It’s not for the faint hearted. Lots of challenges along the way, takes a ton of patience, selfless love, sacrifices, and dealing with little humans who have uncontrollable emotions. But somehow when these little people lose their mind, throw the biggest tantrum possible in the middle of the grocery store, you still love them more than life itself.
Truth is, remaining calm is hard stuff. But I believe it shows maturity and strength on your end. It takes more willpower to show patience and love versus yelling and being angry. Of course, we all lose our patience from time to time. We’re not perfect (unfortunately). However, staying calm most of the times demonstrates to your child the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Read it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Thankfully, God’s grace and mercy is so real and unconditional. So thank Him for new mercies everyday and for HIS goodness running after you. You got this, mama. I hope you feel encouraged with these five tips on how to respond to the craziest parenting days.
Give Yourself FIVE Minutes
If you never have any down time, you may find yourself losing your patience more often than necessary.
I am a military wife. My husband is hardly ever home. I get the whole “no such thing as a day off”. Even the most patient people need time off ever so often. Parents needs to refuel and regain some energy before tackling the next thing that gets thrown at them. Whether it’s taking a few minutes to drink a cup of coffee or managing to grab a quick shower, make sure you get some time to spend with yourself and your own thoughts.
Sometimes it’s ok to be selfish and steal yourself from the chaos. If you need to lock yourself in the bathroom or closet and take a few breaths, do it. Don’t overreact to the situation and regret your response later.
Say NO to the Phone
Sometimes your phone is the only way you can stay in touch with the adult world. I understand. I’m around my children 24/7… literally. And honestly, Instagram can be a pretty little distraction. Never forget though that a phone can steal you away from the most precious moments. Social media can create false mental images of what you want. Have you ever been so sucked into your phone that you either don’t hear your children calling for you or you snap at them? Put the phone away. Your babies and toddlers are only little once.
Fitness and Meditation
A regular exercise routine can do wonders for stressed out parents. Seriously, if I feel stressed or overwhelmed, first I pray, then I workout. Not only is it a great way to get rid of some pent up frustration, but the endorphins that are released will also make you happier. It’s the perfect excuse to get some me-time if you can arrange for someone else to watch the kids. If you find it difficult to get out of the house, doing some exercise videos at home or online meditation courses is an excellent alternative.
I make an effort every morning to get up before the kids. I listen to a motivational podcast, read some scriptures and pray. It’s time alone with God and I know that if I get even 20 minutes alone, I’ll be a better mother. Find something that will help refocus you and set you up to tackle the day.
Sleep…What is Sleep?!
I’ll admit it. Sleep is one I lack and don’t give much attention to. It’s a blessing and a curse because my body can still thrive off of 4 hours tops. Definitely not good for longterm, but for a season, I do just fine. However, of course the body will eventually crave sleep and collapse. It happened to me a few months ago. I caught a miserable cold and couldn’t get over it until I stopped all my nighttime and morning commitments and SLEPT.
The few hours you’ve got to yourself when the kids are in bed are precious. So, you’ve got a choice. I understand. My children go to bed at 7pm daily. After that it’s either chill and do nothing or read, listen to podcasts, and blog. But being a parent comes with no downtime and/or nap time for yourself. So schedule a few nights throughout the week of getting to bed early.
Everyone needs sleep. It goes a long way and makes the entire household happy and healthy.
Ditch the Expectations
Pressure and expectations cause stress and overwhelming feelings. Children will be children. Understand when they’re overtired or unwell to not overreact to their emotions. They may not go to sleep right away every night and they may not want to finish the dinner you cooked. But, they’re children and they’re learning and your attitude will lead them in how they react to things.
Be the adult and control your emotions. You’re doing a great job! Everyday is a new day and each day comes with responsibilities. Take deep breaths when the chaos begins, step away if you start to feel angry at the situation, and see life more through your children’s eyes.
The days can be long, but the years are super short.