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.

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read
Episode #231

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. 

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 mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.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!


Not an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities in jurisdictions where Betterment and Betterment Securities are not registered.

Woman Walking in the Park and Drinking Water images from Shutterstock


About the Author

Cheryl Butler

Cheryl L. Butler is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. Call the Mighty Mommy listener line at 401-284-7575 to ask a parenting question. Your call could be featured on the show!