I had a really long, really lousy week recently. The type where everyday at 8am, bedtime just can't come soon enough. The type in which everything and everyone seems determined to act up, misbehave, aggravate, and drive you crazy. You know what I mean . . .
To start things off, I had some time sensitive work that needed to get done Monday morning. As I was working on that (in between child #2 throwing fits), I heard the sound of rushing water. I thought to myself, child #1 doesn't have anything he could be pouring into another container, and then I remembered he is a boy. And he does. I turned around just in time to see him excitedly, uhm, relieving himself into a sippy cup. What's worse, I'm pretty sure he thought he was pouring himself a beverage . . .
Let me tell you, my mom brain didn't know where to start with this one. Of course, there is the ever present "Why are you naked again?" phrase. "What are you doing?!" seemed rather obvious. "This is NOT what we do!" just didn't seem strong enough for the occasion. So I sat and starred for awhile before exclaiming "No! No, noooo, no, no!" and that's about all I had.
It all went downhill from there. Child #2 was getting in his front teeth and he was not happy about it. Maybe he thought he could just get through life with only his bottom two teeth, I don't know. He was wrapped around my ankles all week. If I twitched, he wailed about it. Then they both started wailing. Then we all started wailing. Child #1 & #2 were also coming off a back to back round of the flu and a cold and we lost some behavior ground with child #1 during the process. Our weather was miserable and bitter cold (seriously, 10 degrees feels balmy now!). The boys had so much energy, but it was too cold for them to go outside. My hormones were a raging mess. And then, during the process of remodeling our second bedroom we found whoever installed the windows originally did a terrible job. Seriously, I didn't know you could mess up an install so many different ways! And we all know when you don't install a window right, it leads to rot. Lots and lots of rot.
Oh, and then to conclude the week, child #1 located my Wild Rose Beauty Balm and he ate a good share of it (it does smell delicious, but seriously? Why would you eat it son?). Guess it was a good thing it's organic and natural. And then he woke child #2 up from his nap as I sat crying to my hubby over the phone.
All of this, was just the tip of the iceburg for that week and to be honest, I wanted to quit this motherhood job. Throw in the towel, call it quits.
To put it simply, mom was done. The nerves were shot, the brain was fried, there ain't nothin' left to give. But, these little people still needed me. And so I pressed on.
As I've pressed on, I've been thinking about the ways I survive the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad motherhood days. Here are 10 of the ways I survive the days I just don't feel mommy-ish:
I'll be honest, I don't always like this one. I'm in a bad mood, and I want to stay in a bad mood thank you very much. Self-pity, anger, and frustration are pretty easy to live in. But that's not who I want to be. Prayer has a way of shifting my focus off the circumstances, frustrations, and myself and onto the Lord. Whether I need patience for the miserable 1 year old or wisdom for teaching the 2 year old, the Lord is ready to provide.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. James 5:13
Rejoice always,pray continually,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
2. Employ aromatherapy
I've used essential oils for various purposes over the last year, and I love them. However, I never invested in adiffuser until recently, and now I love them even more! Lavender is my go-to on the days everyone is just crazy. I also love using different blends depending on whether I need to calm the house, de-stress, or encourage anenergetic attitude. Aromatherapy isn't limited to diffusing essential oils either, you could also just apply a lotion with a scent you love! Personally, I LOVE this Garden Mint & Bergamot hand lotion from NYR Organic. I wish you could smell it through the screen! It has such a light, happy, energizing scent . . . it's my go-to lotion when I'm down or stressed.
3. Quiet time
Nap time is a wonderful thing. Child #1 doesn't take naps anymore, but that doesn't stop me from using a quiet time when we all need a break from each other. Create a space that is baby-proof and safe for the little ones. They can play while you make a cup of tea, read for a bit, or just take a breather. In our home, I've made sure their room is baby-proofed and safe for them. They have toys, games, and books both boys can play with while we all gather a little sanity.
4. Light a candle
There is just something about candles. They are quiet, lovely, calming . . . just a simple candle can add a little elegance to an otherwise un-elegant day.
5. Play soothing music
This will of course depend on what you find soothing in that moment! Sometimes I prefer just instrumental worship, other times soothing is hard rock. Don't ask me why!
6. Put on a comedy DVD
Laughter is great for the long days. Sometimes, you just need something to help you break out of the bad mood and I've found a comedy DVD works wonders! Need a clean comedy DVD? I love That's the Worst by Tim Hawkins (well, technically, my family loves all of his DVDs)!
7. Schedule some time away
Even Jesus took time away. It's ok to need a little break. When I called up my hubby in tears, we scheduled a long afternoon away together. We went to a nice restaurant and enjoyed some un-interrupted time together. It was refreshing, and I needed to be refreshed. Maybe it's time for you to schedule some time away with your hubby or go out with some mom friends in equal need of time away!
8. Talk to a friend
Pick up the phone or go out for coffee with a friend. Better yet, find a more experienced mom who has been through this season and share your heart. Ask for her prayers, her encouragement, and what she learned in these seasons. My hubby is awesome, but there are certain areas he just can't help me in because he doesn't experience them. If there is one thing motherhood has taught me, it's that I need other women in my life to talk to, learn from, and pray with.
9. Take a bath
Ahhhhhhhh, there is nothing like a hot bubble bath after the kids are in bed. Light a candle, add some calming essential oils to the tub (be sure to dilute them in a carrier oil first so they disperse through the water!), relax and pray. And when you're done, ask your hubby for a massage!
10. Remember this is a season
These long, weary moments won't last forever. I don't always succeed, but I strive to not wish away these days because someday the lasts will come. I've already wished away of few of them . . . and I regret it. Instead, I try to look for the beauty in the mess, the things that I enjoy. I don't enjoy dealing with a teething, miserable 1 year old, but I love the way he puts his forehead to my lips for a kiss. We must choose to look for the beauty in the long, lousy weeks. And if you need a little more encouragement today, you might enjoy Want to Snuggle, Momma? and When the Days are Long (and the nights are longer).
How do you survive the days you just don't feel mommy-ish?