At the end of the day, you’re one tired mother. Here’s one simple thing you can start doing to gain some much needed (mental) energy back.
It’s not even dinnertime.
You’ve got a yawn that could compete with a hippo’s and you have no idea why. Today’s actually been a pretty good day with the little people in your house.
Everyone stayed clothed (mostly). No one broke a leg jumping off the couch (although someone did get jumped on). Everyone napped at the same time (even if only twenty minutes).
You just need to make it another hour and a half and you’ll be golden.
This has been our house for the last several years. We finally are out of the “making and nursing babies” phase. Slowly, we are moving out of the “wiping butts” phase.
It’s no wonder I’m so tired.
But some days are unexplainably worse than others.
You know the ones where you sit down and wonder why you’re nodding off before six o’clock? You run through your day – exercise routine, errands, eating habits – and everything was actually pretty good on that end.
But then you think about the other part of your day – the parenting part – and all the demands and questions that come with it.
“Why are you naked?”
“How did toothpaste get on the carpet?”
“Where are your shoes?”
“Don’t shoot your brother with your bacon.”
“Don’t ride the dog like a horse.”
“Get off the stair rails.”
“Why are you naked?” We have a lot of littles who enjoy running around naked.
mom, here’s the reason you could be exhausted
And it hits you. Trying to think for these little people and keep them alive is ex.haust.ing!
It’s no wonder studies have shown that being a mom is the equivalent of two and a half jobs.
But I learned a trick after reading the book, Love and Logic Magic. It worked brilliantly. And I noticed my mental energy at the end of the day wasn’t nearly as low. Mind you, I was still exhausted but my brain didn’t feel like mush.
And as I practice, it’s even better.
While the book discusses how to parent your children well – with a healthy dose of love and discipline – one part discussed teaching your kids to think for themselves.
Ask them questions. Encourage them to problem-solve their way out of situations. Give them choices so they can learn to make their own decisions early on.
All of these things let them expend their mental energy instead of mine.
And that’s how it started. But it’s not easy. If you weren’t parented this way (and especially if you haven’t been parenting your own kiddos this way), it’s going to take many attempts before it comes naturally (and consistently).
3 things to do to gain more (mental) energy
think before you speak
James 1:19 (NLT) says “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
It’s easy to react when you see your kid about to pile drive her brother. That’s definitely a time to react. Ain’t nobody got time for a (avoidable) hospital visit.
ask yourself these questions
1. is someone about to be hurt (or is something about to be broken)?
Anything that would require immediate attention deserves a quick stop to avoid someone getting hurt or something getting broken (including little brother’s femur). This is the same thing we use to curb the tattling in our house.
2. what can i say instead of “what on earth are you doing”? get yourself a catch phrase.
What phrase do you tend to use when you find out disappointing news? For instance, you just heard next week is the finale of your favorite show. The restaurant just ran out of the meal you have been craving all week. The babysitter has to cancel for Friday night because she got diagnosed with strep.
My go-to catch phrase is “Dang. That’s a bummer.”
Whatever yours is, practice it often. Then use it when you catch your kiddo in the middle of mischief.
3. what choices or questions can you present to your kiddos right now?
Using your go-to phrase gives you time to simmer down, tame that inner Mom-ster who is longing to rage, and think of the best way to approach the situation with as little drama as possible.
Some phrases used in my house often are:
“Hmm… That wasn’t one of the options, kiddo. You can either do choice A or choice B.”
“Dang, kiddo. This is a bummer. Is that a wise choice right now?”
choose connection over control
At the end of the day, you may realize all your energy spent was in trying to have control over your kids, which only causes more drama.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Make no mistake, Sister. Even though these things will take longer than yelling, it actually requires less mental (and physical) energy at the end of the day. More importantly, it’ll preserve your connection to your kiddo.
And if they try to pitch a fit, just tell them to “Save the drama for your mama.” On second thought, maybe don’t say that.