My little family have had a rough start to 2015 and we’re not alone, every other person I know is struggling at the moment. Whether it’s down to endoftermitis (that pesky disease known to get the better of even the most happy go lucky kids) halftermitis (a common disease whereby parents put too much pressure on themselves to ensure the holidays are perfect) newyearsitis (resolutions broken already) or nosleepitis (matchsticks anyone?) there seems to be something putting up a road block to folks’ happiness.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years it’s that happiness is a choice. So today dear readers, rather than dwell on my lack of sleep and challenging children, I’m focusing on the fact that the sun was shining and it’s been utterly glorious outside. Spring is definitely in the air and today reminded me of my wedding day six years ago. Hubby and I have weathered many storms in our eleven years together, but are still standing tall. I was tempted to write him a gushy letter for our anniversary as I did for my daughter and son on their birthdays last week, but I realised that there might be a teeny nugget or two to pass on which would be more useful. So here we go, my top tips for getting through the tough times life chucks at us.
Be kind to yourself (and each other)
– find solace and solidarity in your partner, you’re on the same team after all. It can be too easy to take out our frustrations on the ones we love, but it isn’t helpful.
– eat well, and steer as clear as you can of processed carbs and refined sugar. When you’re feeling low the last thing you need is to be riding the blood sugar roller coaster. Here are my thoughts on food, and if you need some guilt free treat inspiration check out my latest chocolate cake recipe.
– indulge in a glass of red or G&T but don’t overdo it. One or two drinks over the weekend will certainly help with relaxing, but getting through a whole bottle of vino is likely to make you feel rubbish the next day, especially when sleep deprived. Go for quality over quantity which will also help reduce your chances of a hangover.
– cathartic writing is amazing and it’s one of the reasons that I blog, but there’s a very fine line between telling it as it is and whining. The latter gets very boring very quickly. Avoid getting on social media and venting or writing post after post about the latest bug and gripes about the kids.
Tune out from what everyone else is doing
– put your phone on silent and disconnect yourself from social media. There’s a lot to be said for being truly present with our family.
– have faith that this too shall pass. Nothing lasts forever and phases with the children are always short lived in the grand scheme of life.
– comparison is the thief of joy. Nuff said.
– try not to stress about work too much. When I had to take last week off work because the baby was ill and 3yo had mangled her toe, hubby imparted some wisdom which made me feel so much better. He said that companies understand that if they want to keep hold of their talent they have to be supportive while they’re in the early days of child rearing. He is completely right of course, and I’ve been determined not to feel guilty about taking the time off.
– cry on the shoulder of a relative or good friend. Don’t bottle your emotions up pretending everything is ok when it’s not. There’s absolutely no shame in confiding in your besties and asking them for support.
– ensure you have an endless supply of good quality dark chocolate for an instant pick me up. My favourite is Willie’s Cacao Chefs Drops, which are basically chocolate buttons for grown ups.
Remember it’s not the kids’ fault
– try not to shout at the kids too much. Easier said than done I know, but we noticed massive improvements in our defiant 5yo once we stepped back, assessed our own negative behaviours and did our best to eradicate them.
– try not to take anything the kids do too personally, they don’t have it in for you no matter how much it seems that way at 4am after numerous wake ups.
– put things into perspective. This post came to me after a friend was telling me about the funeral of her friends 2yo son the other day. My broken sleep and the kids’ minor ailments really paled into insignificance.
If all else fails throw a huge party like we did last weekend. Trust me, getting all your loved ones under the same roof will put a smile on the chops of even the grumpiest of grumpsters.
So there you go, hopefully something in this little list of mine will help someone who is having a tough day. Do you have anything to add?