We know you love your kids, and most days, everything runs pretty smoothly. However, even the most seamless routine is bound to be met with roadblocks, twists and turns. All parents have ‘those days’ – where no one seems to be listening, and nothing seems to be going as it should.
Take a deep breath. We’ve got you covered.
The key to surviving one of ‘those days’ is to keep the kids happy while keeping yourself sane. This is not the day to try new and involved activities, go to a playdate at a new person’s house or do a bunch of errands.
Even if you have these things (errands, etc.) looming, try to reschedule so that you can do them the next day, or throughout the next week. If you can’t, get ’em out of the way first, and then begin the unwinding process – which is important for the whole family.
How you will unwind from these days, that just don’t seem to go right, depends on whether you’ll be having an ‘outside’ or ‘inside’ day.
Nice, sunny days are perfect when you need everyone to unwind. Pack a picnic of simple foods (sliced fruit, veggies, hummus, maybe a thermos of fresh juice or smoothies) and head to the park. Everyone can enjoy the picnic, you can have some time to lay down on a blanket, stretch, or do some yoga or deep breathing, and the kids can run and get their energy out.
For extra fun and stress relief, consider bringing along an old boombox, or an iPod with speakers. Take turns listening to – and dancing to! – everyone’s favorite songs, and you’ll find your day improving in no time.
On a wintery – but not too cold or windy – day, bundle everyone up, and get out in the yard for snowman or snow fort construction. Have everyone make silly faces with your creations, and take lots of pictures!
If the weather does not allow you to play outside, you may be faced with a bit more of a challenge. However, this is where arts and crafts days come in. Set the kids up around a table with some paper and non-toxic crayons or pencils. Skip the paints for the day if the idea of cleanup sends your blood pressure skyrocketing.
Yarn, glitter, and beads are also great ideas, provided your kids are old enough that they can do this activity themselves, without asking you for help every five minutes. That way, you can make something too, and just meditate a bit while everyone works.
While arts and crafts are fun, however, don’t think that being stuck inside means being sedentary. Throw on some soft music and instruct the kids in a stretching/kiddie yoga session in the living room!
Whatever you choose to do on those off days, remember to forgive yourself for not getting your list done, and remember to just breathe. If it gets too much, leave the room for a minute if you can – or just close your eyes – count to ten, and think of five things you are grateful for.
When you open your eyes, look around at your family. Are you smiling yet?
-The Alternative Daily