5 ways to not lose your mind

I’m not the most patient person. Just ask APB. In fact, I’ve been known to lose my shit. APB likens me to a firecracker.

While it’s ok to go bananas once in a while, it’s not really the behaviour I want to frequently model to my little man. I get it: we’re all human and kids need to see us being human. But they also need to see us strive to do better and see us not make things into a bigger deal than they really are.

So after a night where I felt like I barely slept (though I must have, because I had some weird dreams), a morning where the dogs are driving me nuts by first hopping around like lunatics because they want to eat and then whining because they want to sit by me, and where a baby isn’t totally happy, here’s how I try to keep it in perspective, in no particular order:

1. Let it go. Key word above is perspective. Sure, there’s always shit to do: probably dishes, laundry, cat litter, in my case my other job (these are all things I could currently be doing)….it will all be there later when I have a better mindset, more time, and someone to help me. As the saying goes, housework will keep but babies won’t.  So don’t be offended by the dust in our house (apparently when I was dating APB, I told him I don’t dust. I don’t remember this but I guess it was foreshadowing). Or the stairs that really need vacuuming. Not my priority!

2. Do something kind for yourself. I get it. If you relate to the above, you have no time. So do something small. Sip a cup of flavoured-creamer with coffee. Breathe deeply. Enjoy a bath or shower if the baby naps. TURN ON THE TV. Who cares?! Turn on Chopped or House Hunters or E! or whatever crap you like. I don’t judge. My Saturday morning to myself used to involve watching reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. So there. As APB noted, I used to only watch sad shit like documentaries. Now I watch dumb shit and kid shows.

3. Do this.

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Apparently colouring helps relieve stress. I found it fun. It looks like Cub made this multi-media masterpiece but oh well. It helped mama and gives him something to look at and for us to practice our signing.

4. Practice empathy. Realize it’s not personal. I try to focus on this a lot. Baby is not giving me a hard time: he’s having a hard time. It would be so frustrating to not feel well, but not be able to say why.  I find I’m more patient if I literally pause and try to see things from his point of view. I should probably do this with my dogs, too. There are worse things than your dogs wanting to sit beside you. And while I know all this, it’s easy to forget if I’m tired or grumpy.

5. Remember, it’s the little things. I was grumpy when we woke up after not a great sleep. But then Cub was chatting away beside me and laughed and laughed when I tickled his nose and tummy. Too cute. I’ll remember that when I look back on this day and not the fact I’m grouchy. Plus, that’s what I’d rather remember!

These are what will help me get through the day. Those and a nap. And Bailey’s if we had any. I’m sure my fellow mamas and dads have some other ideas, too. Let me know. We need to support each other!

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3 Comments

  1. Darla, I LOVE your posts. Developing real empathy was a huge breakthrough for me – now, when our girl kicks off in the middle of the store, at the grandparents, the playpark (wherever…cos’ it happens regularly) I don’t give a shit about the raised eyebrows, the under breath tut tut tuts, or the expectant looks on people’s faces hoping you will reprimand your kids and “get her in line.” Instead we pick her up, give a big hug, and say “Its ok, you’re safe. Lets figure it out together.” The three biggest gems Id try and pass on to others were passed on by my Mum and Dad and yummy hubby. 1) Learn to lower your expectations of everything. Of the state of the house, the state of the garden, the state of the fridge, the state of you…..my Dad gently told me one night to go through a checklist when they are finally in bed asleep. “Are they fed, are they clean, are they loved?” If you can say yes to that, your day has been a triumph! (because lets not underestimate how hard any one of those can be sometimes lol!) 2) (and this was a really hard one for me) Allow others to help you. Be strong enough to admit you are struggling sometimes. Its not a sign of weakness or failure – sometimes, you just need some help. Learn empathy for yourself as well as your little ones – sometimes, you are the hardest person to be kind to…but a little goes a long way. 3) Even though you are KNACKERED and you feel like every inch of your body has been mauled from the moment you woke up, until the moment you went to bed, there is one other person in your life patiently standing on the sidelines, supporting you, loving you and those babies, being there for you when you need them most. They really need a cuddle too sometimes, and they really need to know that they are more important to you now than ever……….Darla, so we are clear, I don’t mean the cat LOL XXXXX

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