Saturday, March 19, 2011

Keeping My Cool

Someone recently asked how I keep my "cool" on those long days where the kids are driving me nuts...and it kind of made me laugh just a little.....because to be perfectly honest, I feel like most days I'm losing my cool, rather than keeping it!  I hate admitting this because I really try to enjoy this time with the kids, but they DO drive me completely insane some days!!!  There are times that I feel so overwhelmed, overstimulated, and like I am about to lose it....literally!  And as it has been noted in previous posts...I've been known to yell too much, and my kids are not afraid to point it out!  Anyway, instead of focusing on the negative, I will say that there are some key things that I KNOW help me on those days I am keeping my cool.

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) get the point!
But today when Emma put her "special touch" on my picture, I didn't mind one bit!
Totally keeping my cool :) 


The Alexanders said...

hahaha, I laughed out load at your shower tip because it is now 11:30 and I am still unshowered and in can check my blog for a brutal pic of me today! I totally agree with the pedicure/self-pedicure making a person feel better, I am a firm believer in the look good-feel good philosophy! And gym...whats a gym?!?!?! hahaha

Ami said...

OMG! Darcy and Stacey, I think we should all meet someday! We are like one person living in 3 bodies! I love these tips and Stacey, I too laughed at the shower comment, because for me, it was 2:00 this afternoon that I finally made it to the shower! Glad I'm not the only one! So really, a triplet mom trip?? I've seen lots of the quad mamas doin it! I say, let's get in on the fun!! :)

Esther and Brian said...

darcy, thanks for sharing. you are not alone whatsoever! i have a hard time time now keeping my cool with the's something that i need to work on a lot. someone told me that they start counting to themselves to help them relax but it's not working for me the same way! my boys wake up at 6am on the dot, sometimes 5:30, so i have a hard time getting up and having some time to myself before they get up- well, unless i am willing to get up at 4:45 but i hear you on the sleep! i need my 8-9 hours, to be honest. what's also hard for me is that we do not have family around: dh's are in another state, my entire family is in fly solo all the time, 100%of the time. it's hard...but..we can all just try our best and that's it!

i do, seriously, need to work on patience with the boys because i do not want them to grow up with me raising my voice so much! i mean yelling...:)

thanks again for sharing, darcy....