Sometimes it feels like you’ll never keep your head above water. No matter how hard you try you are always drowning in problems and difficulties. Sometimes it feels like nothing ever goes right and this bad patch will never end…
But it will.
I’m sure it will…
And in the mean this is how I get through a bad patch…
I am not one of those odd people who enjoy doing house work, so I know this sounds crazy, but even if I just clean up one little area of the house I feel better. If I can get on top of the laundry, or tidy up the living room or clear the kitchen bench, then I feel a little better. Perhaps it’s because I feel like I can at least change and improve something, even if it is not the thing that is bothering me most or perhaps I just feel like I can control at least one part of my life. Whatever it is, cleaning something helps.
Let go of perfection
It’s ok to send them to school with a lunch order. It’s ok to have frozen veggies at dinner. It is ok to just ‘get by’ for a while and not be at your best all the time. My new mantra is pictured above – ‘done is better than perfect’ – and I am taking this on dropping the stress of perfection.
Do something physical.
When I’m frustrated I like to pull weeds, or hack at a vine. Taking out all that frustration on stupid, over grown, weeds is a fabulous release. If gardening is not your thing then maybe taking it out on a poor defenseless soccer ball might help?
Get in the Shower
There is something about letting that hot water pour down over my head that seems to wipe out the rest of the world for a little while. Even if I have to wait till everyone is in bed asleep to get one, there is something calming and restorative about a shower that is worth it’s weight in gold.
Phone a friend.
I am lucky to have someone in my life who parents in a similar way to me and who has children of a similar age. Spending an afternoon on her couch is the best kind of therapy there is and it always makes me feel better. Just realising you are not alone, that you are in fact not the worst parent in the entire world, helps a lot. If you don’t have a friend to call then get online and find a parenting forum or chat via twitter…you are bound to find someone who understands.
Do something nice for your kids
When things have hit rock bottom around here, going out of my way to do something nice for my family is usually the last thing on my mind, but it can really help to break the cycle of doom and gloom. Plan a movie night or a picnic or an after school treat, purposely ignore any little niggly things that might happen, just for a little while, and focus only on making it something extra fun for your family. Odds on you’ll feel good about it too.
Just keep going.
That phrase ‘this too shall pass’ should be tattooed on every new parents arm with instructions to look at it whenever you feel lost, frustrated or depressed. Because nothing lasts forever and if you can just hang on a little long, if you can just keep going, eventually this bad patch will pass and there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
How do you get through a bad patch?
Please leave a comment and share your words of wisdom.
I’ve decided I need to spend a bit of time intentionally working on becoming a better parent right now… so you’ll see a few more of these types of posts pop up on Thursdays.
If there is any parenting things you are struggling with, or questions you would like to ask please email me. I also share lots of interesting parenting links, blogs and articles over on my facebook page so make sure you do the new facebook sign up for notifications thingy if you don’t want to miss them
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Deb @ Bright and Precious says
Great list, Kate. It’s like you wrote it for me – even though I know you didn’t ! Looking forward to more of your intentional parenting posts. :)
Laney | Crash Test Mummy says
The shower is my sanctuary! The water washes over me, takes the fog away and sometimes I have great ideas.
Fantastic post… I love the “Just keep going” tip!
Wow! Were you in our psych session today? The psychologist and Annie spent an hour talking about letting go of perfection and looking at the big picture.
Does it really matter that dinner is not on a green plate, it is still dinner.
Does it really matter that all the pegs don’t match, the clothes will still dry.
and so on.
It was fascinating seeing how Annie’s mind works.
[email protected] says
Love your work Kate. xoxo P
I always appreciate your parenting posts, I feel a sense of ‘I’m not alone’ and ‘it’s good to have intent’.
I want to be a good mum, and too often I take a step away from myself and look and I don’t like what I see. I feel like it’s a roller coaster and not matter how hard I try I get to that same point in the ride, and I wonder, why aren’t we going in a different direction, haven’t we changed, haven’t I changed. I’ve had a heavy head in the last few months with parenting / life. I am determine to meet 2013 with simple intentions.
Kate A says
Yes I can see the value in all those things…. Stripping back my (high) expectations of what my life as a mum should look like helps. Easy dinners, a Friday night movie on the couch with hubby and my girls under a blanket and letting go of my racing mind does too. Am trying to strip back to basics. Let go of the small stuff. I’m trying anyway!!
Nice! Need suggestions like this somedays (today!). As a foster carer we’re thought of as some kind of saint, but we have some very challenging days with our kids – believe me!! Having kids with special needs means I’ve been therapised to within an inch of my life, but I have gathered some good tips along the way.
Breathing – about to lose it? stop & just breath for as long as you can. It helps!
When you are locked in battle with a very determined/tired/fighting 2yo, do something unexpected to break out of the rut. For me, I quite like doing a massive big roar – like a lion. Hand actions help. It releases a lot of my frustration. The kids think I’m nuts, but it makes them stop for long enough for me to catch up with myself and let my better brain take over the situation.
Get wet – all of you. Water is so calming and fun for just about everybody. No pool? me too! I use everything from the bath to baby baths, hoses, sprinklers – whatever you have.
Dancing. Put on some fun music and have a dance-a-thon. Music can totally change up how you are feeling. Use it!
At the end of the day, forgive yourself and start with a clean slate in the morning.
Now…I just need to follow my own advice more often!!
maryanne @ mama smiles says
Love this post. Pinned it to my parenting board. I agree with all of it. Showers are my sanity saver :)