This post doesn’t address how you can better manage your child’s behavior, nor does it include advice on how to be a better, more organized, or more patient mommy. It doesn’t teach you how to get your kids to mind, listen, or stop whining. It’s about learning how to cope so you don’t have to break out the wine, or whine yourself to tears.
Some days you don’t think you can take one more moment of their beautiful little faces. Even though you might want to run screaming from them, it doesn’t mean you don’t love them with every fiber of your being. It means that you are human and today just isn’t your day.
So How’s a Mom to Cope?
1. NAP TIME!!
Say it with me now…NAP TIME!! I don’t care what age your delightful darlings are; put them in their rooms with a soft sound machine and a book. Do what you have to do to get them to stay there for an hour. Call it quiet time. Call it “Don’t come out here until I call you.” Whatever. Now sit down. Put your feet up. Close your eyes and pretend you’re far, far away.
They say smiling (even when you’re not happy) makes you happy. I find laughing when life is anything but funny has much the same effect. It’s all about perspective, and chances are that whatever is pushing you over the edge from another point of view is freaking hilarious. This also has the added benefit of catching your kids off-guard. Do you really think they’re funny? Have you lost your mind? It might just give them pause and even if it doesn’t, well, isn’t that funny?
I have distinct memories of my mom just driving around, and when we asked her where we were going she would say, “On an adventure.” Sometimes she would ask, “which way?” and we would pick left or right. But mostly we just drove down long unknown avenues. She would crank up the radio and we would stare quietly out the window wondering. Sometimes we would fall asleep. The “adult” me gets it. Some days you just need to get out of the house; strap your kids down in the only legal way left, and turn up the radio so you can’t hear their voices.
When your kids are acting out, it’s easy to hide in the house where the world can’t witness the pandemonium. Every mother has had her patience and sanity pushed past the brink, so call a girlfriend and say, “Bedtime can not come soon enough today. You would not believe what my cherub just did…” She won’t judge. She’ll get it. She’ll say, “You’re a great mom. You’re doing a great job. Hang in there.” Some days this can make all the difference.
I know. I’m not going to win any parenting awards with this advice, but from one mom to another, sometimes you just have to lose your mind. They need it and so do you. Now, of course, I’m not saying that you should curse, call names, hit or do any of that other stuff that crosses the line. Sometimes you have to express your frustration. Your kids need to understand when they have gone too far, and you have every right to express yourself as much as they do.