Since Teagan joined the ranks of toddlerhood, life has gotten much more interesting. If I’m being honest, life has gotten much more difficult. She wants what she wants, when she wants it. She wants to explore, she wants 5 strawberries not 6, the 6th just pisses her off. She doesn’t have the same sleepy cues and can go from happy to a full on tired meltdown in less time than it takes me to go pee.
She is learning and growing so quickly and I can imagine that is really hard on her. Because of all this, it’s also easy for me to have a bad day. It’s easy for me to be confused and not know how to react. It’s easy for me to lose my patience and throw my hands up in the air. We spend every single second together that our moods have a way of rubbing off on one another. Some days that’s an amazing thing, some days it’s not.
As we are growing and learning together in this new stage in life called toddlerhood I’m also trying to find ways to bounce back quicker. To turn our sour moods into positive ones and get us back on the right track more gracefully. Below are some tips and tricks that I’ve been doing and telling myself.
- Thoughts are Things
I am a firm believer that thoughts are things and what we think is what we manifest. So if I think one little meltdown has ruined our day, it most certainly will ruin the day. Anytime I think a negative thought or say something out loud, I say ‘don’t put that into the universe. I feel like once something is out there, it’s been given life so focusing on not only thinking good things but saying good things has this magical way of making them happen. Our outlook on life is our most powerful asset.
- Go Take a Walk
When Teagan is about to or is losing her cool or I feel myself moving in that direction, I immediately strap her into the stroller and we go for a walk. It’s quite amazing what getting outside and getting some fresh air can do for the soul. I feel both of us relax and realize that things really aren’t all that bad. Don’t forget snacks.
- Accept that Life Can’t Always Be Perfect
Teagan was a pretty amazing baby from birth, we got really lucky and the truth is she’s a pretty amazing toddler but she has her moments as do I. I think because I was spoiled so much by how she was as a baby, seeing her have full on meltdowns as a toddler completely catches me off guard and sometimes it even makes me mad. Sometimes I react poorly; to the point where I am completely ashamed of how I handled a situation. What I am realizing is that it’s totally okay and normal to have hot mess days. My life is presently functioning at several WTF’s per hour and as I come to peace with that I also find that I can bounce back quicker.
- Speak Kindly to your Child
There are moments when I really don’t know what to do in a meltdown, as in I’ve tried everything and she is still screaming in my face. In those moments, I would love nothing more than to just put her in her crib and shut the door because my patience has gone out the window. But that tactic just doesn’t work for us and it will never make me feel good about my mothering. In those moments, while it feels like nothing will help Teagan, what does help me is speaking kindly to her and about her. I tell her I love her so much, that is she smart, kind, beautiful, and funny. I go on to explain why she is each thing and I slowly feel my stress for the situation lifting. And miraculously, it almost always calms her down because she is so curious what I am talking about that she forgets why she was so upset.
- Drink Some Wine
If all else fails, hand her over to dad and drink some wine!
I can’t always be kind, happy and positive. Some days I will be cold and thoughtless because some days are just rougher than others. Some days are cry worthy and that’s okay. I’m not a perfect mom, wife or person but I try to be. I try to keep a handle on my emotions and think positively even in some of the most stressful moments of my life. Every day presents us with new challenges as partners, parents, and as humans but finding those techniques that help you be better equipped to handle them is important. Some days that will be the difference between a bad hour turning into a bad day and a bad day turning into a bad week.
What are some of your techniques for combating a bad day?