorite. For the past 10 years, I have kept a pretty box stashed away in my closet that contains some of my most desired treats. Items like my favorite herbal tea, candies, pistachio nuts, my favorite romance novel, love letters from my husband, pictures my now teenaged kids made for me on Mother’s Day when they were in kindergarten, and even a bottle of wine are waiting for me when I need to have a temporary escape. See also 5 Ways to keep Parenthood Exciting
Tip #8: Audiobooks
As an avid reader, I can usually find respite in a good book. On crazy days when the kids are driving you nuts, however, sitting down to read is a rare luxury. That’s when I rely on books on tape. Audible.com has over 100,000 titles to choose from so I’m never without something funny, romantic, or mysterious to get lost with. Doing mindless tasks like laundry and dishes can turn into a fantasy fast! Or you can simply download all the episodes of the Mighty Mommy podcast and let me help you get through the tough moments.
Tip #9: Write a Letter to Your Future Self
This is another favorite way for me to unwind. Visit www.futureme.org and you write letters to yourself, for free, that will be emailed to you in the future. You can jot down your frustrations, joke with yourself, or have fun predicting how your now bad day will turn out. It’s so much fun to get the email months later and compare now and then.
Tip #10: Count Your Blessing
When all else fails, allowing yourself to be in a genuine state of gratitude can help ease even the most trying parenting moments. Just this week my youngest daughter, Annie, age 7, had a complete meltdown when we were at her brother’s baseball game because she spilled her macaroni and cheese on her new shorts while trying to balance the bowl, her juice, and her beloved American Girl doll.
She carried on for nearly 45 minutes causing parents all over the ballpark to stare, comment, and wonder if I might be torturing her in some way. I wanted to ban her from the park for the rest of her life…but then I looked over and saw a paralyzed child in a wheelchair a few feet away watching us. I immediately counted my blessings and thanked my lucky stars that even though Annie was behaving so poorly, she was still able to walk, play, jump and it truly did make it easier to breathe and get through her tantrum. Also see 5 Ways to Change Bratty Behavior.
How do you cope when you’re having a difficult mommy moment? Share your thoughts in the comment section or post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.
I’d like to wish all of our Mighty Mommy audience a very happy and fun-filled Mother’s Day! Enjoy your precious children and until next time…happy parenting!
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