My Dad certainly did not coin the term; he made sure I knew about it: if one person calls you a horse, blow them off. If two people call you a horse, look in the mirror. If three people call you a horse, buy a saddle.
I like to feel like I identify with being a good parent; most days I feel like I can’t do this anymore!
Sometimes my children identify with me being a horse (let’s leave it there) and vice versa.
Similarly, most people get a second job when faced with losing everything, not when they want to get a pool. Denial, repetition, and comfort set in.
Does it make us bad parents or that dog lying whimpering on the porch because he is not uncomfortable enough to move off the nail?
Naturally, tears of frustration are enough to motivate the busiest of us to stop and take notice. Even children will stop when a parent is brought to tears. We all have our limits.
I’m not talking about those tantrums, but those soul hurting streams of pain that tell you somehow you’ve gone too far. Some days this type of situation will be on top of you despite the best of planning. Life gets CRAZY, blood sugar levels drop, something is going on at school you didn’t know about, etc.
It has been said the definition of crazy is expecting different results when doing the same thing. So, what do you say to that guy when you get up and clean the same house, of the same mess, caused by the same people, every. day. Picking up the same toy on the way to the same room three days in a row. Tick. Tock.
I’m going to blow just thinking about it!
Try to take a stand and stop picking up. That house is coming down around you. For the older generations, we know exactly what the premise of the Groundhog Day movie is. For everyone else, in summary: a man wakes up in the same day and lives it over and over again. Waiting, hoping, to wake up in a new day.
Ugh, until finally, it hits….I can’t do this anymore!
This can sum up the basics of parenting. Fight the mom (and dad) -guilt. Avoid living in a never ending loop of feeling like you can’t do this anymore, like a hamster caught in its own wheel.
Here are four tips to wake up in a new day:
Identify WHEN are you tired?
New moms will need to be very specific here. More than likely you are only able to wake up from the pure excitement of having a new person in your home even though you can’t feel your face.
This might look like fatigue at 11 a.m. because of midnight (and 4 a.m.) feedings. Veterans might be worried about their windows being open because they’re screaming their fool heads off at 3:30 p.m. when their kids coming running in off the bus like Tasmanian devils. Again, my kids are driving me crazy!
Get into the WHY… can’t I do this anymore?
As the example above illustrates, it could be nightly feedings. For moms of older children, it could be caused by low blood sugar. I know my mommies grabbing a glass of wine; I’m referring to the kids’ blood sugar this time.
Is your solution TEMPORARY or PERMANENT?
Your toddler keeps getting under the kitchen sink where you store cleaning supplies. Maybe she unloads the pans while you are cooking dinner. This could quickly become a groundhog day experience and requires a permanent solution. Think child cabinet locks (not affiliated) and a toddlers dinner time activity.
If your kids are eating you out of house and home that is going to require a high fiber energy snack (my kids love these) unless you want them to mow through a week’s worth of fruit snacks in one sitting. Always when you are not looking. I would consider this a temporary solution because kids only eat more and more.
SCHEDULE a solution.
This step keeps you on task and helps to break down the steps for bite size pieces. This would look like, assessing how many cabinets need locks on Monday, buying lock
s on Wednesday and installing them on Saturday. For our snack problem, are the snack of quality? Snack inventory. You could then research recipes the day before picking up groceries, and so on.
By determining the time of day you feel the most frustration or fatigued, you are able to identify what
lead up to this condition you have found yourself in (the why). Figuring out the life of your potential fati
gue will help you brainstorm solutions. Scheduling will help you implement your plan. It can also make having a conversation with a person who can help easier. For example, “honey, I’ve found three cabinets that need to be locked this week and bought locks. Do you think you could install them this weekend or give me a time that works better?”
These four steps can move you from I can’t do this anymore to this is manageable. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by your life check out How Am I Going to Get IT All Done? 3 Tips for the Best Multitasker.
Remember, one year is 365 opportunities to wake up in a new day or experience another groundhog day.