When things are getting hard and you’re struggling to have a good day, you need a few quick tips to help you get out of
Things have been rough these last few weeks. The crazy Christmas season, emotional and never-ending transitioning back to the US, and supporting family and friends going through tough times. The pressures from life right now have been bigger than normal and I’m not a ray of sunshine lately.
Maybe you’ve been here too… somedays just don’t go the way we hope and it usually effects our parenting in negative ways. We’re less patient, more grumpy, less understanding, more irritable. This is “adulting” my friends… it’s not all sunshine and rainbows every day.
I’m determined to get back on track and take control again by getting back to 3 habits that kept this mama much happier.
1. Wake up before the children.
Mornings used to be my thing.
I was that “morning person” that you love to hate. I loved my quiet mornings. For several months my mornings have been a struggle. I’m not sleeping well at night which makes for a tired,
sometimes grumpy mama in the mornings. Having the children in school this year means we have a tight morning schedule to get out the door in time. Looking ahead to the New Year one of my big goals is to get back to my early mornings. Even I can see that I was a happier mom when I woke up before the children. My days improved in no time!
Having a morning routine and getting up before the kids was the key to me feeling less stressed in the morning. If you need help creating a morning routine you can read my tips to Create a Morning Routine.
Having extra time alone in the mornings to wake up and prepare, made me feel more in control.
I would wake up and immediately feel the weight of the day. Before my feet hit the floor I felt out of control and stressed. In the beginning it was a struggle. Setting the alarm clock 15 minutes early each week until I finally found my morning “sweet spot.” Getting up early meant going to bed earlier and I didn’t like the sound of that at all but I gave it a shot. After several weeks I found myself hopping out of bed with expectation. I looked forward to those quite mornings and craved that alone time each day to get my day under control.
I found that after several successful weeks of early mornings, my days improved significantly. I could get ahead of the crazy and get my act together before the whole house demanded my attention. I could see how my early mornings habits improved my attitude in big ways. This was especially important during those tough toddler years when the demands of little ones was even more.
*Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read about Make Over Your Mornings, a 14-day online course. Plus access to Day One of the course for FREE.
2. Make time for prayer or reflection
In those quiet minutes, I would take time to pray first for our children. For their little hearts, attitudes and minds. Pray that they would make the most of their days at school and be kind. I would pray for their friendships. Then I would pray for myself. I’ll pray for my attitude (lots of prayer for my attitude!), for extra patience, kindness and that I would choose my battles well.
Now, I’m no saint and I’m terrible at morning devotions. To be completely honest, I’m terrible. It’s just not something I do well in the mornings but I do make time to pray each morning. Sometimes it’s over coffee at the kitchen table, sometimes it’s in the shower, many days it’s in the car on the way to school.
Prayer has helped me to get my attitude in line and give extra grace to our children. In the end, they benefit from a happier, less emotionally charged mom.
3. Find a few minutes for YOU
While the children are at school I make sure each day I find a few minutes for myself. Notice I said minutes. EVERY MOM can find a few minutes each day. You might find those minutes during nap time, in the car, while nursing your newborn or your minutes might be after the kids are in bed for the night. It’s not when you find your minutes that matter, it’s what you do with them.
It’s easy for us to fill up our “extra time” each day with chores. Naptime is quickly filled with dirty laundry and dishes. I want to encourage you to take some of that time for YOU.
Read a few pages in a book, go for a walk, watch an episode of your latest Netflix binge, sit at Starbucks with your journal or work on a hobby you love. For me, I journal a little or listen to music, usually with a cup of cappuccino by my side.
We all need time to decompress, to find ourselves, scrape off the spit-up and enjoy a small slice of our day.
Bonus #4. Take Care of Your Health
Ugh! This is the big one that I’m struggling through right now. My health. Since returning to the US, I’ve packed on about 20 of the 50 pounds that I lost last year. I’m not proud but I’m also not beating myself up. Once the holidays are behind me I plan on cutting the sugar again and getting back to the gym. I’ve noticed several very OBVIOUS changes since turning from my healthy lifestyle. My energy level, attitude, and focus have tanked!
Taking care of your health may mean simply getting more sleep, going for a walk or cutting back on caffeine. For me it’s saying “goodbye” to sugar and carbs and “hello” to the gym. How we take care of our bodies directly affects our attitudes and emotions. This is something we have control over and can change.
I know that by making better healthy choices my children enjoy a happier mom.
Have you fallen into the “grumpy mom” rut? What are you struggling with lately? Leave a comment below, let’s encourage each other, or at least throw each other a virtual hug. This mothering is tough!