Have you ever had one of those days? Moms, you know what I’m talking about…A tough parenting day where despite best intentions and carefully made plans, your kids are just NOT having it.
A day where you are just downright embarrassed, both of your kids’ behavior and your own reactions. One of those days where you turn into the fire-breathing dragon mom you swore you would never be.
Well, you my friend, are not alone. I have these days more often than I’d like to admit. Our kids have learned what makes us tick and they definitely know how to push our buttons.
It may be an epic sibling fight, one of those weird tantrums over a broken banana or just kids that are NOT listening. Maybe it’s because of the mental load we carry as moms, but these seemingly small things can just shatter a good day, especially when they start to add up.
Because these sorts of days are pretty much inevitable as a mom, I have adopted 6 key steps to get through a tough parenting day.
1. Step back and reflect on the day.
This is the most helpful thing I can offer on the days when you find yourself questioning if you’re really cut out for parenting. Just step back and reassess why things went haywire. Usually it isn’t your parenting skills that are to blame. Here’s my checklist that I mentally run through:
- Are the kids getting sick? That definitely makes both kiddos and adults grouchy.
- Did they sleep well the night before? Overtired kids have an even harder time listening and following directions.
- Were you in a bad mood? Kids can sense our moods and feed off of them.
- Are they overstimulated? Sometimes kids react to being overstimulated by acting like little terrors.
When you’re in the heat of the moment, you tend to overlook crucial details. When you take a breath and reflect, you can usually figure out what is going on.
2. NAP, NAP and NAP.
If things are going awry pre-nap time, give those kids a good nap, but you should also nap if you can. A proper nap is like a reset button for everyone and just what you need when having a tough parenting day.
3. Get yourself a treat.
You deserve it mama! I usually end up ordering a coffee and a little treat for myself from Starbucks or one of my fave neighborhood coffee shops on days like this. I say order because sometimes getting out of the house can be a battle and you just want something to arrive at your door.
4. Don’t worry about a messy house.
On days like these, give yourself a break! If the kids are happy making an epic pillow and blanket fort or taking every single book off the bookshelf, just let them!
Honestly, when kids are in a bad mood, you really have to pick your battles. If they’re occupied, you can get a moment to savor that coffee and treat you bought yourself!
5. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and that your kids are such a blessing!
Just like little Annie says, “The sun will come out tomorrow.” Usually a tough parenting day is gone as fast as it came. Think about the last super fun day you had with your kids and envision what tomorrow might look like.
Picturing good memories and a good future will definitely lift your mood. It also helps to think about what you’re grateful for. If you have a gratitude journal, pull it out!
6. Put the kids to bed early
Whether or not the kids napped, put them to bed early. This will give you some much needed time to unwind and relax. As I mentioned above, sleep fixes most things!
Have you had a tough parenting day recently? Feel free to share your story in the comments below. You’re not alone mama! We’ve all been there…If you need help entertaining your kids, check out my posts on rock activities or coloring pages!