What do you do when you’re in a funk and there’s no one to relieve you from mommy duty? Here are my top tips for how to beat a bad mood & get back to being a happy mom.
Some days, I just don’t want to be the mom anymore. Whether it’s that I didn’t get enough sleep, have something stressing me out, or am just overwhelmed by all the demands of motherhood, sometimes I just want to hide in my room with something yummy to eat and a good book, and let the rest of the world melt away.
But, that’s not going to happen…at least not until Daddy gets home. Because we all know what happens when you leave a one-year-old and a three-year-old to their own devices. I read a funny meme the other day that said, “silence is golden. Unless children are involved–then silence is just suspicious.
So what do you do when you’re in a funk and there’s no one to relieve you from mommy duty? Here are my top tips.
How to beat a bad mood & get back to being a happy mom.
Turn up the music
Music is a huge mood booster for me. Sometimes this means putting on James Taylor in the background because I just need to mellow out a bit. Sometimes it means playing music to motivate me while I clean during nap time. Sometimes it means cranking up Disney tunes and having a dance party with my boys. So often, even when I’m exhausted and just want to flop on the couch, if I get myself up and dance to some music, I feel better. Music really speaks to my soul, and it has the power to affect my mood.
Get out of the house
I may be a stay at home mom, but I CANNOT stay home for too long, or I get really grouchy. We usually have at least one outing a day. It might be running errands, going to the park, visiting a museum, or just going on a walk. Be careful about going shopping just to get out of the house though. I did that way too much when Little Man was a baby and I ended up regretting the wasted time and money. Look for more meaningful outings instead.
Now that the weather is good, my mood has been so much better, and I’m convinced it’s due in large part to the fact that it’s so much easier to go out and do fun things without spending money (that and the fact that this California girl has still never developed a love of snowy Utah winters).
Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I’m grouchy is to get on the floor and play with my kids. I just want some space and some “me” time. Still, I’ve found that if I put away my phone for a while, and give them my full attention, I feel better about myself as a person and as a mom, and I usually end up with some funny stories from playing random games with them.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to play whatever your child wants to do all day with no thought for your own interests. One thing I’ve been trying to teach Little Man lately is that when you play with other people (Mom included) you have to find something that both people want to play. I don’t love running around playing T-Rex chase all the time (although I’ll do it for a few minutes to make him happy), but I enjoy playing games, reading books, cooking together, playing trains, coloring, and a bunch of other activities. Pick something that you and your child(ren) enjoy doing, and really be present while you play.
Allow yourself a break
I’m careful about how much screen time I let my kids have, but I am definitely a supporter of giving everyone a little down-time after a busy morning or afternoon of productive play. It’s part of what enables me to be more present with them during other times…because I know I have scheduled in some time for me to do something for myself, too.
You don’t have to use TV as your babysitter either (although I unashamedly sometimes do). There are tons of ideas for busy bags on Pinterest, or sometimes those bad mood days are when I break out the cloud dough. I give my boys an activity to do that I know they will be happy to do independently for a little while while I monitor them and read a book, or write a blog post, or whatever. I don’t feel guilty taking a break when I know I’ve given them some good quality “mommy time” earlier.
Call and talk to someone (and NOT just about the kids)
I have weekly phone dates with my sister who has two-year-old twins. While our kids sleep, and while I sweep and mop the floor, we catch up and get our “adult conversation fix.” Knowing that I have this to look forward to makes those days so much better.
We realized though, a few weeks after we started doing this, that our conversations were often dominated by talking about our kids, and we need a break from them. So now, we spend 5 minutes or so catching each other up on the funny and/or frustrating things our kids have done, and then we talk about something else. Anything else. We talk about hobbies, books, church, travel plans…whatever. She tells me about her voice-over work, and I use her as my sounding board for all things blogging. In fact, it was in one of those conversations that she helped me come up with the name of my blog! Having someone over the age of three to talk to for short periods during the day has made a huge difference.
These tips don’t always turn my mood around instantly, but they certainly help me to get through the four o’clock slump when I start counting down until Daddy gets home. As I do these things, I have a lot more fun with my crazy boys, and I find more joy in motherhood.
What do you do to beat a bad mood?
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