Summer is a wonderful and magical time for the entire family, but the frenzied pace of activities often leads to overtired children and a seemingly never-ending list of chores for parents. In the midst of the fun days when things go as expected or better, there are a handful of off days as well.
We all have them, those hard days, where from the moment you wake up nothing seems to go right. As the day wears on things seem to just get worse, until everything just seems pointless. The kids woke up whining and haven’t stopped since, you haven’t started a single thing on your to-do list and patience isn’t even in your vocabulary anymore by lunchtime.
Before you give up on your day and allow negativity, frustration and dissatisfaction to thrive, try one or all of these simple solutions for resetting a day that’s gone wrong.
1. disconnect | This is simple: close your laptop and put your phone away for a set amount of time (30 minutes, two hours, a whole weekend – whatever you think you and your family may need). If you feel like your kids are doing anything they can to get your attention, it’s probably partly because you’ve been distracted during your interactions with them. Make the choice to be fully present in your day and watch it improve by the minute (to be clear there’s no judgement here, just my own experience – read this brutally honest post I shared on my blog about my own smartphone usage).
2. quality time | Stop everything you are trying to do, the laundry, the dishes, everything, and engage in a few moments with your child. Touch them, listen to them and enjoy their company during those moments and I promise that you will both feel renewed and like something deeply beautiful has been restored in your relationship. Taking even fifteen minutes to get down on your child’s level and play with them can make a world of difference in the tone of the rest of the day and they will likely go on to play independently without complaint as a result.
3. go outside | Put your kids in play clothes and get out of the house. Play in the yard or drive to a park. Lay in the grass and stare up at the clouds, or hunker down and watch ants as they work. Throw rocks into a lake for ten minutes or take off the rest of the day, pack a picnic dinner and go for a hike. No matter what you end up doing, being in nature will make you feel better about your day. “Nothing gives so much and asks so little as the outdoors.”
Pause everything (nothing’s getting done anyway), connect with your child, and feel the difference it makes in your day. Meditate on what’s ultimately important in life and realize that all the mundane tasks you feel pressure to get done can wait. Those dishes will still be there in an hour, an afternoon or even tomorrow, but our children won’t always need us in the way they do now.
The next time you start to feel that overwhelming negativity sabotaging your plans for the day, alter your expectations and embrace what needs to happen instead to reset the day and get things back on track. You’ve got this momma!