Tag Archives: life with kids

Why Five Minutes Makes Me a Better Parent

This article originally appeared on Perfection Pending.

It’s overwhelming, this whole motherhood thing. I think back to the days of answering only to myself, and doing things only when I felt like it… I don’t necessarily miss those days, but I’d give a large sum of money for a day or two like that every once in a while.

When I get up in the morning, it’s usually to the sounds of (at least) one of the kids. Often, it’s the jabbering of my youngest, playing happily in his crib, knowing I’ll come and get him soon. Those days are so nice. I can go to the bathroom, wash my face, and drink a little water before I start the diaper change and breakfast hustle. But other days, I hear stomping on the stairs, drawers opening and closing, or even cries of, “He hit me!” or something similar. As you can imagine, that’s not quite as pleasant at start. Some days just begin in a more relaxing way than others.

I find myself, on difficult days, craving a moment to myself. That could be almost any sort of moment… for instance, I love the grocery store. I could take a mile-long grocery list to the store, alone, ideally with a cappuccino, and it would be the perfect hour: super productive, not a waste of time, but relaxing, and also delicious if I ended up with that fancy drink. Just to have that bit of time to myself to regroup is my biggest desire in a hectic day. I suppose that’s how the memes about moms eating chocolate while locked in the bathroom are born. Boy, can I relate.

But actually taking the minute to myself doesn’t happen as much as needing it does. If I end up – for whatever reason – pushing through my need for a break, I’ll just end up back feeling crazed again in another half an hour. If I don’t take the moment I need to center myself, zap my coffee and take a big swig, or sit down and zone out for a minute or five. I’m so driven by productivity and “getting things done so that I can relax later” that I rarely let myself take a few minutes for myself before the to-do list is finished.

I do know one thing, though. I can prevent the feelings of stress and anxiety from getting worse (and sometimes break that cycle entirely, if I’m lucky) by taking that time I need for myself sooner. Need a breather? Take one. Need to just sit down for a few minutes? Do it. Need three minutes to calm your brain and scroll through Instagram? That’s just fine. There are very few things on my “list” that won’t still be there in five minutes – including the kids. A mental break is just as important as a physical one, but sometimes I can’t pull my brain out of the frenzy unless I pull my body out of it, too. Sometimes, I even leave the house… I step out to the back porch, or walk to get the mail. Sunshine and fresh air are an immediate shock to my system when it’s bogged down by detailed-oriented tasks and grabby hands that need me. The way my home is set up, the kids are usually in the room that leads to the porch, and it’s full of windows, so I’m not exactly leaving them unattended. But I’m getting out of the situation enough to hear birds instead of the arguing, or to see sun and trees instead of the pile of laundry I was about to get to. Sometimes, even sitting down with the kids and watching Octonauts is a break. It interrupts their cycle of crazy when I redirect them to something else, and it interrupts my cycle of “can’t slow my roll” when I get in there for a snuggle.

So, if you’re like me, sometimes (often?) wound up tightly, pushing yourself through those moments of anxiety or frustration in the sake of thinking you can handle it – or worse, for the sake of productivity – then give yourself a break. Take that minute, or 5, or 10 that you need. Do whatever you need to do to find the time, sooner rather than later, to let yourself unwind. Drink your coffee while it’s still hot. Sit down to chat or snuggle with your child before you get started on the dishes. Sneak that candy bar in the bathroom! There’s no shame in the game of saving your own sanity. You do something for you, mama, and don’t feel bad about it.

Things Toddlers Say

It’s mostly Tuesday (oops) and I hope you enjoy our funnies!!

EK: I watered that plant so it would get back to nermal. It looks all sad like this.

Hubby was holding this shrimp:D ran up to him, demanding: Give me that bacon!

D to his dump truck: Wait! Wait! I lub you!

D handing me two items I don’t even know the name of: Look! I got two one of these!

J: I was licking your face!
Me: Ugh. I know.

J: Know how you make a lollipop? You take a white stick, put gum on it, sweeten it up, pump it up, and it’s a lollipop!

Passing by the first house with Christmas lights this season…
J: Now THAT was a glowing house!

D upon finishing breakfast: Mom! My all done!

D when he wants to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar: I want to read the lollihop!

And this thing in EK’s room needs no caption…

J, coming upstairs after bedtime: Can you carry me down to my room?
Hubby: No, you walked up, so you can walk down.
J: But when I was walking up, I cra(*takes a breath*)ashed so that’s why I can’t walk up or down.

J, asking about his fortune cookie: Hey, what does my tag spay-ell (spell)?

J: Guess who I love?!
Hubby: Who?
J: He’s gotta big, squashy nose!
Hubby: It’s me, isn’t it?

What are your kiddos saying these days?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! It’s Thanksgiving week, and we are ready to binge eat – how about you?! I hope you enjoy these funnies and have a great Turkey Day!

EK, standing between Hubby and me: Hug? Hug? Cuddle Huddle!

D handed me this (below), saying: Here’s a new book!(Hubby and I got a Vitamix for our Christmas present and this manual is still in the shrink wrap, hence it’s “new”.)

EK, shouting angrily to J: I get the purple, because purple is my favorite color! And you get the green because green is your favorite color! Agh!

EK was helping me sweep the floor.
J: EK! Come check out this spider web!
EK: I can’t right now. I’m really busy helping mom.
J: Come on, come see it under here!
EK: I know we’re best friends but I just can’t right now.

J, excitedly pointing to the toilet: Mom! Look how many pee bubbles there are!

EK, reading over my shoulder: You! Y-o-u! I saw it! My! The! No! I know those!

J: My nose is snotty. I’m sick. Do I have school today?
Me: You really fast-forwarded that sequence there.

D, while I’m holding him already: Moooooom, I wan’ ‘nuggle!!

I love recording little conversations between my older two kids, like the one at the top. Their relationship is getting more developed every day. What about you? What are your kids saying these days?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! I hope you’re enjoying your fall and your Halloween candy! I have only stolen the Reese’s Pieces and Snickers. See, I’m a good mom! Anyway, here are the funnies from our week. Enjoy!


D: *hums Twinkle Twinkle* I singing a song!

D walking in the yard: Mom! Iss cwunchy leabs! (Crunchy leaves)

EK early in the day: Are witches real?
Me: Nope. No witches.
EK later in the day: Mom, are fairies the only ones who can make magic?
Me, apparently crushing dreams: Well, fairies aren’t really real. And magic is more the feeling we have when something is beautiful or unbelievable, or seems unrealistic.
EK: Well, how does the tooth fairy get to you?
Me:
Hubby:
Me:
Hubby:
Me: Magic!
Hubby: *dies laughing*
EK: *dies laughing*
Me: I thought you meant witches’ magic! (Trying not to dig the hole deeper…)

EK, during breakfast: When people are talking, it’s destroying me so I can’t eat.
Me: I think you mean distracting.

EK: I would love it if a rainy Saturday happened. I would sleep all day.
Me: *plots how to make it rain on Saturday*

EK: I was thinking on, um,
J: Wednesday?
EK: On, um,
J: Christmas?
EK: On, um, Turkey Day. Could we have a big feast?

J: I wish I had a TV on my ceiling on my room so I could watch Neckflix.
Me: *not going to correct him*

In the car…
D, chanting: Abocado book. Abocado book. Abocado book. (It was a dinosaur book.)

J, speaking of words that start with “h”: How about hole? Like there was a little hole and a snail fell in there?

J, talking to a store clerk: Well, I belong to someone else.
Me: Who do you belong to?
J: *points to me*

Hope you found a giggle or two reading these! What silly things are your kids saying these days?

Things Toddlers Say 

Happy Tuesday!! I’ve been bouncing back and forth from the mountains to furniture market, so here are the snippets of humor I caught in between!! Enjoy!


J sharing knowledge: Have you ever seen a hamomy fish? It’s the most juiciest, colorfulest, and wettest fish of all time! And it can also change it size! And make apple trees!
Me: *not sure how to respond*

J when he’s mad at me: Well, maybe I don’t even want to snuggle you.

EK to me: You’re funny sometimes. Not a lot, but sometimes.

EK, upon seeing a cement truck printed with Stars and Stripes: its American day?! I didn’t know!

EK: It’s not good if you get colonies in your teeth.
Me: I think you mean cavities.

J’s newest thing is telling stories of when he was a baby. Such as: Did you know that when I was a baby, a tiny bear and a crawled up the back of my head?!?!

Me: Did you have fun with Necie and G-Daddy while I was gone?
EK: Yeah I did, but not too much, because I missed you.
Me: *heart eyes*

EK copying words from a book: I’m practicing my writing.
Me: That’s great! I can tell. Your letters are getting more clear!
EK: Yeah, and I’m building up my stamila.
Me: Your stamina?! Who taught you that word?!
EK: My teacher. (As in “Duh.”)

J, when asked to place napkins on the table:  I do that job at school for lots of different persons!

EK: Sometimes when you wake up, do your lips feel crunchy?

Hubby: Tell mom about your field trip!
EK: So, like… (I can’t hear anything else because I’m wondering how she learned “so like”.)

Well, that’s it for this week! What sillies have you heard from your kids recently?!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! I’ve had a nice, relaxing week or two of not writing much, and not writing down every single funny thing that happens at our house, but here are a few good ones! Hope you have a lovely, funny Tuesday! 

J, as we first see the lake from the car: I’m sooooooo excited!
J: Can I have muches juice pweese?

After an afternoon of pulling D off the stairs…
J: No no, rascal. You gotta come down. You can’t go up the stairs.

EK, unprompted: Can we let J wear panties now?
Me: Not yet, babe. But we’re trying.

While this was happening:


J: I wuf you.
EK, turns around: He says he loves me!

I hand J a small apple…
J: Is this a peach, mom?
Me: No, it’s just a small apple.
J: Is it a peach apple?
Me: No, just an apple.
J: I like peach apples, mom!
Me: Okay, bud.

Me: I love you a lot.
EK: I love you way more than a balloon string.

Driving on a road near some train tracks, and I hear EK really crying from the backseat…
Me: What’s wrong?
EK: I wanted to look at the train tracks but J said I can’t! (More wailing.)
Me: He can’t make you not look out the window, babe.
EK: I see them! I see the train tracks!

J, very thoughtfully: Mama, sometimes is a long time.

EK: I just pooped, and I didn’t wipe so well. Some poopy got on my leg. 

J, in the same breath: You’re a sweet little mommy. You’re a sweet little rabbit.

Side section: Words that J now uses correctly, even if he can’t pronounce them:
Patient
Fragile

Well, that’s what’s getting shouted and said around our house. What are the kids in your life talking about?