If you stay at home with your kids, you know there are days that you have contemplated locking yourself in the bathroom with a tub of ice cream and ignoring the screaming children that need all of your attention until their other parent gets home. If you don’t ever contemplate doing this, I don’t either, I’m a perfect mom. Just go ahead and quit reading this right now.
I have PLENTY of days that I literally count down the hours, minutes, and seconds until Super Dad is supposed to walk through the door and save me from my children. Last week I’m pretty sure I had FIVE of them. That’s right, every single day last week I contemplated selling my children (and our lab puppy Piper!) to the circus and running away to an island somewhere and–oh wait, I already live on an island and Piper doesn’t know enough tricks for the circus to buy her. See, even my dream plan wouldn’t have worked. That is precisely the kind of week I was having. Nothing was going the way I wanted.
But I’m still a stay at home mom, and Super Dad still has to go to work when I’m having bad days and the boys are being monsters. It’s what I signed up for after all. But, I’ll let you in on a few of my secrets:
- Dance parties do wonders for everyone in our house. If the boys are being Todzilla and Babyzilla I just turn iTunes on and we jam. It may take a full song before they join me, but they DO join me every single time. Xander has started making up some pretty cool moves lately too–including playing tag with the couches while he’s dancing. Whatever floats your boat kid, as long as that boat gets happy fast!
- My second happy fix is actually inspired by a Katy Perry song titled “Roar.” We literally roar. It REALLY helps when you’re mad. We pretend to be monsters or dinosaurs or lions or whatever toy is closest when I decide that what we need. Super Dad takes the car when we’re out of milk and need to go to the store on a Monday (when the commissary is closed!?) Looks like we’re having a roar-fest. It turns into a giggle fest, and you can’t stay mad when your two year old and one year old are laughing. I dare you to try it!
- Look forward to the weekend. (Or whenever your parenting partner is off next.) Think about sleeping in and having someone to tag team with you. I’m a pessimist by nature, so this one is hard for me. I always think, “Yeah right Super Dad probably has 549,648,793 things planned to do so there will be no sleeping in!” But if I get out of my own head sometimes this one is nice. If your next “weekend” is too far away to look forward to, look at photos on your phone of adorable moments you’ve captured and remind yourself that your kid isn’t always a Todzilla/Babyzilla. If you’re a single parent I apologize for the slap in the face of this one. My mom was a single parent for quite some time and I have a ton of respect for single parents!!
- I get out the art supplies. I have a creative soul. Crafting makes me happy. When I’m angry, sad, confused, etc. crafting makes it better. Xander seems to be the same way, or maybe it’s just a good distraction. So on really bad days, I’ll get out the construction paper, the markers, the glue sticks, and the kid scissors and we create masterpieces. If my house is already a mess, we take our creative souls outside and play with chalk. We have actually started having “chalk parties” lately with our easel and the driveway.
- Get outside. Now if it’s raining outside or you live somewhere with seasons this might not work for you. We live on a tropical island, and our seasons range from hot to mega hot. So, unless it’s raining this one usually works. We actually made a swing for the boys to play in so that we can still swing while it’s raining (it’s in our Florida room) but we also have a baby swimming pool and lots of shovels and pails. There are days when I don’t feel like cleaning, I don’t feel like looking at legos, I don’t feel like reading another single book, and going outside helps. Xander is at the age he can play on his own, and I’ll stick my water baby Lumlum into the baby pool with some toys and tell him to “splash splash” until he’s happily playing on his own. The sunshine makes me feel better, and not having to entertain them does wonders for my mood too. (Of course if they’re in the pool I’m still right there watching them–usually I pretend I’m getting a pedicure and soak my feet in the pool!)
- I pull out the yoga mat and we find our center together. Xander is two yet he loves yoga. He’s a master at downward facing dog, tree pose, mountain pose, and several others. We used to do videos, but have recently stopped and I’ll just go through sun salutations a few times and then we do whatever poses Xander wants to do until he tires of it. You could sub yoga for any exercise you enjoy. Yoga is just easy on my grandma knees and hips.
- Set up a play date. One of my friends from high school has recently started blogging and has a recent blog about the importance of what she calls “Momships.” I’ve noticed that if I’m having a bad day if we meet up with another family my bad day seems to disappear. Maybe I’m just busy and not focusing on the bad, but it works for me. If your mom friend is having a bad day too at least you have someone to commiserate with, and hey, maybe one of you can bring the wine. 😉
- This one is pretty much my last resort for bad days, but if Xander is the culprit of the bad day in question it works until Super Dad is home and can take over. We have a “movie day” and pop some popcorn and watch a movie. It’s a last resort for several reasons: Xander acts a fool after he watches TV, Liam isn’t distracted by the movie at all so I still have him to entertain, and then there are all those studies that show you should limit screen time.
- Bake. Just like crafting, baking makes it better–and eating what you bake makes it even better! Baking with toddlers is a science project too if you think about it. You’re following directions and measuring and you can add in several taste tests.. Add in some chocolate and once the timer goes off your day is bound to be better. If not, your taste buds will thank you.
- I ALWAYS have ice cream in my freezer. Even when I was nursing Xander and couldn’t have any dairy, I always had some fake ice cream in my freezer for “emergencies.” If you wait until your kids are sleeping you don’t even have to share! An added bonus, if your bake sometime like in tip #9, you can top it with ice cream. Calories schmalories!
So tell me, how do you survive your bad days? I’d love to hear and get some new ideas!!