Sometimes it feels like you’re up to your eyeballs swimming in stress, treading water in sludge you just can’t push past and you’re tired, so tired.
Sometimes we need to sit down and have a heart to heart.
One word describes how I’ve been feeling lately.
It expands like a balloon and fills the room until it pops and I’m startled, tense, and shaken up.
And that’s when the emotions build and the edge begins and the little things that don’t usually matter, do. And I can’t shrug it off, even though I want to. You know…when your kiddos have spilled all the toys you just spent 15 minutes putting away.
I’m stuck with my emotions.
Alone with two toddlers.
Who both want to play the piano with me, but not with each other. Then one wants to play the piano. The other wants to read a book. I can’t do both. I can’t please everyone. And the tantrums ensue.
And no one wins. Myself included.
But I can’t just put on candles and take a bath, go for a walk in 15 degree weather, knit or read to distract myself, or call a friend. These ways to destress don’t work in the moment with two toddlers.
And the tv seems tempting.
And I don’t want to feel this way.
But I do.
So how do you cope with these emotions in the moment with your kids?
Let’s start with: What would you say to your kids? How would you help them in the moment? Maybe what works for them can work for us…
- You’d ask them what’s going on. So tell them how you feel. Tell them you need a minute. This often makes a difference for my kids, especially the older one. They have strong feelings too. They get it.
- You’d understand and acknowledge how they feel. Why don’t we do this for ourselves? Give yourself some positive self talk. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. This is just a moment. It’ll pass. It’ll get better. Whatever you need to hear. Tell yourself.
- Model calming yourself down with them. One time I took the kids and I to the calm down spot and modeled for them how to use it to calm down. My son turned on the lullaby music and patted my back. So cute. It took less than five minutes and it was just what I needed to regroup.
- Deep breathing works for some. Focusing your attention on something for a minute while you let the thoughts pass by could work. Each time you find your mind drift bring your attention back to your focus point. This helps with those nagging negative thoughts you don’t want to hang on to. Not so sure it’ll work with two screaming kids, but after it could!
- Do something silly or have a stop look and listen word (ours is pineapple) if you’re feeling emotions bubble over. A dance party, stand on one leg, etc. You get the idea.
May you find the calm you need.