Are you feeling frustrated, discouraged, overwhelmed with homeschooling? Have you felt like you are failing or just don’t have the patience to do this? Have you ever felt downright irritated by your kids? You are not alone and the guilt trip stops now!
Picture it with me, you’re having a nice morning with the kids, managing just fine, until you aren’t! One minute you are the patient, loving mother you strive to be and the next you are so irritated at your kids for leaving their toys all over YET AGAIN, you want to pull out all your hair!
Have you been there?
I certainly have!
When I was a teenager I had very young siblings and I was pretty much amazing with them (just a little bit of inappropriate honesty here). I was certain I was going to be the best mom EVER. If I could be this patient and loving and gentle with other peoples kids, even more so my own, right?!?!?!?!
The first few years of parenting were a hard dose of reality, but I managed. I mean, sure, there were days I felt overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, but I held it together, I had this thing DOWN.
It started when they were about 4 and 5, I wasn’t just overwhelmed, I was IRRITATED! It bubbled up out of nowhere and shocked me a few times. My perfect mask of loving patience didn’t just slip, it FELL flat on the floor, I (gasp) yelled at my kids!
“It was just a bad day” I told myself, “It’s just a hard stage.” But somehow, the things that drive me batty don’t stop happening. You know what I’m talking about…NEVER being able to find just one pair of scissors or that elusive eraser (no matter how many you buy). Tripping over that toy airplane for the thousandth time. Telling the kids to eat their food (or go to bed) again, and again, and again.
The broken record syndrome. Only, once it hits repeat one too many times it starts to screech!
It has taken me a lot of soul searching and a lot of prayer and discussions with mom’s who are right here in the trenches of impatience with me for me to realize the hard truth… I need to change.
My life is not going to change, the stresses of 5 children, the house being a mess, those are always going to be there. So hoping that it will pass, that I’ll manage better tomorrow, is quite frankly naive. It will not be better tomorrow without some conscious steps on my behalf.
So I have (and am daily) making some changes in my life and if you have felt overwhelmed and are feeling like a broken record or that you get frustrated or irritated too easily, I invite you to make these changes with me.
1. GET UP EARLIER THAN THE KIDS!
I mean at least an hour earlier. This is painful, my kids get up at 6:30, but getting up at 5:30 allows me to spend some time getting in to the frame of mind to handle the many frustrations that occur in our day. I pray, I go for a walk, I have a shower, maybe even work out, do something for myself. Honestly, this is CRITICAL, 90% of my problem is the dumb alarm clock. I tell myself every morning it goes off that sleep is more important, but I have come to realize I can manage fine when I am tired. Perhaps with a bit more yawning, some vigorous eye rubbing, a few extra cups of joe, but manage nonetheless. But if I wake up to an onslaught of “MOM!” and everyone needs me at once and the house is a mess and I can’t find clean spoons for cereal and I can’t even go to the bathroom in peace…. it’s pretty much a recipe for a day of irritation!
2. TAKE A TIME OUT!
When you feel the anger building, STOP. Seriously. Doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of a spelling test, it will still be there in five minutes. Just stop, walk out, go grab a cup of coffee, claim recess, whatever! Don’t spend that time fuming, spend that time not thinking about it AT ALL. Get your mind off it, when you come back I guarantee you you will see it in a different light.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
We KNOW this step. It’s the whole image of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first so you can take care of your children after right? We’ve all heard it, we’ve all told it to someone else, we KNOW it! But putting it into practise is so hard! It is literally against our natural urge to nurture and take care of our children. If we don’t make a conscious effort to get some decent sleep, eat something (that didn’t come out of a can or a bag), exercise, it won’t happen! Because our kids, our husband, our house even seems to rank higher on our priority list.
We don’t want to go to sleep at night because we FINALLY have time to decompress and relax! We don’t have time or energy to feed ourself something decent, so we have some cookies for breakfast and move on! We can’t drag our sorry butt out of bed to workout, don’t we workout all day long running after kids???? Let’s face it mom’s, we’re TIRED! But I PROMISE you that doing these things, being rested and eating right and exercising, will pay off! You will feel better, you will cope better, you will have more joy (more endorphins), you will have more confidence, you will feel like a person rather than just a doormat. They will change your day!
4. SMILE and LAUGH!
The tone is set by YOU and it is amazing how powerful a simple smile can be! You know the saying “fake it until you make it?” Smiles are contagious, laughing somewhat addictive. If you want some more JOY in your house, you can start by choosing to smile. Choose to laugh more. Choose to “shake it off, shake it off” (insert pop song here).
5. REFRESH THIS SUMMER.
If you have been unhappy, dissatisfied, overwhelmed, defeated, impatient, or feeling like you are LOSING your EVERLASTING MIND… it may be time for an intervention. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the Bloom course. You can try a free lesson, see the intro video, etc. on the page. Registration opens today and I’m telling you, it will change your life! It will give you the tools you need, walk you through the process step by step, force you to stop and work on this before it gets worse. Click on the image or CLICK HERE to register or find out more information (registration closes June 20th so ACT NOW!).
I hope you’ll join me in making a change in your home this year. In choosing and finding JOY, in finding ways to not let the little things get under your skin, in making your house a palace of laughter! Just try it with me, get up at 6, 5:30, 5am if you have to. Go to bed earlier! Get proper rest, eat breakfast, take care of yourself! You are not doing your kids any favors by neglecting yourself and being a bear to deal with. YOU set the tone in your home, join me and make it a positive one.
COMMENT TIME: Do You Make Yourself a Priority or Have you Fallen Prey to the Lie that You Should Come Last?
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*Alarm photo by Alex