Every childhood age comes with some rough moments. That just seems to be part of life. Newborns don’t sleep through the night. Babies and teething can cause much frustration. Toddlers come with temper tantrums. And so on and so on…It can seem like you are never going to survive rough childhood stages. It can feel like you are going to be in the trenches of motherhood for the rest of your life. That whole “mom bun and yoga pants” thing? Yup, you’re there. Because who has the energy to get dressed when you are just trying to hold it together and make it through a day without losing your sanity?
Never fear, mamas! There are some proven strategies for helping you to survive rough childhood stages…that don’t involve locking yourself in a room with coffee, ice cream, and Netflix until your husband gets home. 😉 Here are some of the ones that help me the most because I am definitely right there with you, rocking the mom bun and counting down to bedtime.
Focus on the good
I know, I know. It’s much easier said than done. The trick is to look at the positives that will be coming after the rough parts. Baby waking a lot at night? More time to snuggle. Teething? Hey, that means it won’t be too much longer before they will be eating more solids and relying on you less (if you are breastfeeding), so soon you will be able to leave baby for longer stretches. Hello, girls’ night out! Potty training causing lots of messes and agonizingly time consuming? Pretty soon they will be fully trained and no more having to buy (or change) diapers! Preschooler talking back? At least they are learning they are their own person and understand more when you need to discipline them.
Everyone takes a break
We are so quick to put our kids in time out when they are being naughty, but what about time out for the mama? I’m not talking about you being naughty but just time to chill and regroup. This can look different depending on the age of your children. There are days where I put on a TV show in the living room, go to my room, and close the door for 5-10 minutes. My daughter is old enough now that I can do this safely. I grab my phone and “go hide.” When my daughter was a baby and we were both just going a little crazy, a pack and play or her crib was a great place to put her down safely…and walk away for a few minutes.
Do something fun together
When you are at your whit’s end this is often the last thing you even want to try. However, sometimes it is just the trick to make everything a little more bearable. Go outside, play a game inside, make cookies, do some Play Dough, whatever it needs to be. It always amazes me how better everything is after some fun. It takes away the grumpies from that particular day and often helps with the next couple of days.Going through a rough stage of #motherhood? Check out these strategies to help! Click To Tweet
Remember it doesn’t last forever
I know you’ve heard it before but it’s true. Some stages are a few days, some a few weeks, some a few months. No matter what stage your child is in, remember that it won’t be forever. Eventually you will shower again. Eventually they will stop biting the dog. Eventually they will stop talking back whenever you ask them to do something (although, this one may come back around again). Eventually, you will have more days of easy and happy and less days of exhaustion and frustration.
Ask for help
Isn’t this one so hard to do? Sometimes asking for help feels like admitting defeat. You feel like you are saying you can’t actually parent like you thought you could. You feel like you are saying something that women have been doing since the beginning of time is too hard for you. It isn’t that at all! All people, moms especially, need help at times. Every mom needs a break from being mom sometimes.
There was a week last year where I told my husband I just plain needed a kid free night and day. My daughter and I had been at each other for more than a week and I just needed a break. He called his parents and she went to their house for part of the weekend. You know what? No one judged me and both my daughter and I were refreshed by the end of our time apart. Do not be afraid to ask your spouse, parents, in-laws, or a friend to give you a break for a few hours or a weekend. Even consider doing a kid swap with a friend so that once or twice a month you both get some kid free time.
Surviving rough childhood stages can be very doable. All it takes is a few strategies to help you succeed. If you are struggling with a particular season of motherhood, know that you aren’t alone. Know that other moms are right there with you. Heck, you probably know someone who has the same pair of yoga pants you do! Instead of being dragged down by the rough stages, next time try one (or all) of these strategies.
Come party with me! Here are all the link parties I do each week.