I called a mom with three active young children the other day. When she answered the phone, I said, "What are you up to today?"
I laughed at her reply.
With a sigh, she said, "Trying not to kill anybody." She's a wonderful mom, and I knew she didn't mean that, but I could hear the exhaustion in her voice.
Oh, how I remember those days when my sons were still at home! Days when they'd tromped on my last good nerve, when my batteries were on empty and I was so tired I felt like I needed to be in bed—but I couldn't because I still had to cook dinner, do twelve more loads of laundry, referee squabbles—and, oh yes, try to keep from killing anybody.
One of my husband's favorite memories is of a day when I met him as he stepped into the house. Hands on my hips, I glared at him and said, "Whose idea was it to have children?" He still laughs about that.
Can any of you relate? I'm sure every parent has experienced those rough days, those moments when their patience is pushed beyond the limits.
So here are six tips to help you keep your sanity in the midst of parenting mayhem:
- Step outside for a few minutes. If your children are little, you can keep an eye on them through the window. Sometimes just a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air can make a difference.
- If necessary, put yourself in timeout until you get control of your emotions.
- Stop and pray. Ask God to give you strength for the moment.
- Pray with your children about their behavior.
- Ask your spouse, a family member or a friend to watch your children for a bit to give you a break. Go somewhere. Take a nap. Recharge your parenting batteries. My daughter-in-law's mom came to watch the three little ones while Lydia and Jeremy put up the outside Christmas lights a while back. Lydia said, "The kids were watching through the windows, but it still almost felt like a date since it was just the two of us. We laughed and held hands and ran to the end of the yard to look at the lights." It's amazing how even a little break can make a difference.
- Lose the guilt. All parents are pushed beyond their limits at one time or another.
The good news is that one day (before you know it) you'll look back, and those moments will be your funny memories.
Michelle Cox is the creator/developer of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting resources and products. Her novel, Just 18 Summers, is available now. Michelle would love to speak at your event! Visit her at www.just18summers.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/just18summers and www.Facebook.com/MichelleCoxInspirations and on Twitter
This post originally appeared at just18summers.com.
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