As a mom of three littles, I’ve found myself trying to find ways to avoid being “Cranky Mommy”. We all know Cranky Mommy – she sighs; she stresses; she says, “No” more than “Yes;” she falls into bed at the end of the day feeling like she’s spent her day fussing at her kids and accomplishing nothing; her husband gets what’s left of her at the end of the day (which isn’t much), and she doesn’t even know the last time she had five minutes to herself.
Cranky Mommy isn’t welcome in my life, but more often than not, she’s here. I hate that. I don’t think that’s how we are meant to spend our days. I think this is why God wants us to learn to “number our days” – so that we learn to prioritize who and what deserve our most attention.
This Cranky Mommy has found three things that help Happy Mommy live again. 🙂
1.) Plan ahead. I have 3 boys who are 5 and under. This gang requires planning! No matter what our day involves, I try to plan ahead. I’ve started packing the diaper bag and the car the night before. Sunday’s are much easier this way because we only worry about getting ready and out the door instead of grabbing all the things we need for our busy, full Sunday. I plan a menu for 2 weeks at a time (this also helps our budget). I plan to use the crock pot. I plan for easy, quick meals, I plan to use LEFTOVERS (if I don’t plan this, they go to waste). Thanks to my friend, Liz at This Little Home of Mine, I plan our months and years in pencil so that I have some idea what our weeks look like (and because if I don’t plan a trip to take the boys fishing or to the zoo, we never go). While it takes more time in the evenings to do these things, I’m less tired, less stressed, and more easy going when getting this crew together (and that is a workout!)
2.) Eat. As crazy as this sounds, if I don’t make a point to sit and eat, I won’t eat. When I can, I sit down and eat with my guys, but it’s usually after they eat because, I’m running around getting their food and 15 different spoons, and wipes, and refilling cups the entire time they’re eating. But when I can, I sit down to eat actual food (not cookies, like I am right now, or their leftovers, or a PB&J sandwich – a girl can only eat so many of those a week!) I found that my kids were eating fruits and veggies and colorful meals while I ate pretzels and toast. So, I just serve myself the same colorful food I’m serving to them. I’m not as cranky when I’ve taken time to SIT and EAT.
3.) God. I’m not always the mom who wakes before her family in order to have a quiet time with God. I LOVE when I do rise early, but some days, it just doesn’t happen! So, I have quiet time whenever I can. Some days it’s after we’ve had breakfast and I turn on their movies, some days it’s after they’ve gone to bed for the night, some days it’s during their nap/rest times…some days, I don’t get a few minutes without the boys fighting or crying and that’s okay. I’m not Cranky Mommy when I’m finding time to read God’s Word and pray. I believe that God was talking to parents when He said that He would freely give wisdom to those who ask. I ask for LOTS of wisdom. I can’t see into my children’s hearts or into their bodies to see what they need. But God does.
So I rely on Him to tell me how to love them, how to help them, what they need from me. He never said we have to raise these people on our own. He said we could bring ALL of our cares to Him – that means my inability to raise these guys with my own wits. 🙂
Cranky Mommy shows her face more often than I’d like. I’m thankful for forgiveness and new mercies each day. I’m also thankful for forgiving little boys 🙂 I want my guys to remember Happy Mommy who followed God, loved their daddy, and loved them. One day and a time, maybe they will. 🙂