I love hearing your ideas for blog posts. Quite often you have better ones than I do so I appreciate the input! Recently you asked how I handle the tough days, the days that aren’t all about milestones and snuggles. So, let’s dig into it.
First, I want to be clear that I don’t sugar coat stuff on the blog. I tend to naturally focus on the positive and choose to see the good in people and situations most of the time. Still, for the 90% of me that shouts ‘choose joy!’ there is a 10% of me that is rolling her eyes at the cheerful girl because let’s be honest, tough days happen.
Mornings sometimes come too early and nap times are fought with fury because a sweet little 6 month old decides to throw her schedule to the wind. Three year olds (who shall remain nameless) sometimes have full-blown meltdowns when they realize the forgot to switch their night time ring to their morning ring (apparently jewelry is particular to the time of day it’s worn). Husbands call mid-day with news that they’ll be home by 9:00… if they’re lucky. Project coordinators call and let you know it’s probably going to be just a few more days on a project that was slated to last 4 weeks, but has turned into 3 months and counting. The house somehow gets to the point where there are more toys than floor.
Otherwise known as yesterday.
When the going gets tough, I’m sometimes tempted to throw my own tantrum, mock the culprit, pop open some 1pm vino or call up David and ask if he realizes how much I do on a daily basis, but none of those things offer real solutions (minus the wine…). Instead, I take a deep breath and roll through some real solution options:
1. Take a time out. I’ve been known to put myself in time out. Not only does this confuse the heck out of Hailey, it gives me a second to collect myself and reemerge calm(er). I’ll tell her that “mommy needs some quiet time” (because I have a terrible habit of speaking in third person) and she’s much more likely to quiet down herself than if I try to force her into a time out.
2. Vent to a friend that gets it. I have so many wonderful friends in all different life stages. When my frustration is kid/meltdown/exhaustion/mundane-ness related, it really helps to cry/whine/vent to a friend who knows what it is like to be a stay at home mom to two little ones. Bonus points if her husband travels or works crazy hours too. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name brand of crazy.
3. Change the day’s game plan. I was supposed to make grilled halibut for dinner? Scratch it- we’re having popcorn. I need to pick up dry cleaning or other tasks that aren’t urgent? Forget them- we’re playing in the driveway. Anything that isn’t 110% necessary gets postponed to another day and I find that kind of easing up on my to-do list akin to a giant exhale. Little ones don’t understand deadlines, to do lists or schedules and I find that things get most hairy around here when I’m trying to run too tight of a ship.
4. Enlist the village. I’ll ask a friend to pick Hailey up from school if I’m in a pinch. I’ll hire a neighborhood girl to come over for an hour or two after school. I’ll snag a morning to myself that David has free to be with the girls. And if things get really piled up, I’ll call on Mema or Nana to come pitch in for a couple days. I don’t have family close by and that can be tough, but I remind myself I don’t need to be a martyr. There are solutions if I need more helping hands, I just need to look for them.
I believe I’ve mentioned before that my goal is to parent with patience and kindness. Do I fall short? All the dang time, but having that as my goal gives me perspective. As a mom, I feel the best thing I can do for my kids is to be their safe home base. This doesn’t mean they always get their way, but they need to know I can handle their crazy without flipping out myself.
But most of all, when I really feel run down I drink in a big dose of gratitude (and wine. …am I mentioning that too often? Me thinks so). On the long days, the tiring days, the I-must-have-a-million-new-gray-hair day, I remind myself that I am where I only dreamed I could be. I love being a stay at home mom to our two girls. I’m grateful for such a driven, devoted husband that gives me the opportunity to be the one here to handle the porch project, the doctors appointments, the constant feeding of the kids and dog, the whininess, the meltdowns and the sick days. Because in between all of those is where you’ll find the milestones, the looks of wonderment and the giggles.
Fellow SAHMs, how to handle the tough days?
Working moms, how do you juggle it all?
Women in general, I know we all have tough days whatever our situation, what’s your best technique for letting it go?