We’ve all been there. The days when you wake up and hate motherhood. The days your kids can sense your bad mood and decide to act out even more. The days you just want to start over.
But what if you can?
I’m not saying I’m a mothering guru by any means, of course, but I will say that I am a mother who is desperate to hear from other moms. In fact, you could call it a downright creepy obsession I have into hearing about the secret lives of mothers. I love hearing how other moms manage to get their work done during the day, fit in exercise, keep a connection with their partners, and you know, survive the day.
One of my favorite resources for connecting with other moms who deal with the craziness that is life with young kids is Stand For Mom, an online community for work-at-home moms. Hearing from other moms there makes me realize that 1) I’m not crazy to fantasize about running away occasionally and that 2) we all have those days when we feel like we need to totally reset the day.
Here are some of the ways other moms reset their days when they’re having “one of those days”:
Take a drive
One of my favorite strategies for building a break into my day, and one that a lot of moms secretly employ is taking a drive. This means literally strapping your kids in the car and driving somewhere — anywhere, but preferably a Starbucks drive-thru — for a literal reset and a break for you. The kids are strapped in and safe, and you can just breathe. I have done this so many times and on more than one occasion, I’ve parked in a parking lot, turned on a movie in our minivan and just mindlessly scrolled Facebook on my own phone. Even a few minutes has the power to give me strength to get through the rest of the day (and caffeine never hurts either, right?).
Squeeze in a workout
It sounds counterproductive, because I know when you’re tired and stressed and cranky it can feel like even more work to put on exercise clothes and sweat it out, but it really can help.
“When I need to rese,t I push play on a 30 minute workout,” explains Jessica LeBrun. “Even when I feel exhausted and it’s the last thing I want to do, it ALWAYS re-energizes me and changes my mood.”
I totally agree with LeBrun and have found that the free Jillian Michaels workouts on YouTube are perfect when I need a quick reset. I also love any Beachbody workout and the T-25 programs especially are awesome with kids, because they are only 25 minutes long.
Take inventory of what drains and fills you
One mom had the genius suggestions of keeping a physical list of what drains you as a mom– and also what fills you. Just make two lists: one of all the things that deplete your emotional energy as a mom, whether that’s getting everyone dressed and out of the house or grocery shopping with the kids, and then make a list of things that energize and “fill” you, like going to Target alone or sitting outside for an hour to read.
Then, when you are feeling overwhelmed with things that drain you, take a look at your list and be sure to schedule something that fills you up.
Turn on some music
By far, this is the easiest thing that I do at home with my kids. Come 4 P.M., we are wilting and getting cranky, and music always lifts our mood. A little Kidz Bop and before long, we’re all in much better spirits. Let’s face it — kids’ songs are just too darn catchy not to feel happy about, am I right?
What are your tricks for resetting your day when you feel like running away?