Teagan's Sandbox

Life

Combating Bad Days with A Toddler

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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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?

    20 COMMENTS

  • Neva Yinger August 15, 2017 Reply

    Actually I’m not a parent, but I checked this post out because my sister and I periodically babysit some toddlers and we need all the help we can get with keeping them in hand! Especially when you’re not mom or dad it can be impossible to get a toddler to go along with the plan. This seems like great advice for my sister and me as well (sans the wine, I feel like a parent would not be thrilled to come home and find their babysitter drinking, haha).

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      Haha yeah maybe skip the wine while babysitting. Thanks for reading, I hope some of the tips help you and your sister out. Definitely takes a whole lot of patience no matter what! 🙂

  • Jennifer August 15, 2017 Reply

    It’s it amazing the changes that so quickly take place. Little Miss is rounding up to three and some of this stuff is slowly subsiding. Great tips!

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      That’s encouraging to hear. It’s always hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are in the thick of it! Thanks for reading!

  • Rachael M August 15, 2017 Reply

    Great reminders for those crazy days!! It can be so hard handling tantrums with grace in the moment!

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      SO HARD! Sometimes I feel myself losing it and just look into those little eyes and remember she is watching my every move and we are shaping how they handle situations too! Thanks for reading!

  • Tabitha August 15, 2017 Reply

    I can soo relate and i like that you listed a few different ways to tip the scales of crazy back because sometimes my children make me want to pull my hair out

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      You and me both; not sure how I’m not bald yet haha! Thanks for reading!

  • Kinshoo August 15, 2017 Reply

    The FIRST POINT.. so true. I have been reading this book called The Secret and trying to follow. Outdoors do wonders. Perfectly put up points.

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      Thank you so much for reading!

  • Renee S August 15, 2017 Reply

    Usually I can separate myself from my son for a moment by going to the bathroom and am able to calm down within that period.

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      That’s good advice. If you are able to take 5 minutes to yourself to breathe and regroup I think that’s a great way to go! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • natalie Vallejo August 15, 2017 Reply

    This post is so spot on, Everything you practice.. I do too! I can relate so much! Thanks for sharing.

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for reading Natalie!

  • Jess August 15, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your tips and advice. I particularly like … wine!

    I get the thing about your moods bouncing off of each other, I felt this from day one with my littlest one – it was overwhelming. She has hit a new epicness in tantrums/communicating upset and frustrating – i would love to know what goes on in her head sometimes. She can scream/ shout growl when something has clearly made her mad and it’s frustrating because i know she can articulate really well. The routine has been awol for a while now and I think getting that back might help her, we’e just had a mini holiday so late nights and early mornings have most likely taken their toll, i also wonder if our less than usual family dynamic effects and frustrates her on a subconscious level. Given all of this i try not to brush her behaviour off or label it as naughty. It can be testing especially when I’m tired but my methods most recently has been reacting to it less. Certainly not immediately giving her own way as soon as the erruption happens but actually if we are at home – letting her get it out of her system. If she is refusing to do something like clean her teeth etc in tantrum mode then I’m more firm but with other things i try to quietly remind her that i cannot help her if she keeps shouting and she needs to use her words & speak nicely. I often worry and have been told that i am too soft. I am determined however to overcome as much of this behavior phase as possible with love and an attempt at understanding. (I do give her consequences of tantrum occassionally too, so am trying to set clear boundaries within reason) . Apologies for a super long rambling comment!. What works for me will not work for millions of other people and one of the biggest surprises I’ve had as a parent is how much I just muddle through and learn as I go. (All the things I previously thought I would or wouldn’t do are entirely different in practice)

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      I think your method of a different approach based on the situation is really great. Sometimes talking to them calmly works and sometimes we have to talk like we mean business. Parenting is so hard and it’s interesting how quickly they change and react differently to our approaches as they grow. I think we are all running around with our heads cut off most of the time just winging it as we go haha! I hope your little one takes it easy on you this week! Thanks for reading!

  • Laura August 15, 2017 Reply

    I do not yet have a toddler, my son is only four months old, but I think these are fantastic pieces of advice for both dealing with toddlers and just life in general! If we were all a little more kind, a little more patient, a little more forgiving (of ourselves and everyone else) and drank a little more wine, the world would be a better place.

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      Amen to all of that!! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Shannon Adams August 15, 2017 Reply

    I loved this post. Especially the part about sending negativity out into the universe. It’s totally true. Thanks for reminding me. I’ve had a rough time with the kids lately (though mine are no longer toddlers) and I’ve been pretty cranky. Taking a walk is awesome advice. I started hiking a few years back and it is the best thing I could’ve ever done for myself.

    • jennw076 August 15, 2017 Reply

      It’s so true…negative thoughts can really be all consuming. It’s amazing how much better we feel when we can step back and realize things really aren’t that bad in the bigger picture. That’s awesome that hiking has been so great for you. My parents are big hikers and they always say it’s so good for the soul!! Thanks for reading!

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