Surviving a Tough Mom-Day in Three Simple Steps
1. Time out– For Parents Too!
Self- Care Simple Solutions:
- Get ready for the day. Get dressed, put on makeup or just lip gloss- take care of yourself in whatever way you’d like to take on the rest of the day.
- Take a moment to review your day. You could plan your day out the night before or in the early morning before the kids wake…make a plan for the day. Last year, I talked about using a planner, serious life- changer. If you have a planner- use it! If you don’t have one- look into one getting one. Giving meaning and purpose to each day fulfills the personal and motherhood category of self-fulfillment wonderfully.
- Prioritize the list of to-do’s- and let the rest slide until kiddies are in bed.
When my second child had colic he literally screamed at the top of his lungs before his eyes even opened in the morning. I would find myself while still asleep prepping to handle this child I loved, deep-deep down but truly did not like. I felt myself emotionally drained before the morning even began and yet- I still had to function and be nice to two children allllll day long… Days, weeks and months of enduring this screaming kid taught me that he and the situation was not going to go away. I had to learn how to handle the extremely stressful situation differently.
Talk to Your Partner
I learned, that if I was going to survive a tough mom-day with this little man in one piece I needed to tell my husband what I needed. The baby was clearly expressing his feelings- loud and clear. Why couldn’t I? Because I felt selfish. Telling my husband I wanted to run away and never came back was extreme- yes. But, expressing my need to leave the house and get a break from my kids was not a selfish request. My husband gets a lunch break at work, your significant other gets to take a breather from their work-day and you my dear mother- deserve a break too!
Talk to Your Children
I am a firm believer in “keeping it real” with my kids. If I’m having a bad day- I let them know why and how they can help. In fact, the other day my sweet daughter could tell we were in the middle of surviving a tough mom-day and asked, “Mom is it hard being a mom?” I sighed as I thought about the perfect picture I wish I could paint her- and instead said, “Only when my kids don’t listen or obey and leave messes for me to clean up all day.” She paused and said, “Kinda like today?” And with a nod she said, “You know, we could do better.” Interesting… telling my daughter the truth worked to my advantage and we did have a better afternoon because they knew where they could improve.
Talk to a Friend
Everyone needs a friend that will just listen when a mom needs to vent. My mother used to tell me that she and her sister called it the “beef hotline.” Where one sister could call the other and without exchanging pleasantries would simply ask, “is this the beef hotline?” and the sister would know it was time to listen. Sometimes- we just need to scream, shout and let it all out without hearing solutions. And then, we can move on with our tough mom-day. Whatever form of communication works best for you, remember dear mother- you need your oxygen before you can help others.
3. Mommy-Free Personal Time:
- Change of scenery. The winter blues or cabin fever can hit any unwilling recipient, especially when the weather cools for the Fall and Winter months and you stay indoors more.
- Go for a walk! Where I live- the sun is always shining and fortunately for me- the weather is usually warm around noon. Walking around the neighborhood expels everyone’s energy- which is awesome.
- If you live somewhere cold and are gifted with the fluffy white stuff during winter- plan activities to be out of the house.
- Run to McDonalds and use their playplace with the kids- there’s no shame in letting the little ones run wild while you drink something hot in peace.
- Go to the library for toddler time or story time.
- Grocery shopping counts as an outing too!
- Find a Tribe!
- Find friends with kids the same age as your kids and get out of the house! Make lunch dates for the park or find a play-place.
- Support group, book-club, walking group… whatever! Find a tribe and hold each other accountable by getting together often as mother’s who need a break.
- Physical activity
- If this means getting a gym membership with day-care do it! Self-love and improvement while getting a break from the kiddies is always a plus.
- There are days where I feel like all I do is serve my family. But, thinking outside of your home might put your life into perspective and discover that perhaps your family situation is not as bad as it first appeared. How can you help serve your neighbor?
- My daughter and I were in a community play together one summer and it was a answer to my prayers. I just had a miscarriage and felt depressed and personally lost. Preparing for months for this play meant I got to be Morgan for several hours a week.
- Even though my daughter was with me at times, it wasn’t in the same home setting.
- I got to be Morgan again and perform on stage- something I have craved to do for years! Lexie and I performed and shared our passion together. Summer of 2017 was seriously the best!
- Girl Trips
- Take a moment to feel like an adult instead of a mother. To have the chance to miss your kids. This can be an expensive outing, or a cheap trip to Target. Okay, not Target- I spend money there. BUT shopping by myself- that’s a nice escape. My sisters and I went on a one night get-away and it was waaay too short. However, it was wonderful to get out of the house. And then I went on a weekend cruise with my sisters several months later. Can I just say how wonderful it was to eat without preparing the meal? To eat without being interrupted a thousand times and to actually eat my food hot! Holy Hana. Get away with good friends or sisters and re-charge those mama batteries!
Motherhood does not mean you have to survive a tough mom-day alone. The beauty of being a mother means you are not alone- you have a darling (most of the time) pumpkin head that loves you. Deep-down that little person appreciates you and wants to be with you- always. That tough day I mentioned earlier- my daughter said something pretty profound to me later that night. She said, “You are the best mommy ever!” with a chuckle I responded with, “Well thanks, I’m trying my best.” And with the stroke of her hand on mine she said, “You don’t need to try- it’s good enough- we love you the way you are.” Tears sprang from my eyes as her words sunk in.
If there is only one thing you take from this post it is this- know that you are enough! Know that because you are trying- that is good enough! Know that every mother has their strengths and weaknesses and although our children seem to know all the right annoying buttons to push on us- they also help bring the better mother out of us too.
Motherhood is hard at times, but is rewarding too. If you find yourself struggling to survive another tough mom- day remember these three simple steps: take a time out, communicate to someone your needs and lastly- schedule in personal time. You will find those tough mom-days become shorter when you follow those three simple steps.
Cheers to a happy you!