If you are a parent you undoubtedly will have had days where you feel like your ears might bleed, head may explode, eyes are going to fall out… when you’re so tired from another sleepless night, so exasperated with tantrums, so frustrated with teething troubles, just so………. These days can spiral into a miserable day of bad moods, sad faces and that horrible nothingness that inevitably ensues…
I hate these days. And I have recently refused to succumb to these days and have been trying new ways to turn these days around into enriched, happy, purposeful days. Sometimes its really hard to kick myself into gear to do this; I’d definitely much rather sit on the sofa, drinking coffee, refreshing facebook over and over (we’ve all been there, right?) while Poppy sleeps on my lap recovering from her own sleepless night, and Jake quietly sulks in the corner, occasionally huffing, about my refusal to give him chocolate for breakfast just “because I love it”… but I do try really hard to break the bad day, I turn off the computer, put my phone away to charge, have my coffee, take a deep breath and go…. and here are some of those ideas:
1. Go for a walk!
No, you dont want to, I know! … its too hot, too cold, raining, windy, looks like it might rain… but honestly chuck on some boots, flip flops or other appropriate footwear and clothes (I have been known to go out in pyjamas and flip flops… just once or twice), chuck a rain coat or sunhat on your kids, pop the baby in the sling, and go! The fresh air will boost your mood, the exercise will help your body feel refreshed, your child/children will be less bored/hyper/sad/frustrated for it, and will likely nap better (if they still nap), the baby may just sleep in the sling and wake up happier. Use this time to enjoy the quiet outdoors or to connect with your kids.
2. Have a hot shower.
I bet you do want to do this one. This is great for super tiredness and feeling stressed. An older child will likely be able to occupy themselves for 5 or 10 minutes even if it is with the TV or a snack, and babies are usually happy to sit and watch the shower; they seem to like the noise of the water running and they can still see you! The heat will relax you, you’ll feel better being clean, moisturised, in fresh clothes, it gives you a few minutes just about to yourself. This one never fails to get me out of a bad mood.
3. Eat a treat…
This doesn’t necessarily mean chocolate, cake or cookies, however I don’t dispute the healing powers of these foods… but baking or preparing a fruit platter or salad is quite therapeutic, you can turn it into an exciting snack for your kids by making it into a picture or just egging them on that it’s a fun new treat (toddler’s will buy most things if you’re enthusiastic enough!), plus you will feel good after eating it, you will, I promise!
This one is great for a rainy day, or a day when you or your kids are poorly. Either in your bed, or on the sofa, or create a snuggly area on the floor in your living room, snuggle up! Make some hot chocolate (or a healthier alternative), maybe get some yummy food, a favourite movie if your children are a bit older, a pile of story books, or even just some children’s TV. Allow yourself time to cuddle up with your kids and do nothing, just be with them… close your eyes for a few minutes if you feel like it, relax, enjoy; you’ll all feel better for it.
5. Do Something…
… that you have wanted to do for ages and just haven’t got around to it… like an amazing craft you pinned on Pinterest, paint a mural on the kid’s bedroom wall, or take the sides of the cot, clean out your inbox or your friends list on facebook, organise the toy cupboard or the garage, plant some seeds, make a photo book… whatever it is, allow yourself the time and space to just do it; being so purposeful will break your cycle of feeling lethargic, finally doing the thing will make you feel lighter and inspired, and your kids will be excited and glad of the change too.
You can turn an awful day into a great day for you and your family by doing really simple things, you’ll find other ideas that work for you too (please come back and share!), but don’t put too much pressure on yourself – this is not about being a Super Mum, just about re-capturing a day that could be lost to tears and tantrums, and instead making it bearable, enjoyable even… and who knows what could come out of it! 🙂 Happy Mummy-ing…
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