This mom thing is hard. It’s monotonous and sometimes the reason why hair seems to be falling out of my head in hand fulls. Really, though, don’t we all have moments of sheer madness and insanity. I think it might be part of the description of motherhood and if it’s not part of the dictionary definition, it should me. Because let’s be honest for a moment and admit that it’s chaotic, messy, and a battlefield we’re constantly trying to “win” at. So what are some mom sanity savers and what are some tricks to carry in our tool bag to it through our most difficult days of motherhood?
How to survive the difficult days of Motherhood
1. Sometimes I take a shower 3 times in a day. Place your baby in a safe location, put away the pets, make sure the toddler is adequately entertained and take a hot shower with lavender oil diffusing in the bathroom. Or just add a drop of lavender to some bath gel and breathe in the soothing goodness. Retreat to that hot, lavender oasis even if it’s just a couple of minutes of pure glory… it’s totally worth it.
2. Afternoon baths are the token to a peaceful break or even better… a nap. I can’t even count how many days I have instituted an afternoon bath time. Just to be able to sit in the bathroom while she gleefully plays is golden. Unless she poops in the tub. Not so golden. But then the bath many times makes her sleepy. Golden again.
3. Some days peppermint oil is my best friend. Whether it’s because I forgot to switch the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer before they started to smell or because I take a whiff between toddler screaming sessions for that building frustration between the shoulders, it wins a spot in my mom sanity saver must-have list. Because if it can freshen my laundry and give me a boost when I want to slam my head agains a wall, it must have some magical, unknown super powers.
4. Schedule yourself some cry… I mean… ice cream time. The hard days can get the best of us. I know your heart momma. I do. I have cried too. I have cried into a cone of ice cream in a Braum’s parking lot down the street. I just need to release my emotions from time to time and I am sure you do too. So go ahead and schedule that time to be selfish with your time and your emotions, and even indulge in a treat.
5. Make tasks a game. It doesn’t always work, but when I can convince my toddler that picking up her toys is fun, we all win. Or when she thinks it’s a privilege to be able to be the one to load the laundry, things actually get accomplished and sanity is partially restored.
6. Cook dinner when you can. Dinnertime is always stressful for me because it’s apparently melt-down-o-clock. So instead of trying to cook dinner at the same time each day, I found ways to prepare meals when it was most convenient for me and when my kids aren’t conspiring against me.
7. Keep a Homemaking Binder. I found even when I was working and wasn’t a mom, life was hectic and the list of things to do was most stressful. So I have a homemaking binder that includes a to-do list of things to get done each day of each week. This means I am not constantly feeling overwhelmed. But then again, Laundry day is Monday so it’s my excuse to not fold clothes any other day. 😉
8. Take a step back. “Stop, collaborate, and Listen!” Ok, maybe not so much listening to the song, but a great motto to solve the worst problems in your home. So many times behavior has a root cause after talking it out even with a spouse, but talking tot he child is good too. And when all else fails, take a whiff of Peace & Calming or Stress Away and you will be able to go back into battle with maybe a small bit of clarity… We need mom holsters for this stuff. Really.
9. Pray. Pray the day will get better. Pray the day will end. Pray you will survive… just pray.
10. Initiate the “Nap Time Now” sequence. So one time I decided to really test out my essential oils. One of those skeptical moments of “do they really work?” and I decided to diffuse lavender with Peace & Calming together. For the first time in the life of my non-sleeping daughter, she went to the bedroom and put herself to sleep for a nap. I thought she was sick and it was just a fluke. Then, the next night, my husband took her in to bed and 5 minutes later I didn’t hear them anymore. They had turned the diffuser on and were OUT. It was like a scene from an apocalyptic horror movie where people are just laying where they fell over. So you better believe on my hardest days I ask my oil-loving two year old to help me load up the diffuser with 3 drops Lavender, One drop Peace and Calming. We turn it on and soon enough, she is down for the count. But when all else fails, I lay down and lock us both in the room and at least we’re contained and usually she rests too.
What tools are in your Mom Survival Kit?
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!