As a personal challenge, I have decided to embark on a 31-day challenge to lower my stress level, and make staying at home not so overwhelming. Each day, I will focus on one area of my life that can be cleaned up or addressed to help make my life just a teensy bit easier – and less stressful.
I have to admit, I am not the most patient person. Most people who know me know that I am a bit impatient. I don’t have that gene that allows things to roll off my back. I am not a duck – I am a complex, Type-A mom that has things to do and never enough time to do them. And I let my impatience get the best of me.
But I am trying a new tactic.
I am trying to pretend I am patient. I try not to let the kids see me sweat. I hum and talk softly when one child is crying hysterically and the other is throwing a tantrum because Daniel Tiger is on instead of Super Why. I don’t raise my voice – even though I feel like screaming.
It doesn’t always work. I lose my cool. I need to walk out of the room sometimes. Sometimes my voice gets into angry mommy territory. But I try.
And sometimes it does work. It is almost laughable that I am talking patiently to an almost one year old that is crying and simultaneously trying to throw everything off his changing table – with force. But the contrast between my calm and the tornado around me actually has a calming influence. I feel calmer because I am not part of the chaos.
It is a daily battle to keep your feelings in check. When you just want them to go to bed (to their room, to somewhere that is not your left foot, etc.) and it just isn’t happening. But the great thing is – if you don’t get chaotic and just keep even keel – eventually they go to bed and you are not in a tizzy. You can now enjoy your evening (or snack, or three feet of space) in calm instead a seething ball of stress.
So try, just for today, to not get sucked in. To fake being calm. Until you actually start to calm down and not feel like some version of the Joker, smiling through gritted teeth. It works, I promise.
Ready to join in? Here is the series to date!
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