First of all, and probably most importantly, is SLEEP! If I'm getting enough sleep and feel rested, I am in such a better mood and way more patient. If I'm tired, I'm grumpy, and I usually end up making everybody else grumpy, as well. And wishing you could go back to sleep half hour after you wake up makes for a long day!
Diet...and when I say diet, in no way do I mean limiting my calories or eating even remotely healthy (although I'm sure this would have a huge impact). If you know me, that goes without saying! But it's so easy to skip meals when you're busy with taking care of kids, feeding them, cleaning them, cleaning up after them, laundry, vacuuming, etc. etc.... I've realized when I'm skipping meals and hungry, I am extremely grumpy! Tim can testify to this!
Focus - it's easy to let my "To Do" lists get the best of me. I look at all the things I think I need to do and then I get frustrated when the kids are "in the way" of getting them done. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it doesn't matter if I clean the fridge that day or if we make it to Target for a few items. I'm not in college, or at work (well, I'm not employed anyway), there are no deadlines....and it will all get done eventually! When I focus on the kids and being with them, we are all much happier (by no means am I saying I have this one down...I am constantly working on it and reminding myself what's important).
Me time - this is such a hard one for MoMs...and really just moms in general! When you constantly feel behind with all that there is to do, how do you find time for yourself?! But I have found that if I just take a little time for myself, whatever that may be, I feel so much better! I feel like a person again! It can be something as small as getting a pedicure, or just painting my own toenails! It can be watching a show or two after the kids have gone to bed so I can zone out, de-stress, and wind down. It can be having a conversation with a friend. I wish I could say it could be working out, but that would be a lie...I've seen the gym twice since we got back fro Maui, but that's a whole different post!
Shower! Might be simple, but I feel 100% better if I get up and get ready! I'm happier, I feel more awake and have more energy, and if it ends up that we need to go somewhere that day, it all happens a lot faster because I'm already ready! I really need to practice what I preach though because it's 3:00pm and I am sitting here still un-showered....and we are all still in jammies and sporting bed-head!
I know that none of these tips are revolutionary. They're all common sense and things that I should be doing all the time...and things that others probably ARE doing most of the time! Just thought I'd share what makes certain days better for me :)
Proof that today is a pretty good day (despite not having a shower)....
The kids and I were coloring when Kallie had to go to the bathroom and called me for some "help."
I came back to find my picture like this....
I've been known to get a little too serious about things - playing with the play-doh long after the kids have moved onto other things, treating a friendly game of Taboo like some Olympic competition that I have practiced 4 years for one shot to win, becoming involved with my own drawings rather than helping the kids with theirs (or letting someone wait in the bathroom, calling for help for a few too many minutes while I try and fill in green hills).....you get the point!
But today when Emma put her "special touch" on my picture, I didn't mind one bit!
Totally keeping my cool :)