A Busy Mom’s Guide to Staying Sane in a Zero Chill Environment

 

We recently brought home a chocolate lab puppy, Nestlè. He is delightful, full of energy and fits right into our crazy world. My kiddos absolutely adore him, as do my husband and I. We have been wanting to become puppy parents for a long time. We had dog names picked out before we had kid names picked out. Needless to say as a mom of three kids and a fur baby life can have zero chill. Everyone keeps asking me; Aren’t you super stressed? How do you manage it all? How do you survive without down time? It’s definitely not easy to maintain a Zen mindset, and I definitely loose my ish every once in awhile but I have figured out some things that help.

3kidsandapup

  1. Say Yes as Much as You Can

Now don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t let my kids do whatever they want. Yes honey, you may light your sister’s hair on fire. That is not what I mean at all, however you can avoid the word no even if you aren’t allowing your child to do what they have just asked to do. “Mommy, can we go to the park? My response usually resembles, “Sure buddy, we can go this afternoon after your sister gets home. Would you like to play with play dough or bubbles right now?” I didn’t say no but I also  did not give him exactly what he wanted. The trick is redirection and a choice. It works almost every time. {However, there will be those days where your child refuses to be satisfied but usually there is a deeper issue going on that needs to be dealt with i.e. they’re not feeling well, overtired, hungry, etc.}

  1. When You are Tired, Move Your Body

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it works for me every time.   After the kids are in bed my instinctual move is to crawl into my bed and read. I think this is a great thing to do to decompress but often times there is a sink full of dishes and a million toys to put away. As I did the dishes last night at 10:30pm I just kept saying “You are going to love yourself in the morning for doing this.” And you know what? I did! Waking up to a clean kitchen was so worth the extra effort the night before. In the afternoon I start to feel pretty tired and I want to melt into my couch but instead I take the kids outside for a walk. It always wakes me up, the sun on my face, the smell of grass, flowers and dirt do wonders for sleepy senses. After all, a body in motion stays in motion.

  1. Say No

What? You just told us to say yes as much as possible! Yep, I sure did. However, you can say no to people who are not your children. You don’t have to over commit yourself for the sake of having something to do. For me, it’s exhausting, doing things for the sake of doing things. It is not a reason that should ever be used in my opinion. If it’s something you really want to do, then by all means do it. Ask yourself: Is this worth my time? Will I grow from this? Am I adding unnecessary stress? Sometimes it’s really as simple as not feeling like it and that’s OK too. If you’ve spent your day cleaning  poop off the floor and negotiating with your 2-year-old through their 17th meltdown of the day, it’s OK to not want to meet up with your friends for dinner that night who don’t have small children. Sometimes you will want that escape at the end of a long day. Other times, you’ll want to say no so you can crawl into bed and eat caramel popcorn and that’s OK too.

 

  1. Tell Yourself You are Patient When You’re Not Feeling Patient

When my 4.5-year-old autistic son has tackled or scratched one of his sister’s for the umpteenth time I want to yell. I want to demand an answer as to why he is being a wild maniac! I want to stomp my feet and throw a fit myself. Or at least I used to. After A LOT of practical application I do not react this way at all. In the moment of frustration I tell myself, You’ve got this. You are patient. You are understanding. You know what to do. And most importantly: You are more than the anger you are feeling right now. Then take a REALLY deep breath. I admit I am not perfect at being a mom, but what I have managed to get pretty good at is being patient. Patience is something that can only be strengthened when it is practically applied during a stressful situation. If you’ve seen me then you’ll know this is true, child will scream in my face and mommy don’t. even. flinch.

 

  1. Stay Committed to Yourself

Do you remember the things that made you, you before kids? Neither do I, but you can start that conversation with yourself now. What makes Lauren, Lauren now? I love yoga, but I hate group classes. So I do my yoga by myself at the end of the day for 15 – 20 minutes and I LOVE it. I love to write, so I squeeze in the maximum amount of time a day that I can and commit to writing even if someone just threw play dough past my head. Stay committed. I love to research, I could read about 19th century maritime trade, the psychology of birth order, or the history of Radcliffe Camera for hours, that may seem weird to you but it’s just me. Stay committed. I am a tactile learner and a lot of things intrigue me. This makes me randomly creative, and I follow that random path wherever it takes me whether it’s embroidery, baking, coloring, sewing, or gardening it is all a part of my creative self. Stay committed. I like to learn new things and I consistently need new creative stimulation. I used to look down on my self for this. Just pick something already! My judgmental thoughts would say. But now, after a lot of self-reflection, I celebrate this about myself and I stay committed. Accepting yourself breeds happiness and in my experience, a happy mom is a significantly more sane mom.

 

There is so much more I could say on the subject of staying sane as a busy mom and perhaps I will at a later time. For now I must leave you with this, being a busy mom feels like juggling and it most certainly is. Juggling takes time to perfect, balls are going to be dropped {why is balls such a funny word?} and when they do drop, pick them up. It’s not like they fell into hot lava. You’ll get the hang of it eventually. Just keep at it.

 

Xoxo

Lauren

craycray

2 thoughts on “A Busy Mom’s Guide to Staying Sane in a Zero Chill Environment

  1. I loved this. Seriously. I’m still learning on the redirect, but recently have come to embrace the “get moving” and “make time for myself”. I am also a writer and learner and have made a 321 day streak of learning Swedish and 240 days of writing 750 words a day. It makes me *feel* like a better mom when my front room is clean and my learning has been checked off.

    Liked by 1 person

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