Mama, you’re amazing. You’re doing all the things.
You held your family together during a freak winter storm and you’ve been doing it since Spring Break 2020. You’ve done it through a myriad of other trials and you will continue to until the day you die. I have been resorting to so many coping strategies – good and not so good – but what I’ve felt so strongly from the greater community of mothers is that we have been encouraging a Culture of Grace. I hear, read, and feel that it’s okay as a Mom in this “era of survival” that it’s really okay to just survive right now. Whatever it takes to feed your family and make them feel loved, do that. All the “thriving” things we like to aspire to…can wait. But living – and laughing – cannot.
So, when you’re a Mom and you have chores to do, children to love and train, and your own internal systems to regulate, you gotta have some kind of coping mechanisms! We are last to eat, we are last to go to sleep, we feel guilt in leaving our families for alone or self-care time, and pay dearly for it. We need help! I’d love to talk about self-care in a future post, but for now, let’s go over some light-hearted ways to find chores emotionally productive when that’s literally all we can do. 😊
- Can’t control life or any given situation? Vacuum. Somehow sucking the crap off the floors feels emotionally productive. Music choice: The Greatest by Sia.
- Toddlers Whining? Grab you kiddo, crank up some music and have a dance party. This is a physical reminder of the verse Psalm 30:11 “You turn my mourning into dancing.” You can play your fave worship music or go secular with Chandelier by Sia (funny? I’m gonna swing from the chandelier…) I laughed.
- Siblings Fighting? Jump in the middle and start tickling. Make them LAUGH. Act like a wild animal and chase them. This way they’re ALL running from you on the same team. Also, some good advice I received recently is to claim “Cohagens are best friends for LIFE!” and say it every time. Also, team dishwashing. Fill the sink with soapy water and make one wash while the other rinses. I’ve emptied my dishwasher into the sink to give them plenty of time to get a rhythm. Song: Happy Working Song from Enchanted Soundtrack.
- After Bedtime Routine: Take your cleaner, sponge, and favorite treat or drink with you and set it beside your hot bath. Take your relaxing hot bath first. I like to turn on spa relaxation music or Enya. When you’re done, drain it and do a quick clean. Or not. It’s ok if you want until tomorrow because your supplies are already waiting for you.
- To run away from persistent and troublesome thoughts (anxiety, frustration): Scrub the bathroom top to bottom and either cry it out or polish your thoughts to something more productive. Focus on reality, not what if/fantastical scenarios. Self-talk your truth. Song: Raise Your Glass by P!nk or God Only Knows by for KING & COUNTRY.
- Unhealthy relationships getting you down: Hand weed your yard. This has resulted in me praying powerful things for people I’ve had big feelings towards.
- Boredom or Restlessness: Get creative. Write a story or poetry, design, redecorate a room, run, ride your bike around the block and get some wind in your face – breathe it in deep, or plan ahead for future holidays or events.
- Needing Connection: Hand write a note to someone and deliver it. Just call someone. Be brave and try. You never know if someone else needs that too. Song: What I Like About You by The Romantics or Beautiful Day by U2
- Feeling Purposeless or tired of the monotony of your day: Make a neighbor dinner. Artist: Los Lonely Boys…this music always goes best with a margarita in hand.
- Mad at the world: bake cookies, eat the dough, and the cookies. Also, work out. The adrenaline is cleansing and balances the cookies. 😊 Song: SAIL by Awolnation.
Bonus: Stare at your kids when they are sleeping. Somehow this magical moment reminds you of the treasures that make all the hard moments worth your energy. The way we live and respond to life is teaching them how to do it, so use this moment to remind yourself to wake up tomorrow with a smile and a fresh approach to grace, patience, and purpose. ♥