Written by: Mandi Mitchell
Okay, okay. This post has nothing to do with mustaches or silly pictures. But I do have a question. How do you handle the day to day stress of staying at home with 2 kids and a baby?
Now having one kid is hard enough but three is a circus. Every day you’re thrown into an entirely different circumstance without being able to prepare. And to add that on top of everyday stresses like, money, paying bills, household chores, trying to stay on track with a fitness routine; life can start to feel like one giant pain in the ass.
Today I woke up and it was like every other day: Get the baby’s bottle ready, feed him, burp him, change him, wake my other boys up, get them dressed and make them breakfast, let the dog out and feed him. I had accomplished all of this by 9 a.m and was damn proud.
So, after all the occupants of the household were fed and taken care of, the dishwasher was loaded and the laundry was in the washing machine, I thought it would be a good idea to sit down with Aiden and Carson to play Monopoly. Can’t go wrong with some family game time right?
I put my cup of coffee and iPhone down next to the set-up game board and told the boys to give me two minutes. I needed to lay down their baby brother and put Atlas, our shepherd, in his room. It was while walking downstairs with Atlas, I heard, “Why did you do that?! You made me spill coffee all over the game and moms phone!”
So, instead of calmly reacting to the situation, I had a slip-up and I probably did the worst thing possible. I yelled. Ran upstairs and almost went full blown Mommy Dearest. The phone I got less than 4 months ago and can hardly afford, was on my table taking a lukewarm bath in liquid gold. As I picked up my phone, all I could think of was, ‘I guess I shouldn’t have skimped on insurance to save an extra $4.00 a month.’
Of course I had my adult temper tantrum and as my sons apologized I could only ask, ‘Do you know how much things cost? Do you realize how much money I still need to pay on this thing?! Money doesn’t grow on trees!’ Yes, cliche, I know.
Truth is, they don’t know how much my phone cost, or the value of the precious caffeinated beverage they spilled, or the amount of money it cost for the custom farmhouse table where this all took place. They don’t understand how much work is involved just in earning the almighty dollar. They’re kids. And quite honestly, it’s my own damn fault. I should know better than to leave my phone or any liquids unattended near my kids. I can rationally reason with this now but an hour ago you would have thought the Hulk was in my dining room.
So, how do you handle stress to keep you from turning (time to time) into a green monster who seems to be having a fit of ‘roid rage?
I am apparently not an expert on handling stress nor do I claim to be BUT some things that keep me from exploding: Remove yourself from the situation. Give yourself some time to try to calm down. Throw the negative attitude out the window. Put things into perspective. Is it really the end of the world if the phone is broke? I have my kids, they’re healthy, a roof over my head, food on the table. The phone really isn’t that important.
Now, when I was done acting the way I tell my kids not to, I cleaned my phone, put in a bowl of rice and talked to them and we’re all fine now, back to what I consider normal. (Naked Ultimate Frisbee Marine Cowboy) Normal.
We all have different ways of dealing with stress. There is no “cookie cutter” solution. Experiment and see what works for you. Whether it’s writing, or reading, or meditating, do it. Bottling this crap in on a daily basis without expelling it will only lead to a massive explosion (i.e. my morning).
I don’t know if anyone else experiences the same things, or if they ever react the same way I do. Hell, I’m sure there are a million Mary Poppins out there and have the whole parenting thing nailed. Not me, I’m still learning. What I do know, though, words spoken can’t ever be taken back. Your reaction and the word vomit that spews out of your mouth whilst you are yelling is capable of more than you know.
I’m obviously not an expert, I have my mishaps every so often, like today. I think the best thing we can do as parents, is to take a deep breath, exchange attitude with gratitude and try to remember they’re only little for a short time.
Photo Source: The adorable boys in this article are Mandi’s!