Are You One Tired Mom?
Have you had one of those days when you woke up and asked if you really slept….your toddler spilled his morning cup of milk and spit out his favorite French toast sticks…your preschooler looked right at you and then carried his PBJ and sticky fingers to your computer after you said “no”…your toddler refused to nap and you listened to him yell “Mommy, I awake” for an hour….and once again it is too cold to leave your house….Are you a tired Mommy????
Yes, there are days like these. Yes, I remember the haze of those moments of pure exhaustion, physically and mentally. Sometimes I can remember just wanting to act out like my toddler (and I admit, sometimes I did). As I think back, I realize when I had my little tantrum, the entire day went south. Think about it, your attitude really establishes the feeling in your home. On days that you are down, frustrated, or plain exhausted….the entire home follows your attitude. If Mom is grumpy, I guarantee your little ones will be too. So what can you do to prevent a Mommy Meltdown resulting in the meltdown of the entire house!!
- Start the day over
My husband used to help the kids (and occasionally me) start over. When he saw things deteriorating quickly he would take the child (or Mom) who was falling apart by the shoulders and turn them around in a circle saying “Good morning!” This usually brought a smile and a reboot to the moment. Not a bad idea. When you feel yourself spiral, stop and start over. Forget what happened last night, at breakfast and five minutes ago, start again with a smile.
- Change your expectation for the day.
Having a bad day? Kids just “off”? Change your expectation, maybe that list won’t get completed, maybe dinner will be scrambled eggs, maybe the beds won’t be made, maybe Story Time at the library just won’t happen today. Adjust the schedule, simplify for the day, take the pressure off, stay in your PJs just a bit longer and give everyone a bit more leeway. That just might stop the bad day in its tracks.
- Accept that being a Mom is hard work.
Mothering is hard work….period. No ifs, ands or buts! We can’t fight that, we just need to “lean in” and understand that there is laundry, spilled milk, schedules, discipline issues and that we are shaping the hearts and minds of the future. Wow…did we think that would be easy?! Welcome to the calling that you have…enjoy the journey. Stop and tell yourself, this is hard work, but important and wonderful work too.
- Steal a few alone moments.
Yes, steal because you know that you will have to snatch moments when you can, but take them. Just a few minutes here and there to re-group can make such a difference in your attitude.
- Find an encouraging friend.
All Moms need that person to call when you need a bit of “you can do this” inspiration or a little bit of “I’m with ya” support. Friendships will double the enjoyment of mothering and divide up your challenges. Meet up on those challenging days, whether it is at the local fast food restaurant with the kids or at each other’s homes, crazy kids together is a lot easier to handle!
- Embrace the day when it is over.
Sit down and smile at the mishaps, think about the day in a positive light. Embrace it. Remember, you were chosen to mother your child, and that is an amazing life purpose. No matter how the day went, if you embraced it, worked through it, and loved during it then there was great growth in you and your child. So, sit down with that cup of tea (or glass of wine) and pat yourself on the back. You did good.
I hope that on those especially draining days that we all can stop for a moment and accept where we are, work on a little adjustment in our attitude and make a little lemonade out of a day with a few lemons.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.
- Posted in: Becoming a parent ♦ Enjoying parenting ♦ Parent/child communication ♦ Postpartum depression, perinatal mood disorder ♦ Uncategorized
- Tagged: enjoying parenting, hard days as a mom, infant, parental anxiety, parental depression, parenting advice, parenting attitude, parenting challenges, perinatal mood disorder, preschooler, school age, teen years, toddler