My Dad certainly did not coin the term; he made sure I knew about it: if one person calls you a horse, blow them off. If two people call you a horse, look in the mirror. If three people call you a horse, buy a saddle. I like to feel like I can identify with being a good parent. Everyone can relate to those moments when you want to fall to the floor and scream, “I can’t do this anymore!”
Other days my children identify with me being a horse (let’s leave it there) and vice versa.
Similarly, most people get a second job when faced with losing everything, not when they want to get a pool. Denial, repetition, and comfort set in.
Does it make us bad parents or that dog lying whimpering on the porch because he is not uncomfortable enough to move off the nail he’s laying on?
Naturally, tears of frustration are enough to motivate the busiest of us to stop and take notice. Even children will stop when a parent is brought to tears. We all have our limits.
I’m not talking about those tantrums, but those soul hurting streams of pain that tell you somehow you’ve gone too far. Everyone knows the difference between a kick and someone stumbling over you.
Some days this type of situation will be on top of you despite the best of planning. Life gets CRAZY, blood sugar levels drop, something is going on at school you didn’t know about, etc.
Give yourself some forgiveness.
It has been said the definition of crazy is expecting different results when doing the same thing.
Singing to myself: ’cause when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving.
So, what do you say to that guy when you get up and clean the same house, of the same mess, caused by the same people, every. damn. day. Picking up the same toy on the way to the same room three days in a row. Tick. Tock. Boom.
To make matters worse, they all look at you like you’ve lost your mind when you finally start yelling because, you think no one can hear you.
Try on you don’t have to stop being yourself to disagree.
Try to take a stand and stop picking up. That house is coming down around you. For the older generations, we know exactly what the premise of the Groundhog Day movie is. For everyone else, in summary: a man wakes up in the same day and lives it over and over again. Waiting, hoping, to wake up in a new day.
Ugh, until finally, it hits….I can’t do this anymore!
He does something different.
This can sum up the basics of parenting. Fight the mom (and dad) -guilt. Avoid living in a never ending loop of feeling like you can’t do this anymore, like a hamster caught in its own wheel.
Here are four tips to wake up in a new day:
1. Identify WHEN are you tired?
New moms will need to be very specific here. More than likely you are only able to wake up from the pure excitement of having a new person in your home even though you can’t feel your legs moving under you; the baby needs food.
This might look like fatigue at 11 a.m. because of midnight (and 4 a.m.) feedings. Veterans might be worried about their windows being open because they’re screaming their fool heads off at 3:30 p.m. when their kids coming running in off the bus like Tasmanian devils.
2. Get into the WHY… can’t I do this anymore?
As the example above illustrates, it could be nightly feedings. For moms of older children, it could be caused by low blood sugar. I know my mommies grabbing a glass of wine to drink in a moment of peace.
3. Is your solution TEMPORARY or PERMANENT?
Your toddler keeps getting under the kitchen sink where you store cleaning supplies. Maybe she unloads the pans while you are cooking dinner. This could quickly become a groundhog day experience and requires a permanent solution. Think child cabinet locks and a toddlers dinner time activity.
If your kids are eating you out of house and home that is going to require a no-bake high fiber energy snack (me and my kids love these and most of the ingredients are probably already in your house) unless you want them to mow through a week’s worth of fruit snacks in one sitting. Always when you are not looking. I would consider this a temporary solution because kids only eat more and more.
Maybe they won’t stop fighting on the way to the car after school, so you have to make a transfer change to bus rider. Also permanent.
4. SCHEDULE a solution.
This step keeps you on task and helps to break down the steps for bite size pieces. This would look like, assessing how many cabinets need locks on Monday, buying locks on Wednesday and installing them on Saturday.
For our snack problem, are the choices high in fiber and end endless eating? Time for snack inventory. You could then research recipes the day before picking up groceries, and so on.
By determining the time of day you feel the most frustration or fatigued, you are able to identify what lead up to this condition you have found yourself in (the why).
Figuring out the life of your potential fatigue will help you brainstorm solutions. Scheduling will help you implement your plan. It can also make having a conversation with a person who can help easier.
For example, “Honey, I’ve found three cabinets that need to be locked this week and bought locks. Do you think you could install them this weekend or give me a time that works better?” or “can you keep an eye on the kids while I do it.”
These four steps can move you from I can’t do this anymore to: this is manageable. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by your life check out How Am I Going to Get IT All Done? 3 Tips for the Best Multitasker.
Remember, one year is 365 opportunities to wake up in a new day, or alternately, experience another groundhog day.
Want to find ways to motivate your kids right now? Check out this post!
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