Did you read the title of this blog post and your first though was, “Oh I know!” If you’re a parent you know what ‘one of those days’ are like. These are the days when your miracle children whom you love more than life itself turn into demonic creatures who’s sole intent is siphoning all your energy like little gasoline thieves. It’s a day when you’re on your 8th round of Candy Land and you’re sure at least 2 hours have passed, however the clock says it’s only been 5 minutes. Or it’s a day where you start to realize that you missed your calling as an auctioneer – “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!” Having ‘one of those days’ just goes along with being a parent. I recently had one of those days with my 2 year old son.
You Just Know…
Unfortunately for us ‘one of those days’ usually starts right away. (I mean it wouldn’t be so bad if they started at bedtime!). I knew I was in trouble when my son decided that at 8 AM he would eat cumin straight from the spice rack (yes, cumin). It was all down hill from there.
On this day my independent son couldn’t keep himself entertained. Walking two feet without yelling “Mummy!” (he also believes he’s British) was an impossibility. He wouldn’t stay out of the pantry and spilled pasta all over the floor and then thought it would be hilarious to step all over it. Figuring out why his train couldn’t fit in an electrical outlet, or why mommy had just neatly folded all the laundry (so he threw it all over the floor) also seemed to be a problem for him that day. He seemed to also develop a case of pica that day and tried to eat ANYTHING in sight.
I found myself so relieved to be at the bus stop to pick up my 7 year old from school so she could play with him and make him happy. Oh silly mommy – not today! Apparently school germs are not the only things that are contagious – bad behavior is as well. My daughter came home and immediately picked up where my son left off. Of course because she’s 7 the bad behavior is slightly different. She argued with me for 20 minutes about not wanting to do her homework (her homework would’ve taken 10 minutes). She refused to eat what I made for dinner and threw a fit when she realized she couldn’t have a cookie. Then as icing on the cake they both fought me about bedtime.
What I Do To Get Through It…
I’ve been through enough of these days to know what I need to do in order to get through it. I know everyone deals with stress differently but I found these simple things have worked for me.
Take Deep Breaths. I know it sounds so simple but when my mind is racing, my pulse is racing too. This will make me even more agitated. Even if my children are in a midst of a full on meltdown I just stand still and take a few deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. It helps me concentrate more on my breathing and not what’s going on around me.
Use Naptime To Your Advantage. I like to make the most out of naptime and try to get all the household chores done, bills payed, laundry folded (or re-folded), etc. However on days like this – I don’t. I literally use my son’s entire naptime to lie on the couch and watch mindless TV. If I want to be able to function the rest of the day, my mind needs to rest. Say it with me moms – “Sometimes it’s ok to do nothing.”
If your child no longer naps then I suggest putting on their favorite TV show or movie. I know there is a lot of controversy over letting children watch TV, but I can assure you that a 30 minute TV show will not hinder your child’s developmental gains. However, it will give you some peace and quiet for a little while. Once your child seems engrossed, SIT DOWN AND TRY TO RELAX.
Get Some Me Time. My “me time” is when my kids go to sleep for the night. So at the end of ‘one of those days’ do something indulgent. Whether that be a glass of wine or a big bowl of ice cream (or both), or a nice long hot bath – do something you don’t normally do every night so you can recover from the day!
Look Through Pictures. It might sound silly but on a hard day I look through pictures. I need a reminder of a time when they were happy or where we were having a fun time. Seeing those smiling faces and remembering how much fun I have with them helps me forget the day I’ve had.
The one good thing about having ‘one of those days’ is that they are usually few and far between. You know they are going to happen again, but if you survived one you can survive another one!