Bad mama days, ahh how we all have them! It would be nice to pretend like we can ship our kids off to grandma or shove them into hubby hands but that isn't always realistic. Sometimes grandma has her own life or lives to far and let’s be honest, hubby has to work! The reality is when we have bad days, the kids MUST be with us. We can choose to sulk in our bad day or we can choose to love on our kids harder and do what we can to make it a great day despite the stress. I too have been guilty of being a cranky mama just because I wasn't having a great day. I hated it, I literally would feel so horrible and even worst after a snappy remark or sly comment. I got sick of the house feeling cold because “if momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy”! I had to make the choice to MAKE my day good even if it doesn't start out that way. It's about coming up higher and being the mama your kids need you to be. It's about dying to self and letting your silly emotions know who is boss! The hard days won't stop coming but when you keep making the CHOICE to have a good day it gets easier as they come. Here are 5 things I personally do to make my bad mama days GREAT days!
1) Do something you actually like w/ your kids
Don't get stuck in their routine. You can only watch so much Frozen, Ninja Turtles or anything that has a sing along before you go crazy! If we are all honest I think we all have a little bit of a big kid inside of us! Don’t keep that big kid inside of you, let her out! Your kids will love it and you will loosen up. For me, I love art. Painting, coloring, crafting up something if it’s artsy I love it! On a really hard mama day I love breaking out the water color paint, putting on some classical music (which Eli LOVES!) and we just chat and get creative. It’s relaxing and we all enjoy it! Maybe you like reading or doing yoga, cuddle up with a book and your little ones. Pop in a yoga DVD and have them join in they love stretching out their little bodies.
2) DANCE PARTY!!
So when I first had Zoe I had really bad postpartum depression. I was in counseling and my husband covered me in prayer but I was still plagued with this sadness. I was getting better overall but day to day I was just down. One day I was folding laundry and I had Zoe in her stroller. A really upbeat and fun song came on and she got really happy. She giggled, smiled and moved her little body all around. I without even thinking about it grabbed her and started dancing all over the house with her. Now today Zoe, Eli & I (sometimes my hubby joins in lol) have a full out dance party. I’m talking cupid shuffle, cotton eye joe, Macarena all of that! We just dance and wiggle and we feel better. The day gets lighter, we loosen up and we feel connected as a family! Most of the time when we are done I forget I was even having a sucky day!
3) Implement Quiet Time
This is actually implemented every day in our home and not just on hard days. Zoe can get pretty loud making her adorable baby sounds and Eli just loves talking. From 12:30 to 1:30pm every day we have quiet time (unless we’re out of course). Zoe is usually put down for a nap or in her bouncer at that time. Eli will usually take a nap or read a book quietly to himself. This helps me to relax and get just a little bit of quiet mid-day so I can keep my sanity. This also helps Eli to understand there is a time to talk and a time to be quiet. This also helps him to have self-control as he understands he can’t be on an absolute 10 all day long.
4) When in doubt go to the park!
I believe the park was created by tired moms for tired moms lol. I mean what kid doesn't love going to the park seriously, they can run around and play with other kids and all you have to do is sit and watch. You'll also have to yell a few phrases like, “be careful” and “play nice” every now and then, but other than that PIECE OF CAKE. This also gives you the chance to reflect and clear your head. I usually circle the park with Zoe in her stroller as I watch Eli. He’s occupied, she’s falling asleep and I’m enjoying the scenery ahhh. This might also be a good time to chat with another mom and *gasp* have an adult conversation!
5) Be honest, and pray!
Some of the sweetest and most heartfelt prayers I have heard have come from Eli’s mouth. There have been times when I have been sick or just dealing with a really heavy family situation and Eli will pray for me. He does it of his own free will and we rarely have to ask him to pray but there is nothing wrong with initiating some family prayer time. Simply say, “hey kids mama is having a hard day let’s all pray”. When you constantly pour out so much help and love on your kids I noticed they love doing anything to help you back. This helps your children to grow up being comfortable praying out loud. This is also a great opportunity to teach them that when we have hard days we should go to Jesus first! Heidi Baker, a missionary once said when she prays for healing she always ask the children in the room to pray, because their faith is so great. There's something so pure and powerful about a child's prayer!
So mama, when you’re having a hard day refuse to sulk. Whatever you do don’t fuss or snap at your kids. Their little spirits are so fragile and they shouldn't be the target of our personal frustration. Instead of staying complacent in bad mama day syndrome get up, get out and do something fun with your kids. I betcha it’ll brighten your day!!
What are some things you do with your kids when you’re having a bad mama day?