I want to give up today.
I just feel like throwing my hands in the air and saying "I resign" from every aspect of my life. My husband has been pretty much man down (with man flu) for a week, my sons are both getting sick, I am such a barrel of nerves that my back is absolutely frozen in spasm and one of my key projects at work is, let's say, not going exactly swimmingly...
When my husband came home this evening the three of us (my two sons and I) were all sitting on the naughty chair together covered in the curtain that hangs there. We use the naughty chair for timeouts and it works like a charm. It pretty much does away with the need for hidings -- which is wonderful! The problem is that sometimes we are all naughty -- and there is just not enough space on that chair for the three of us!
Our huddling together on the chair lasted only a second -- which is quite a pity as we would have been quite a sight for my hubby to walk in to. But then someone shouted and I hauled my eldest into the bath and my youngest into his room for his bedtime story without even greeting the awesome man who just walked in my door. I didn't feel like it. I didn't feel like the continuation of what, to be honest, often feels like a Groundhog Day: a never-ending cycle of early wake time, rushing out, work time, school pick-up time, play time (which is mostly awesome!), supper time, bath time, bed time, milk (for my youngest), supper-making time, supper-eating time, exhausted remnants of small talk, more bathing and bed. I am finished. I have capacity for nothing other than to come moan to all of you... so thanks -- really -- thanks for listening...
So how do we keep going without losing our peace, our sanity and rolled eyeballs into the northernmost parts of our brains? How do we keep perspective and gratitude and love foremost in our minds and hearts rather than resorting to pain and shouting and wanting to throw in the towel and give up? I'm not completely sure to be honest, but here are a few ideas...
1) Stop yourself
When you are in the heat of the moment, just stop and take a breathe to calm down -- before you lash out in anger. The wounds from those lashes will last much longer than the perspective you have right now...
2) Compare up and down
It is sometimes so easy to just get caught up in comparing ourselves upwards: to the perfect image that others project (an image that is often quite simply an impossible lie) to come across as if they have it all together. We forget about all the people who are working longer, harder hours than us, those who are desperate to find work or those who are longing for a child and are unable to have one.
3) Write down what you are grateful for
Be specific. If you can spend some time alone and write down the top five (or 10) things you are specifically grateful for, your mindset will automatically shift to a more positive one... which will help you see the wood for the trees.
4) Break it up
If you are working towards a goal: writing an exam, getting a promotion, learning a new skill, or just wanting to get your youngest child to sleep through the night, break the journey down into small milestones and celebrate each one: the first time you pass a practice test, each meaningful deal you close, the day your child sleeps a stretch longer than average or settles themselves to sleep. If you take joy in each of the small milestones the bigger ones will come along much quicker -- and you won't miss out on the journey you are traveling on the way
5) Do something just for you
If you missed my last post, it may be worth checking it out here... there are some nuggets in there from experienced Mums who cope with this over the long haul -- don't miss out!
I hope these tips provide some perspective and help you when you hit a moment like I have today -- it has helped me just writing them down. On the other hand, this new feel-good feeling may be entirely due to the MASSIVE bag of popcorn that I have just polished while writing this post (insert smiley face here.)
This article originally appeared on www.halfdaymum.com - our mission is to help Mums who would like to "have it all" do it well!