I’m so excited to share with you my dear friend Katelynn from Hampers and Hiccups today! As a mother of two she has had her fair share of tough parenting days. I’ve invited her here to share her secrets to surviving those rough days. I hope you enjoy!
Parenting is hard. It’s no joke. I didn’t think so at first. As a know-it-all first time mom, I was efficient and effective. I was able to do all the things I did before, just maybe a bit slower. Then I had Pip and was slapped in the face with a wake-up call. I had to do some major self-improvement and learn how to get through the tough parenting days.
Having kids can be stressful on any given day. Our kids are 17 months apart. Something we planned and prayed for since Sweet Girl was born. Everything I read said it’s going to be hard. I shrugged it off. How hard could it be? Our first was the easiest baby ever, so that’s all the experience I had.
Boy was I wrong. Pip was a challenge, to say the least. I never really understood the phrase “I was pulling my hair out” until I was alone with my two kids. Let me tell you, it’s not hyperbole!
Between tandem teething, potty training, and feeding demands parenting is serious business. Most days are great. However, some are hell and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
After days and days of being everyone’s entire world, you need a refresh. It gets hella draining! I’ll be the first to say it. Knowing you are the one to keep these humans alive is terrifying. Cut yourself some slack.
If I get through the day without calling my husband home I call that a win. Here’s my tips for how to get through the tough parenting days.
Take your time
When the baby is crying and the toddler is whining, it can be really hard to remember to calm down and breathe before you lash out at someone. I try to block out the crazy and focus on what I’m doing. Once I can get to the root of the problem, I do. By that time I’m ready to be a present and positive parent.
It goes along with letting the little things go. I find when I’m uptight and stressed I freak out about every little thing. The hurt and confused look on my daughter’s little face is the only reminder I need to cut her some slack and be a better mama.
If things have gone too far and the situation is out of control put your children in a safe place and go somewhere (on the premises) where you can’t hear them. Take some breaths and remind yourself that they’re just learning and need you to show them how to react. After a few minutes you’ll be ready to tackle the issue and give your children the love they need and deserve.
Usually when kids act out it’s because they need something. Often it’s love and attention. When my kids start going all-out crazy I realize it’s time to sit back and evaluate the situation.
- Are they in pain – Always consider this first and address it appropriately.
- Am I ignoring them – Honestly, this is the one I struggle with. I try to get SO much done in a day that I forget to just spend quality time with my kids. Pip is young enough that he doesn’t mind as much, but Sweet Girl is an absolute terror when she hasn’t received enough Mama time.
- Have we been out of routine – I cannot stress how important routine is for kids. We use the Baby Whisperer method and would not change a thing. If you’re looking for more info, I have a whole series dedicated to it. Here’s the link for the basic routine, along with printable guidelines for each stage.
- Are they bored – Daily activities, stimulating environments, and toys are key to keeping your kids brains active. Plunking them in front of a TV is not considered either of these.
- Do we need to take the day off – Sometimes it’s just a matter of doing nothing all day. We read books, snuggle on the couch, and play whatever she wants to play.
- Have we been cooped up for too long – Get outside! Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Try to do this every day when the weather is decent. Go to an outdoor or indoor playground, visit with friends, or take them to the grocery store. Change of scenery is great for kids.
Call in reinforcements
It happens rarely now, but there are days when I end up caving and calling my husband to leave work to help me. Those days are particularly scary to me. I feel like a failure and an imposter at the same time. It’s something I’m working on, but the main thing is that I’m able to recognize I need help.
Having an extra set of hands or someone there to give you a total break is necessary once in a while. Don’t take advantage of it, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Figure out why you got to that desperate point and try to fix those triggers in the future.
When you’re having a particularly rough day, do some internet searching or keep a motivational quote around. You’re not alone. Nearly every parent has gone through a tough day and will be happy to talk to you about yours.
Remember that, by realizing you’re struggling, you’re doing the absolute best for your babies and care about them more than anything else in the world.
You got this, Mama.
What is your go-to tactic when you’re ready to pull your hair out?
Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!
I’m Katelynn, an (almost) 27 year old stay-at-home-mama to 2 precious miracles – Sweet Girl (20 months) + Pip (3 months), as well as our fur baby – a Blue Heeler x Great Pyrenese, Silver. I’m married to my best friend & love of my life (how cliché, right?). Together, we live on a very special yard, close to the family farm and my husband’s home “town” of about 25 people. We’re part of that community, as well as the one I grew up in (300 people), about 10 miles from home. I enjoy a simpler way of life – getting back to nature, reusing + recycling, gardening + preserving. My hobbies are sewing, dirtbiking, reading, spending time at the lake cabin, hunting and watching my kids learn and grow.