Sometimes our routines get into a rut, and for better or worse, we just maintain that rut out of habit. Especially if we are lacking sleep, (which almost every mom is) it’s hard to have the brain power to realize that things could be better if we took a closer look.
How to Diagnose your Mom Day and Get Back Your Sanity
Here is how a typical morning went for me just a few months ago:
My 2-year-old son has been waking up early, rushing to the side of my bed, demanding cereal.
He starts out whispering and the longer I lay there motionless the louder he gets.
Then I say “Okay, okay. Just wait a second” and slowly get out of bed.
The baby (who shares our room) has now waken up and is demanding to be nursed.
So I scoop up the baby and usher the toddler into the kitchen and get him a bowl of cereal, trying to balance the gallon of milk in one hand and a wriggling baby in the other.
Enter the daily internal dialogue “I should not be feeding my son frosted anything everyday for breakfast. No more cereal! I’m never buying it again. I could make eggs and toast… How can I make eggs and toast if everyone is crying because they are starving at 5:30 in the morning? Cereal it is.”
Finally I set the cereal down for the toddler and sit down to nurse the baby. I have to tell the toddler not to put his fingers in the bowl, or scoot his bowl to the very edge of the table, or lay upside down in his chair with his toes in the air.
Every time I speak to the toddler, the baby pops off my breast to look around and see what’s going on.
Then my 4 year old daughter shows up and wants cereal. I ask her to wait until I’m done with feeding and changing the baby.
Then I take care of the baby and then I feed my daughter and then I take care of my toddler again because he is done eating and running around with sticky hands and milk dripping down onto his shirt from his chin.
Baby, Toddler, Preschooler. Rinse, Repeat.
Their needs seem sporadic and unpredictable.
My Toddler eats probably 8 x a day and I never know when he will be hungry. My Daughter is almost never hungry when my son is eating, so here I am catering to 12 staggered meal times like an idiot, not to mention a baby that wants to nurse every 2 hours (even at night!)
I’m getting very little sleep, and when I do it’s because I fell asleep in a chair nursing the baby and I wake up with a sore neck and mysterious ear pain.
Sometimes mom life is like that. Babies and kids go through stages, and the transitions can be ugly.
We can grow complacent and throw our hands in the air and give up.
This is just how it is. I’ll never shower or sleep again.
But, you know what? I value my sleep. I value my sanity. I value not having mysterious ear and not so mysterious neck pain.
How I Diagnosed My Day
So I diagnosed my day. I made note of all the things that needed to change and tried to find a solution.
The baby is 6 months old. He can sleep through the night. I will sleep train him like I did my other children.
The toddler and preschooler can stop snacking here and there. We will have 3 regular meals and 1 snack. Other than that, the kitchen will be closed.
The toddler can wait to eat breakfast until after the baby is taken care of. That way he and my daughter can eat breakfast at the same time.
So I did all of those things. It took a lot of tears and tantrums, but I held strong to my position. I would not be a slave to their every whim.
There is a small available amount of sanity to even the most chaotic household, and I was going to grasp at all I could.
In one week’s time, it all changed.
Now I can happily say that the baby is sleeping through the night.
The toddler is used to playing quietly in the mornings instead of crying for cereal because he understands now that “It’s not breakfast time, yet” means he will eat soon, and not “I don’t love you and you’ll never eat again!”
I take time to prepare healthier things for them because I am not a walking zombie being pulled in two directions. And because they are eating more substantial, better things, they aren’t getting hungry or as grumpy or hyper as frequently.
Plus, because his breakfast is pushed back a bit, he is waking up later and later. This might have something to do with his little hunger cues not waking him up so early.
And best of all, I’m getting sleep. In a bed. For 7 hours (or more) at a time. Mysterious ear pain has vanished. This means I can wake up feeling like a human.
Imagine that. A mom of 3 young children feeling human.
All of these things add up to mom and kids not being trolls all day every day. And sometimes, that’s all we can hope for.
How to Diagnose Your Day in 3 Steps
- Think about how your day runs- smoothly, not so smoothly? Are there times when you feel maniacal? Make a list.
- Tackle each problem on your list one at a time and search for a solution. Brainstorm ideas and search on Pinterest for ways you could make changes for the better.
- Implement your new approaches and life hacks into your routine. Tweak as necessary.
Before you know it, things will be better. I promise.
Remember that you have control over your life- don’t be afraid of a drastic change- it could change your life in such positive ways.
Want help or need to vent? Drop me a message here and tell me about your troubles. I’ll do my best to find a solution for you. I read and reply to every submission and e-mail I receive.
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