Day in and day out it's the same monotonous routine and stream of craziness. Fill the milk cup. Daycare drop off. Snuggles. Wasted food. Angry tantrums. Healing hugs and kisses. Frustrating notes from the teacher.
Parents around the world experience the daily stress of the daily grind. While parenting has its overwhelming joys and full hearts, there is also room for frustration and nostalgia. I remember when my first born arrived and even now with my second, I longed for days without having to worry about who was picking up from daycare, if I could sneak away for a few minutes with some friends for a weekend, or even if I would have to cancel that meeting because a child was sick at school. Gone are the days of impromptu brunches and lunches. And you know what? That is okay. It is also okay to yearn for those free moments.
Being a resilient parent that gets through the daily grind and remains focused and fresh takes alot. ALOT! After reading an article from Mindful.Org, I was inspired to take a moment to note what I do (sometimes) to hang on through the tough days.
1) Wake up early. Yes, you don't want to hear that but it's true. Those few moments in the morning when you can gaze at your sleeping little one and also have some moments to breath can make all the difference in the world. I never liked being startled awake by my son. I enjoy deciding when I wake up as opposed to him.
2) Meal Plan and meal prep every Sunday (or whatever day works for you). This is super ideal if you want some control and less chaos come later afternoon when we all get hungry and are tired of deciding what's for dinner.
3) Ask for HELP. It's okay not to be a martyr. We all know it takes a village to raise our kiddos. Ask for a babysitter, communicate with your husband about what you need, and don't feel guilty about sending them to daycare even if you have a day off. Use that time to catch up on self care or even just cleaning the house!
4) Check in with your thoughts to make sure the they are helpful and accurate. Our thoughts are EVERYTHING and if we are not aware of them then they could be contributing to our exhaustion. Try this quick check in acronym STOP: Stop what you are doing, Take a deep breathe, Observe your thoughts/feelings, and Proceed with compassion (or whatever you need in that moment - patience, humor, new perspective).
5) Move your body. Even if you just have a moment to stretch and touch your toes or simply raise your arms in the air, moving your body can be important and letting go of some of the stress you are holding within your body. You can search the internet for quick stretches or a yoga flow or series of poses for stress relief.
The load that you carry is unending and overwhelming. While you may never balance all of the above, taking a few deep breaths each day to recognize the load you are carrying can be the difference between burn out and patience. We take care of others almost every moment of our day so don't forget the importance of taking care of yourself.