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Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

The Cure for Mommy Meltdowns

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My day started at 5am. My son tossed and turned in our bed. As much as I tried to coax him back to sleep, he instead sat straight up and started climbing over the headboard.

While my husband eased himself out of slumber, I stumbled out of bed with my son and took him into our home office. He was happy on my lap as I checked emails and such.

Then, he started playing with the organizer on my desk that houses all of my office supplies – twenty-two little drawers that he likes to pull in and out.

He pulled one drawer a little too hard and the entire organizer came with it, crashing off my desk – all of the accoutrements spilled out onto the floor. Paper clips littered the carpet along with pens, expo markers and push pins.

But wait... then he decided he wanted to play in it.

After many stern, “NO!”‘s from me and many loud yells of disapproval from him, I finally got the organizer back together and on my desk, far away from the edge.

So he crawled into his sister’s bedroom to wake her up. As they were both playing, I lay on the floor, stared up at the ceiling, and enjoyed a brief moment of repose.

My daughter then announced my son was "tooting." She leaned over to sniff him. Then, she gagged dramatically and left the room. From outside the door, she ordered me to change his diaper. She couldn't come back in because the room smelled too “repulsive” (Thank you, Fancy Nancy).

I wish I could say that this was one of those times where I felt so downtrodden and then all I did was look at my sweet child’s face and knew that everything I did as a mom was worth it.

But, no.

I looked at his face. His cheek was smeared with boogers and he was pooping in the corner.

Times like these, when I can feel an impending mommy meltdown, there are a few things I do to keep myself sane:

1. Keep telling myself repeatedly that my husband would be going crazy at this moment, too. Sometimes, I feel like he has miraculous Daddy skills. He comes home with energy to play with our kids when all I want to do is sit down with a glass of wine.

Truth be told, he’s been around adults all day so this is a change for him. I

f he was home, all the little moments of insanity would overwhelm him at 6pm every day too. (He confirms this – “you have no down time and They. Are. INSANE”)

2. Change the scenery. Sometimes my kids are driving me crazy because they are bored. Simply getting out of the house works wonders on every ones mood. I may do one of these Summer Sanity Savers or simply run an errand with them in tow.

3. Find a way to get some time to myself. I don’t know if this applies to every child, but my kids love crackers. I can sit them down at our kitchen table with a handful of crackers a piece and they are happy for 10-20 minutes at least. Sometimes that’s all the time I need.

4. Read some funny parenting blogs. For a quick mood reversal, it’s always nice to read that other people have challenging children as well. Megan’s stories always make me laugh, especially the poop story and how she potty trains her middle child. Pecked to Death by Chickens is worth a read as well as Mommy: Life After PhD. J enn Rian also makes me smile.

5. A lovely glass of wine. I don’t use this option until after 5pm. However, some days make me want to drink at noon.

And what can't be fixed by wine? Seriously.

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