I’m a kind of working mother. It’s just my work is done from the couch on a laptop with two toddlers climbing on me in between paragraphs. It’s definitely not a bad life at all. Pay the bills while you guide the children through a new level on Lego Star Wars that they’re stuck on. Fix broken Lego buildings while using picmonkey to make the photos pretty. Give the kids Play-Doh on the other side of the table while I work my clay into some awesome jewelry.
I’m also someone who suffers from battles with depression that I don’t always win though. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect my mommy skills. I wrote on my other blog last week about the darkness that sometimes creeps in on my happy-shiny-unicorn life and my inbox flooded with the stories of other moms who feel the same way for one reason or another. What a powerful thing it is to have just a small way to share your thoughts. I got to share my with the world and in turn some of my readers trusted me enough to share theirs with me. Magical.
I’m particularly susceptible to having a short temper when I’m having a down day. Most of the time our oldest dog will “go” on the carpet, the youngest dog will bark, the youngest child will do a flying leap off the couch, and the oldest will end up getting the brunt of it for something silly like leaving his water bottle on the floor because I’m already frustrated.
Things have been getting better though and I’ve started to find little ways to step away and calm down without feeling like I’ve neglected my mommy duties. I hope maybe some of them can help one of you.
Tea or Coffee Break
I’ve been a hot tea drinker for the last five years, especially my green tea and chamomile. Sometimes I’ll step away and make hot tea for myself, or for all of us. I can drink it alone in my favorite chair or make a little date out of it with the boys. Sometimes it just takes concentrating on something calm for a little while like that.
If you think that your child is the only one who benefits from cuddling, you’re lying to yourself. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is also the best. When they’ve driven you absolutely nuts and you’re about to blow your top, hug them. It’s as good for you as it is to them.
Give the children something to do and give yourself five minutes to go do something that will make you feel better. For me, this is usually as simple as re-brushing my hair, putting on my chap stick, and grabbing my favorite comfy OSU Hoodie.
I won’t use the phone during the day if I can avoid it because of the noise from the kids, but sometimes it can be worth it. Chat online, Skype with a friend to be silly, pick up the phone and talk to someone. Not necessarily to talk about how the kids are driving you up the wall, bills are piled up, significant other is a big horse’s behind today, or anything like that. Just talk.
You’re on the internet right now and some of the people lurking around here are hilarious. Search for humor on Youtube, meme websites like I can has cheezburger, and around other blogs in the humor category.
One of the most important pieces of advice that I took away from those baby books I obsessed over was that when things are at their worst and you fear you’re going to do or say something that will damage your child, put them somewhere safe and step away for a minute to breathe until you can come back calm.
Today the boys are in rare form and I’ve done a combination of these to keep my sanity. I hugged them before I got up (cuddles). I’m in a room ten feet down the hall from them (step away) and I’m working in my room with my favorite hoodie (small distractions) and a big cup of coffee (coffee break).