Tag Archives: family

Three Ways to Hit “Reset” on a Bad Day

mommiedearest reset a bad dayIt’s 10am and your day is not improving. You woke up to last night’s dishes in the sink (don’t you have an agreement that when one of you cooks, the other one cleans?). The kids are whiny and hangry and your partner hasn’t texted you back about that Really Important Thing you texted about three hours ago. You feel frustrated, alone, and ready to scream Mommie Dearest-style that you’ll cut the next person who has the nerve to ask you for something.

Slow down, mama. You don’t have to lose your cool. You can reset this day to move on to happier things AND model for your kids how to deal with stress and disappointment in a healthy and productive way. Win-win!

Here are three of my favorite ways to hit Reset on a bad day:

1. Get outside and into the sunlight. This is a great reset for stressed-out mamas and cooped-up kids alike. Getting into the sun for a little walk gives you crucial Vitamin D, raises your happiness hormones, improves immune system function, and reminds you that you are part of the living world and not just dusty furniture in your living room Island of Isolation. When everything else fails, get outside.

2. Sing out. Instead of yelling at your kids, say it with song. Try a silly operatic trill, or belt out a soulful blues number. “So-faaaaaaaaas! are for booooooooootaaaaaaaaays,” I will sing to my kids in my best R&B diva voice when I’ve asked too many times for the monkeys to stop jumping and I feel my yell coming on. Singing to them this way confuses them into stopping what they are doing (jumping on my couch like wild people), and it signals my brain that we’re not in a crisis situation that will only be solved if I commence screaming in 5-4-3… (My brain was raised by parents who screamed. Left to its own devices it would make some silly, misguided decisions sometimes.)

And if you’ve already started yelling and the day is looking grim, it’s time to call in the big guns:

3. Paging Captain Do-over! This is a code word my kids and I use when things have gotten out of hand, voices and words are unkind, and we need to get back to the present moment and remember that we actually like each other. “Captain Do-over!” we yell and almost immediately we stop grouching and fall into a hug. It takes a couple of seconds to feel that calm, safe, feeling of oxytocin flooding our system (mmmm, sweet bonding hormone we get from hugging and smelling kid heads)  and then we can start the process of repair. For the yelling mama, this is a great time to apologize and start over. I’ll say, “I’m sorry I spoke so rudely to you. I was feeling stressed out. What I meant to say was that sofas are for booties and I’d like you to sit quietly and read for a few minutes. Will you please do that? And then we can go outside and run around and get our energy out? Great! I love you. I’m sorry I yelled. You are so special to me.”

They will often start bouncing again, or doing some other annoying thing until we get dressed and out the door to get some sun and start our day. But at least we have all calmed down and I’ve taken responsibility for stopping the bad day before it gets too out of hand. When things are calm and the mood is good, I’m better able to deal with the little stresses: the whining kids, the non-responsive husband, the pile of dishes. They still annoy me but they don’t have to hijack my day– or my kids’.

Want more support dealing with the stress and isolation of motherhood? Get in touch, mama!

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

 

A Hot Pot of Miso Soup

My family is sick: the husband with a sore throat, the baby with the start of a sniffle, and the kid with a glorious case of Overdoing-Just-Need-to-Stay-Home. I feel like a jersey cow for an insatiable nursling and a nursemaid with hot tea and sympathy for everyone else.

I had expected a fun holiday weekend! There were barbecues to attend and beaches to sloth on. The kiddos’ need for comfort and my husband’s need for space begin to push my buttons and soon the inner martyr in me starts up inside my head: SHE never gets to rest when I’m sick. SHE never sleeps in. SHE never gets comfort when her throat hurts.

I take a deep breath and choose, today, to not complain at my annoying family. Tweet this

…this annoying family that I love with every part of my being but who know better than anyone exactly where I keep my goat. 1-Mississippi-2 Mississipi-3, and I remember the hot Cold Care tea my husband made me two nights ago when I was feeling run-down. 4-Mississippi-5-Mississippi-6 I remember the extra sleep I got while he took the baby for endless bounces around the living room and I rested with a lavender sachet on my eyes and a Yoga Nidra meditation coming in through my earphones.

7-Mississippi-8 Mississippi-9…

Tweet: It turns out my inner martyr is being a bit of a bitch.

I take a few more breaths and pad into the kitchen to make my peace offering. My inner martyr keeps quiet while we eat miso soup together. It’s salty and warm and it’s good for what ails us.

I want to take beautiful pictures for you but this is what my life- and my soup- actually looks like.

(I want to take beautiful pictures for you but this is what my life- and my soup- actually looks like.)

 

Want to make miso soup? Continue reading

A Midnight Craving

thanks to Flickr user weelakeo for this image

thanks to Flickr user weelakeo for this image

The ice cream is in the freezer.

I hear its sweet song, creamy and cold, calling from the kitchen below. It’s after 11pm and I know that I need to be asleep an hour ago if I want to function at all tomorrow and still wake up for my 5:30am spin class.

I’m trapped between a softly snoring baby and my six-year-old, who fell asleep somewhere around chapter 8, where Harry and Ron Weasly visit Hagrid for tea and rock cakes.

My husband is two spots over, next to the six-year-old. He smiles at me over the Sunday crossword we’ve been inching through together. He’s very tall and he’s maddeningly thin despite his very sporadic exercise habits.

I know very well that thinner does not equal healthier by default. tweet this

But it’s hard not to be jealous when I compare my slightly doughy mamma curves to the sharp way his Don Draper suits hang off his angular frame just by virtue of genetic good fortune.

Eventually he gets his tall, thin self out of bed for a glass of water.  The baby is a night-nurser and while I’m typically hungry all day, I’m ravenous after 9pm. So as he leaves I whisper I’d be ever so if he’d bring me a little snick-snack.  Nice fellow, he obliges, returning a few minutes later with the good, raw milk steaming in its blue cup. With it, a handful of almonds.

If I stayed awake there is no doubt I’d be hitting that ice cream. But I’m trapped and it’s late so I eat the almonds and I drink the milk and I listen to my kids breathing softly. Right now I’m glad of my body’s roundedness. It makes a soft landing for her little head and his gangly Kindergarten leg, its knobby knee jutting into the curve of my mamma hip.

They breathe and I breathe and it’s enough. Right now, it’s enough. I go to sleep.

 

 

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who offers real-world wellness coaching  for people who want to beat the blues and build self-esteem using nutrition and holistic lifestyle methods. She also offers skincare from the inside out consultation for anyone who is tired of the beauty hype and is ready to have vibrant health and glowing skin.  She works online and by phone. Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, home-schools secularly, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and nurses on demand in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more about her here.