Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maintaining Sanity When You Have...One of THOSE Days...

You know the one...the days starts off with your toddler making you do laps around the house to catch them and change their diaper.  Your infant pukes all over themselves right after you feed them, you didn't wash the dishes from dinner the night before, making it even harder to get that morning cup of coffee going.  Your toddler only wants blueberries for breakfast and you are out of them.  You know the story...the day continues on like this with what seems like an endless stream of messes, mini-emergencies (explosive poop diaper situation) and you are tired from being up with baby all night, and you need to wash your hair but you can't get a shower since nobody seems to want to take a nap at the same time.


Here are my favorite tools and ways to stay calm and happy when I need to de-stress, as well as make my life a whole lot easier:

1.  Kindle - is my new best friend
Every kind of book from cheesey romance novels, vampire fantasy, epic love stories, or parenting books are right there at my finger tips.  This super portable device has saved me from having to just sit and stare while my toddler eats lunch or I'm out somewhere and my kids fall asleep in the stroller.  Those precious free moments are now a blissful escape to some adventure.  I especially love Kindle Unlimited which allows me to read as many books as I want for $10 a month.  


2.  Comedy
Laughter, smiling and giggles is a magic balm that is a guaranteed mood lifter.  Find something you know will make you laugh.  Save a funny cat video on YouTube, put a tutu on your dog, put a tutu on one of your kids.  The idea is just keep something in mind that's really, really funny that you can pull out and anytime to look at or listen to when you need to smile.


3. Schedule a date night or Girls Night Out
You don't need to plan anything elaborate or expensive.  It could be something as simple as a walk, going to a movie, or just a quick dinner at your favorite Taco stand.  It’s just about getting time alone with your significant other or your pals. 

Planning a girls night out - even if it's only once in a blue moon - it gives you something to look forward to, and helps keep your stress levels down.

As moms, we are notorious for putting our own needs last, and after a while it can take its toll.  You will be a more patient parent, and better equipped to deal with those toddler emergencies if you have some fun for yourself every now and then.  A happy mom means happy kids.

And, if you would rather just be alone while you're out, schedule a pedicure and ask hubby to watch the kids for an hour in the evening, or weekend, or whenever it's possible. 


4.  iPad / iphone Apps 
Okay -  I know you think this one is silly, but honestly having a few apps on you phone which is very portable can help you focus on something other than the crying fit going on when you put your toddler in time-out.  Now it's time for mommy time-out (in a good way).  I could sift through Pinterst for hours looking at crafty projects, shoes, and hair cuts that I want (if I ever get time to go to the salon).

I'm not advocating for staring at you phone all day instead of paying attention to your kids - but having it on hand when you need a few minutes is very useful - especially if you realize you are almost out of diapers and you can just quickly place an Amazon order from your phone.
     - Pinterest - Hours of fun pinning things you love and getting ideas
     - Pandora  - Music soothes the soul as they say
     - Amazon  - Online shopping is every moms ultimate helper
     - YouTube - Cute cat videos to make you laugh, or makeup tutorials are just a click away - you could show a funny video to your toddler when you need to distract them from whatever dangerous maneuver they were trying to pull before you distracted them.
     - Snapfish  - Order prints of your favorite kid photos from the millions of pics you been snapping directly from your phone - So easy!
     - PvZ2 - Killing Zombies has never been so fun - mindless escape is sometimes necessary
     - Etsy -  Oh the cute stuff you can find!  You could even start your own little shop and manage it from your phone!
     - Instagram  - Looking at photos is endless entertainment, and calming.


5.  Tea
Make yourself a cup of tea - there are so many benefits; the best one being that you will feel a little better and more centered with each sip you take.  It could be any tea - my favorites are de-caffeinated English Breakfast, Jasmine tea, chamomile and Peppermint.  If you don't like tea that much - just have some hot water with a little lemon and honey in it.  You will get the added benefit of feeling hydrated as well as relaxed.


6.  Make a List
Make the most basic list you can think of.  Put things like, - eat lunch, wash dishes, brush teeth, check email etc...
It feels really good to check things off a list - and you will feel a sense of accomplishment even if everything else about your day has gone wrong.  Even if you just do a few things on your list, you will feel so much better.


7.  A Few Minutes of Peace
Okay I know what you're thinking, that this one is impossible. Hear me out - I know it seems like you never get a break, especially when you are a stay-at-home mom and you have multiple children under the age of five.  So, in order to feel like I get a moment to myself, I set my alarm for about 20 minutes before the kids normally wake up.  Even though I've probably not had that much sleep and I am super tired - it is so nice to start the day off having some time to yourself - it can make a huge difference in the outcome of your day. Whether you just do something as simple as take a shower, or enjoy a nice breakfast, or get some things prepped and ready to go for your kids when they wake up. Whatever you choose to do, that extra few minutes will give you the calm, collected feeling you need to face a day of kiddie disasters with a smile on your face.


8.  Call Your Girlfriends
Your besties are the perfect people to call when you need to just vent for a minute, or twenty.  They are especially great to talk to if they have kids the same age as yours - they know how it is girl!


9.  Get out of the house
Sometimes a lot of the difficulty of being at home with kids is the fact that you are alone and your house is getting trashed by small human tornadoes.  Just getting out of the house - even just to go for a walk, go to the park, the mall, or a play gym - can help you feel better because you can interact with other adults and be away from messes you feel obligated to clean.  That messy house will be there when you get back - out of sight, out of mind.


10.  Wellness or Beauty Activity
By wellness or beauty I mean do something that doesn't involve your kids or their interests, and makes you feel good about yourself.  If you can put the baby in the walker and put on an episode of Mickey Mouse for the other one, and have just a few minutes to yourself - do something that will help your body, or make you feel beautiful.  For me, that means doing something like, putting on some eye makeup, or doing some relaxing stretches on the floor, or drink a big glass of ice water and take a few deep relaxing breaths.  Remember, it should be something that is either good for you, or makes you feel good about yourself.


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