Motherhood is a gift, but sometimes it’s hard. There may be days when it feels like nothing is going right and everything just seem so chaotic. The kids aren’t listening and it’s taking all of your energy just to get everything to settle down. You haven’t even touched your to-do list. You can’t seem to find that delicate balance between calm and craziness. In fact, your day is starting to resemble a three-ring-circus! You question how you’re even going to make it through alive. You’re exhausted and now in a bad mood. You realize it’s time to shift into survival mode because that’s all you have left.
Here are 10 ways to survive challenging days:
#1 Know you aren’t alone:
When you feel alone in a situation, you tend to feel isolated, stuck, and defeated, but when you realize that you aren’t alone and that moms all over the world are being faced with similar challenges (even more difficult challenges) on a daily basis, it makes it easier just knowing you have support all around you.
#2 Break up the monotony:
Do something spontaneous and unexpected that the kids will enjoy. Breakfast for dinner for example, skip Friendly’s and have fun making your own ice cream at home, or take them to the movies or bowling on a school night. This will catch the kids off guard and is a great opportunity for everyone to loosen up a bit.
#3 Get outside:
Whether it’s riding bikes together, taking the dog for a walk, practicing baseball with your son, cheerleading or dance with your daughter, hop scotch, or swimming. Do whatever you can to get the family moving.
#4 Enjoy time with your children separately:
If you have more than one child, spend time with each one separately, leaving the other with your spouse or a family member. This will give you a break and allow you to appreciate them individually. The children will appreciate it as well.
#5 Spend time alone:
Take advantage of the opportunity if you can. Get a sitter and head out to your favorite sanctuary, whether it’s Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, the mall, the library, or even the beach alone, meditate, do yoga. Do anything you can to take a break and unwind, and don’t feel guilty.
#6 Treat yourself to your favorite thing:
You deserve it. Whether it’s a latte, a pastry, a bubble bath, chocolate, or a glass of wine at bedtime. You can always bake something too, muffins, a cake, cookies, brownies, or a pie, and have the kids help! Baking is fun and has been found to have positive effects on our mood.
#7 Get the popcorn out:
Pick out a funny family movie or watch funny YouTube videos. You need to laugh together, and smile, a lot.
#8 Take a day off:
While you can’t take a day off from mothering, you can take a day off from all household chores. It can wait. Give yourself a break.
#9 Focus on the positive:
Chances are that in the hot mess of a day you’re having there are some positive things that happen. Maybe there is something funny your child says or does or you have received good news of some sort, no matter how minor. Don’t lose sight of the good things when you’re having a bad day; they’re the ones that count. Be grateful for all that you have.
#10 This too shall pass:
My mother had taught me this and I’m so thankful. This has become my new motto when things get tough. Take comfort in knowing whatever the situation is that day, it’s temporary and will pass. Tomorrow is a new day.
Whatever you do, try to find a way to embrace it all. These crazy chaotic days don’t last forever, and there may be a day you’ll want it all back.