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Did you ever wish you could have just one good day with your kids?
You know, a day with no yelling and no talking back.
Where they actually listen to you and do what you say the first time around?
Well, I do, all the time. And no, unfortunately, this is not a post on how you can magically get them to behave for an entire day! Believe me, I wish it was! But, it isn’t, it’s a post on how to stay sane and attempt to enjoy every day with your little ones. Even when everything seems to be going wrong. Or, when your child wakes up and starts talking, and doesn’t stop until they go to bed that night. (And then continues talking in their sleep…)
As mothers, I feel that we have something inside of us that makes us want to help calm our children. When they talk all day non-stop it wears us down, at least it does for me. It feels as if they drain all of our energy. To the point where coffee doesn’t even matter or make a difference! (I love my coffee, sometimes it’s just not strong enough!)
Now, let me tell you why I wrote this when I first did, way back in December of 2016, and why it’s still relevant today!!
It was a Monday, at the time I was the working parent and I had Mondays and Tuesdays off from work. It was also my older daughters first snow day; she was in a pre-k program. She was actually supposed to go to the dentist. But, with 20 plus inches of snow, the roads in bad conditions, and the dentist being an hour away; we had to reschedule. She didn’t know this when she woke up. But, from the minute she woke up til the minute she went to bed she would not stop talking, or asking for things, or repeating herself.
It was non-stop all day long; for 12-14 straight hours. That’s enough to drive someone insane. And, my motherly instinct was telling me to calm her down. To keep her quiet so I know she’s happy. Even though I knew she was happy. She just had too much energy (and no, she was not given any candy or sugar; I limit that as much as possible).
The first thing out of her mouth when she woke up, thanks to Frozen, was actually her singing, “do you want to build a snowman?”. Adorable, YES!! Of course it was. Who wouldn’t think its adorable for their four year old to be singing that on the first snowy morning of the season. It didn’t start to get annoying and irritating until an hour later when she was still singing it! And, also demanding to go outside into the freezing cold to actually build a snowman. To make matters worse, I didn’t have any creamer for my coffee. Therefore, I couldn’t have coffee and we were snowed in. Great….
If this sounds familiar then keep reading. If not then I’m a little jealous; unless you have younger children. Then, just wait for all the fun you will have in a few years (I sincerely hope I’m not jinxing you). It’s not all bad though, she’s really remarkable and so brilliant and beautiful. I don’t know what I would do without her or her baby sister. They make my life what it is, and it’s just amazing to see the sisterly love between them. Like, when my older daughter decided to pick up her baby sister and put her in the doll stroller and push her around the living room in it. But, let’s get to what you came here for. Ways to have a sane day with little ones. Not how adorable my kids can be!
Way #1 Eat Something
The first thing you need to do to stay sane is to take you’re diet (what you eat on a daily basis-not a fad diet) seriously. And, try to avoid, or limit, foods that will cause you more stress, or let you down a couple hours after having it. This includes, but is not limited to, anything with a lot of sugar or salt in it. And, I have my reasons for saying this, but there’s no way I can cover them all in this post!
I know, you probably love sugar and are addicted to it, just like I was. But it’s horrible for you, and extremely addictive! If you don’t believe me then try going a week without it and then come back and tell me about it.
It gives you the famous sugar high. And then, the sugar crash. And then, you crave more of it and you go for a ride on the sugar high roller-coaster. This is not good for keeping you’re sanity, or for keeping up with your kids. They have more energy than you, there’s no denying that!
I know, I know, why am I even talking about food for ourselves when we have so much going on and little ones to care for, right? Well, have you ever tried staying as busy as you are and keeping up after the little ones on a diet high on sugar and low on nutrients? Tough, isn’t it? You want to nap when they do, if they still do. And, if they don’t nap, you still want to! So, now you’re kicking yourself because you have no energy. (Or, you keep downing sugary foods as an attempt to keep your sugar high up.) Maybe all you’ve had is sugar, and maybe a cup of coffee, and your children have all the energy in the world. As if they are stealing it from you to use against you!
Why do they do this to you? And why can’t you steal your energy back from them? Even if you ask them nicely for it back and they wave their little hands toward you as if spreading their magic energy dust on you; you still don’t get it back! Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked like that. My older daughter has been sweet enough to try doing this on multiple occasions, this day included.
Do you know where I’m going with this? You need to nurture yourself so you can nurture others. And the thing is, you probably already know this and have probably known for awhile, but haven’t had the time to actually take the time to do it. (If time is your issue, please read my post about finding time.) Also, by nurturing yourself, I do not mean run to your nearest dunkin donuts or starbucks and pick yourself up some breakfast and sugar filled coffee drink. (As nice as that would be!) Instead, eat breakfast within an hour of waking if possible, and make sure to include whole grains, protein and fiber. Or, at least some fruit!
I like to have something sweet in the mornings with my coffee, so my go to is home made muffins. Hold the refined sugar and add in some sweet potatoes and peanut butter(or coconut oil). Exchange the white flour for oat flour and use flax eggs instead of normal eggs. It may sound weird to you, but even my four year can’t stop asking for these! And no, I’m not telling you to eat something specific for breakfast. Just try to swap out something you love (that may not be so good for you) for something with whole ingredients and that’s actually good for you. Something that will keep you going for a few hours without crashing towards the end of the morning.
Way #2 Your Attitude
So, now you know to take care of yourself first, or at least at the same time as you’re taking care of everyone else! The next biggest thing that’s going to determine if you have a good day is your attitude. Because how you act in the morning towards your children is going to affect them all day, and have them mirror that very same behavior back at you. If you’re stressed and rushing in the morning because you woke up late, your children are going to sense that and feel anxious. And that will only intensify your stress!
So, just calm down, even if it’s only on the outside. Use your I’m such a good mommy voice to help ease your children into the day the right way! And sure, this isn’t an absolute guarantee to having a good day, but it sure doesn’t hurt, either! Even if it just helps a little, anything is worth trying, right? Kids also love to copy you and tend to mirror your feelings and actions, so if you’re nice and calm, there’s a better chance that they will be, too!
Please, don’t waste what you just learned about feeding yourself to use only on yourself. Give your children a fighting chance at a good day too. DON’T FEED THEM SUGAR FOR BREAKFAST. (<<see that! All caps! That means it is very important!!) This means no sugary cereals or pastries or donuts. Fruit is fine, home baked(healthy) goods with no refined sugar is fine. And, make sure their yogurt isn’t loaded with sugar either, as you look further into this, you’ll soon see it isn’t always easy. But, it is certainly worth it!
Also, remember whole grains, fiber and protein for them, as well! This could be as easy as some cheerios with some type of milk and a banana. Be careful about the milk though, some types seem to have more sugar than protein in it. My husband always drinks whole milk, which has about 12-13 grams of sugar and about 8 grams of protein per serving. Where as, I always drink unsweetened soy milk, which has 1 gram of sugar and 7-8 grams of protein in it. It’s an acquired taste, but much healthier!! I used to drink flavored almond milk…until I started trying to limit my sugar intake. Just read the labels on food before putting it into your body.
Way #3 Keep At It
If you can provide yourself with nutrient rich food and provide to others the kindness from the bottom of your heart for your children; then you have a fighting chance at what it takes to have a better day with your children, even if they try to drive you insane.
In which case, you need to remember they most likely are not trying to drive you crazy; it’s just what comes natural to them. You need to be the adult and realize that; I know, that’s rough, but it’s reality and life, so you have to deal with it. Your children don’t understand that talking non-stop all day long is annoying to you, even if you explain it to them over and over again all day long; they probably still won’t understand. And that’s alright, you need to make it alright, they are your children and you love them no matter what.
I know life can be challenging sometimes with little ones. Alright, maybe more than just sometimes, possibly a lot of the time. And staying sane as a stay at home mom may not always be possible. But, at the end of the day when they finally do fall asleep and you see them all sprawled out or all cuddled up; you know it’s completely worth every moment, good or bad. Because they are just so darn cute. And if you can continue on the path to better yourself, your health, and your overall attitude. Then, I’m sure you will see improvement in your childrens’ behavior, and in your own!
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If you agree, disagree, or have other tips to have a good day with little ones please share in a comment below.