It is seriously one of the most gorgeous days of the summer, and my kiddos and I are stuck inside. Booo! The little lady is sick, and hasn’t made it off the couch much today, poor thing. As I sit here and watch the gorgeous sunshine outside, feeling like I am up to my neck in responsibilities, I can’t help but start absolutely PINING for fall. I love fall. The air, the leaves, the food, the sweatshirts and cardigans. Fall is my happy place (as showcased by today’s photos).
In tackling really oppressively un-fun days like today, I think it’s important to have a plan and to know your happy place or places. You know, the things that will help you keep perspective and trudging along until bedtime. Not that I am an expert in stress management (just ask my husband), but I thought I would share a few things I try when i am on the brink a major mommy meltdown.
1. GO to your happy place, whether mentally, physically, spiritually, whatever it takes. If saying a quick prayer helps, say it. If looking at a picture of happier times lifts you up, look at it. If sitting on your front stoop, simply breathing air in and out of your lungs brings your blood pressure down, go sit! In considering everyone’s sanity, it is preferable to get to this place before you are a crying, screaming looney-tune.
2. Eat something that consists of these two important main ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. I am not ashamed that I have had two Reese’s today, and I might have another one later. I might be a diet cheater, but I’m smiling.
3. Sing and dance along with your favorite song. Come on now, go for it. Be dramatic. In choosing said song, it is important to recognize song choice. No elevator music will do. I typically go with either a super upbeat tune, like Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback, which makes me feel like a sassy domestic goddess, or a really sad, deep track that reminds me that life could always be worse, like Ray Lamontagne’s Jolene (this song seriously hurts my heart).
4. Call your mom/best friend/go to person. Just spoke with my mom a couple hours ago. When your kids are sick, you need someone to acknowledge your hard work. Friends and moms are perfect for this affirmation!! They will always offer advice and boost your confidence as a mothering force to be reckoned with, which will ultimately give you that extra push to get through the day.
5. Purge. There is something so stinking awesome about de-cluttering your house. Go quickly through the house with a box or bag, and fill it with items you no longer use/need (like your husband’s shirts from 1990 that your secretly hate, but he loves). This is a quick way to make you feel more productive and less overwhelmed. Then, on a less stressful day, be sure to get the items to an appropriate charitable organization. Everyone wins.
6. If possible, take a shower. Not smelling stinky and having clean hair will work wonders for your attitude. Plus, when you look in the mirror, you won’t feel so startled by your messy reflection. For a special treat and if time allows, shave your legs. 🙂
7. Try not to over-react. No one wants their kids to be sick, but don’t scare the crap out of them and treat them like their fever or runny nose is the end of life as we know it. Plus, thinking that way will only freak yourself out more. Worry when worry is due, but trust your abilities and instincts.
8. Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t try to do it all. Clean the house tomorrow. The laundry will wait. Look at your imperfect house as a reminder that time is fleeting, and one day your little babies won’t be there to take care of anymore. Give lots of hugs and kisses (to your family, not to others. Try your very best not to get anyone else sick, or you will just feel like a jerk, which will ultimately just make things worse!) and embrace your role as an imperfect mommy.
Hope this helps, if even in some small way. Now, back to the trenches.
The Mommy Diarist