7 Life-Saving Emotional Hacks for Worn-out Moms

“Mom. Mom. Mom?” My five-year-old has somehow turned my name into a nerve-grating curse word. Although I try to smile and respond with patience, my husband will chuckle because he knows…oh man, does he know. Sometimes we just need to hear our name–our real name–and not have a sticky hand patting our shoulder for attention. Sometimes the sibling warfare and 3-ring circus overstimulates us and makes us want to curl in the fetal position with a sign above us that says, “No more questions, please.” We’ve reached our quota of counseling advice, referee plays, and excessive emotional and physical pick ups.

In other words, we want to NOT be needed for just….a half an hour. Twenty minutes would even suffice. And I wonder, how old do my children have to be before their radar shuts off and I can use the toilet or the phone without being interrupted? Still waiting on that one.

So, here’s my list of helps if you need to cope with your children in a healthier, more positive way.*

  1. In the midst of your children’s WWIII, raise your hands toward heaven and drop to your knees, shouting in your best Southern woman accent, “LORD, Jesus, come quickly. Help us, Jesus!” My children are rather used to my charismatic outbursts, but I assure you, on first mention, it will quell the riot and quiet the masses. They will be so shocked, they won’t know how to respond.

  2. If that doesn’t work, tell them to get a piece of paper each and devise a plan of action to compromise and find a solution. The action of working with pen (or crayon) and paper will calm their emotions and pull them out of their animalistic tendencies. They might actually apply what they’ve been coached in several hundred times over and use their brain–the whole brain.

  3. Bake a pie. Eat said pie. One slice at a time, of course. 😉

  4. Go for a walk–without them would be nice, but with them will do too. If they are wound up tight, they probably need some extra exercise. If they complain, as mine often do, play red light/green light and let that green light run a loooonnng time.

  5. Pull out the arts/crafts and give them each a project. If they feel uninspired but remain competitive, tell them it’s a contest and give them qualifying standards. Give extra points for “good attitude.” If you aren’t “craftsy” get out Play-doh.

  6. Use your evenings (or early mornings, if you are that kinda momma) to nurture yourself–do NOT use the time to catch up on work. I forbid it. Read, write, paint, sew, bake, hike, or just color.

  7. If all else fails, put on Veggie Tales for them and put yourself in time out in the bedroom, keeping the door cracked to make sure they don’t escape. Lay flat on the floor and take deep relaxing breaths.

And remember this, precious mom: this season is shorter than you realize.

*As you hopefully noticed, this list is not an extensive guide in dealing with troubled emotions, disorders, or serious issues. My goal was to make you laugh and regain some lighter perspective. I recognize that sometimes we need extra help and guidance. Rest assured, momma, you aren’t alone. Keep praying, keep loving, keep seeking, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 

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