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Monday, January 18, 2016

Shielding from Stress

No reason for this picture, just hilarious.
Jules here-

For some reason, this past week has tested my patience, strength, and endurance.  From getting back into the daily grind of school to handling work, I have been a bit over-stretched.  Instead of waiting to react to the stressors, I decided to start facing them a little differently.  First- I had to address the moments when my resolve crumbles and I start to freak out- you must know what pushes your buttons!
Pancake breakfast silliness

Being crunched for time in the morning- My children are energetic, lively, happy kids- except when they are getting ready for school in the morning.  To get them dressed, fed, and organized for school takes negotiations, threats, and bribery....  My coping has been generally freaking out on the kids as we scramble to get to school in time....
Note: No actual morning pictures are taken due to already extreme lateness

New Preventative Solutions:
  • More nighttime prep: I already pack lunches at night, but now I am double-checking snow gear, homework pages, documents I need to drop off, etc.
  • Get up earlier: Earlier in the year, I was getting up well before the kids to get breakfast, but lately (well since the days have gotten so short), I have been waking up only minutes before the kids...  The days when I give myself more time to ready myself, go MUCH better.
  • Earlier bed time for kiddos Part of the reason I had been sleeping in, was that the kids were staying up later. All moms need a little "me" time at night, and I stayed up later to accommodate. Now, I am trying to get them to bed before 8 PM so I have some time to unwind.
 Letting little things make me lose my cool-  Some things can just drive you crazy. They can be little, seemingly harmless things, but they seem to push the exact right button. I can't stand putting gloves on children- seriously-- why can't they stick out their freakin' little thumbs in the thumb hole?!?!  I also hate getting "bopped" on the head on purpose or by accident.  I hate when my kids lose something five minutes before we leave the house (shoes, coat, etc.).  So what can you do for these little annoyances that can really escalate...
Ah.. the glove, so simple in design, yet unmanageable for under 6 year olds.....
New Preventative Solutions:

  • Deep breathing- Taking a moment to count to ten before I react DOES help. Saying a prayer in that time, helps even more.
  • Letting natural consequences happen- What happens when you can't find a glove for your kid before school? They miss recess. What happens when they can't find their homework five minutes before you leave? They get a "missed" homework.  It's hard for a mom to accept, but it'll teach them a lesson.
  • Give yourself time- Getting three kids dressed in snow gear takes time, making sure I allow myself the time to get it done alleviates some of the "I hate putting on gloves" angst...
Over-scheduling AND under-scheduling problems- I do function at a higher level of stress than most people- I like to be busy as I get more accomplished- however, sometimes I push the limit and say "Yes" too often.  Especially when I say "yes" to things I really don't want to do.... I sometimes dread doing something that I put it off until I stress last minute.

Spontaneous Game night!
New Preventative Solutions:
  • Learning to say "No" without an explanation- When I don't want to do a play date, I am just going to say "No thanks." I don't have to go into a litany of excuses. Birthday party? No thanks! I don't feel like standing around talking to parents and buying expensive gifts for a kid I barely know.... 
  • Saying "yes" to the right things. I had my house blessed last Thursday! I had to clean every room from top to bottom, but it was WORTH it.  Not only is my house more spiritually sound, I had a more relaxing weekend as my major chores were done!! Also, the playdate-turned blessing- turned into fun game night with friends!! Yes I ended up with 8 children and 7 adults for dinner, but I haven't had so much fun in awhile.
  • Checking my calendar, twice- Sometimes I say "yes" too soon, or I don't look at the whole picture of the week.  Oops. Making sure I triple check my calendar will help alleviate embarrassing, "I actually can't come now..." calls.
Hopefully my new preventative strategies to parenting peril will pay off!!

Easy Rule #23213- Stop and reevaluate why you are so stressed. Figuring out solutions ahead of time can help calm your whole family.

Easy Rule #35234- When winter gets you down, start baking. It warms the house as well as insulates the body :)


  1. Awesome post Julia! We've all been there as we are all human. You got this!

    1. Thanks, Lori! The days are already running more smoothly with me getting up earlier!! :)