Ever have a day where you’ve yelled so much your back hurts? I had the worst day yesterday. My kids fought everytime they were in arms reach of each other. Our basement flooded, and our cat’s litterbox was floating in the water. It was a shit show of a day, literally.
The biggest struggle I had was keeping my cool. It’s easy to yell at your kids when one of them has the other in a headlock. I tried so hard to talk instead of scream. Unfortunately, I had a few moments where I felt like a monster mom.
My kids don’t respond to yelling. They don’t usually stop what they are doing. They either cry and keep doing it, or run away and laugh. It’s a hell of a combo, but sometimes it all plays out in a big scene. I do spank my kids, but typically only if they are doing something dangerous. I think talking is the best route though. As minimal as it sounds, it’s the most effective in our house.
If you take my kids by the hand, especially my son, and get him to make eye contact while you’re explaining what you need to, he listens. It can get exhausting trying to break the situations down for a 3 year old. Teaching a toddler between right and wrong isn’t always easy.
Some days you just need to yell. It’s hard though, because I don’t want to make my kids feel bad for my stress. I don’t want them to feel like they are the reason for my bad days. The little fights and whining aren’t the main reason my day was off. It just added to an already heated day.
When I feel rough or angry, I try to find easy solutions to not scream and flip my lid. I do what I can to work through those monster mom moments, because we experience hard times. I made a list of some of my favorite cool down techniques or distractions that smooth the situation.
Fix Fighting Kids- Once I pull my wrestling toddlers apart, I sit them on each side of me. I ask what they want to do together. They usually want to build blocks or make a race track. I try to find a toy or game with more than enough pieces to share.
If toys still aren’t working, I have them help me make a fun snack. I give them their own plates or little fruit gummies or something light. They each eat in their own area and take some needed time apart.
Distract Bored Babies- Sometimes, no amount of toys of fruit can make my kids happy. When they get bored, they get grumpy. If I’m rushing around cleaning but notice my kids need a distraction while I’m busy, I break out the crayons. I set up a coloring station in the middle of whatever room I am cleaning. I can see that my walls are not scribbled on and they have some quiet (ish) fun.
If coloring gets boring too, I pause what I’m doing and propose tub time. They each grab a toy and the bathroom becomes a play place. I use a little lavender bubble bath and it helps them relax while they still have fun.
Movies for Whining- If the kids are having an off day and we are all whining, I say screw the chores. I find a few movies we can all agree on (for the most part), and we have a movie marathon day. Usually, we whine when we don’t feel the best, so we get some much needed rest and time together.
Mommy Moment Needed- If I need to get my frustrations out and piles of toys or bubbles aren’t going to help, I make sure the kids have a safe area to play in while I take a breather in the kitchen. My house is fairly open, so it’s fairly easy for me to still have sight of them. I usually have a cup of coffee and just breathe. Sometimes a scroll through Pinterest gets my head back in the game.
Workout and Work It Out- When I feel off, working out can help. It makes me feel confident and like I can handle everything. The kids like to roll around and do some yoga too. It usually helps us all get along and destress at the same time.
These things don’t always work, because sometimes a bad day is just a bad day.