We’ve all had bad days. For me, personally, the best way to cope has been to find some inner peace. My kids are calmer when I’m calmer. My husband is less anxious when I’m relaxed. The phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” has been proven in our home time and time again.
Here are a few thoughts I have found comforting on bad days:
“This too shall pass.”
Tomorrow, today will be a memory. Next week, you might even be able to laugh about it.
“I am loved.”
When your children scream at you and pitch temper tantrums, remember that you are loved, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
“I’m their Mom, not their friend.”
Disciplining your kids can be really hard, especially after they’ve just given deeper meaning to the word “naughty.” Remembering that you’re their parent—but neither their oppressor nor their enabling cohort—can help you look more objectively at their behavior and calmly consider consequences for their actions.
“I am beautiful.”
Having kids takes a toll on your body, and for some reason, whenever I’m tired, stressed, or depressed I tend to feel unattractive. Remember that your value is not just skin deep, and remind your husband to compliment you, even when you are a beautiful mess.
“I am not alone.”
Calling your husband or a friend can help combat feelings of isolation. Trading war stories with a fellow mom is very therapeutic. You’re not the only one facing these particular challenges. Take comfort in that.
“It is what it is.”
Accept the situation you’re in. As frustrating or stressful as things are, getting angry or depressed will only make it worse, so take a deep breath and clear your head.
“It’s all going to be OK.”
Things might not turn out the way we hope or plan, but in the end, everything will be alright. That may be next week, or next year, but things will resolve. This hardship is temporary.
“God sees me.”
When you’re doing your best, working your hardest, and getting absolutely no appreciation whatsoever, remember that God sees you. God recognizes your efforts and sympathizes with your suffering. Allow that thought to validate everything you do.
“God hears me.”
You can pray anytime, anywhere. You can pray while you’re driving to the ER, scrubbing marker off the walls, wiping peanut butter off the cat, or duct taping the fresh puncture hole in the leather sofa.
“Be Thou My Vision.”
Sing your favorite hymn to yourself. Whether it’s out loud or in your head, make that song your prayer, and let it console you.
It’s so easy to have knee-jerk reactions when the kids push your buttons, your favorite keepsake gets broken, your spouse is stressed and snaps at you, or [insert disaster here]. Practice taking a deep breath during these trying moments. Remember all the above. If you need to, close your eyes and count to 10. Better yet, even mommies need Time Out sometimes. Put the kids down for a nap, or send them to their rooms to read, and allow yourself some space.