Parenthood: When Every Day is February 2nd!
by Krystle K | The Snap Mom
Ralph: I think… both.
If you have not had the chance to see Bill Murray star in Groundhog Day, I urge you to add it to your Netflix list. If you are like me and prefer to either sleep or blitz clean your house like a crazy person once the kiddies are finally asleep, then I will give you the storyline:
“A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting “rat” (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the ‘following’ day, he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes to the realization that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day.”
Now that we have the groundwork, need I explain more?
Parenthood, or “Momming” as I affectionally call it, can be tiresome. A better word might be exhausting, because “tired” does not come close to how mentally, emotionally and physically demanding being a parent can be.
Allow me to sum up many mothers’ groundhog day…
Wake up (after the world’s worst night of “sleep”), get the kids fed, dressed and ready while bumbling around the kitchen in search of coffee. It’s a blur from this point on. Lots of snacks, being a referee, dirty dishes, diapers and clothes, mom-buns, sweatpants, yesterday’s make-up, and (if you are lucky) naps.
The last portion of the day is where it gets really hairy. The kids are hyper and crashing around the house while you try to summon up all of your Rachel Ray inner-cooking-goddess to get dinner on the table. You then spend the next 2 hours begging them to eat, bathe, brush their teeth and GO TO SLEEP. Once the dust of the day settles, you collapse onto the couch and ask yourself one important question – Do I clean, sleep or watch a show? It’s actually a trick question, because once you decide on any of the above options, inevitably someone will wake up and need you.
I hope you got a good chuckle from my spot-on description of “a day in the life”… This parenting gig is tough work. Raising a family is not for the faint of heart. At some point in our parenting journey we have all burst into tears because we cannot handle one more second of our current situation. What’s my advice to the mother who feels like each day is perpetually tumbling into the next? Who dreads the all-night feedings, toddler tantrums and monumental laundry pile?
Here are my 5 tips to breaking “Groundhog Day”
Take time for yourself. You cannot serve your family from an empty cup. You cannot run on empty. The great news: your children will benefit from you having “me-time” just as much as you will! This includes doing things you love, going on dates with your spouse, having the bathroom to yourself and not having to microwave your coffee 5x before you can drink it.
2. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!
I cannot stress this enough to frazzled mamas. Kids get just as stir-crazy as parents and fresh air does wonders on those cranky attitudes. Go for a walk, try a new park, visit a fellow mom-friend or just do chalk in the driveway. I have found our best days are spent away from the house. We generally leave right after breakfast and return home around 2-3pm for me to meal prep. This schedule is my family’s sweet spot. Try to find yours – it will make the days fly by.
3. Get A Routine
Children love structure, it gives them security. If your children know what to expect, it can help them best prepare for the day. Every morning my children know that they need to make their beds, eat breakfast and their vitamins and brush their teeth before we leave the house. They also know that we do gymnastics on Tuesdays and art class on Fridays. I have friends who only do playdates on Mondays, clean the house Tuesday, appointments on Wednesday, field trips on Thursday and grocery shop on Fridays. I don’t suggest you over-pack your life with appointments or become militant about your schedule, but getting into a routine helps create balance for the whole family.
4. Let It Go
I cannot tell you how many days I have wasted trying to accomplish too much. Being a super-mom can be a total disaster. You need to learn your limits and also your children’s limits too. My kids are good for about 2-3 trips in the car a day max. If we are zipping all over town all day long it results in meltdowns. I have also learned that any work I have needs to be done when my children are sleeping. Trying to squeeze in 15 minutes of work usually results in them being extra needy and me getting super annoyed. Our days are more harmonious when I leave my to-do list for when I actually have time to tackle it.
5. Fall In Love With Your Kids Daily
I cannot tell you how powerful it is to bend down and look into your child’s eyes. I am a big advocate of positive discipline and tell parents to do this if they are struggling with anger towards their children. Those sweet eyes will instantly melt your heart. If my child has just pushed my buttons or done something for the 1,000th time, I do this before I address them. It helps me keep my cool and think about how to best phrase my thoughts. Another way is to kiss and hug them ALL day. It sounds silly but science validates the theory that physical touch strengthens parent-child attachment. Lastly, affirm them. Call out the good you see in your child. Speak truth to their tiny little hearts about how caring, kind, capable and special they are. I can assure you- this is time well spent. Words have a biochemical effect on the body. As parents, our words truly matter. They become our child’s inner voice later on. Think about that for a second. It’s heavy.
I hope these tips were helpful for you. Tell me how you break up your Groundhog Days?