By Kristin Cosgrove from Mamacino.
Today was an un-pear shaped day.
I was woken by my alarm, not a child climbing across my face to snuggle into bed with me and resting their cold feet on my warm stomach. There was no traffic on the school run. My charming toddler played happily, my coffee was hot and everyone ate their vegetables and was tucked up in bed by 7.30pm.
I glided serenely around my tidy home, baking banana bread with coconut flour and feeling completely virtuous. I even made myself a salad for lunch! I’ve got this gig sorted, I thought to myself.
If only it was always this easy.
As a mother to three beautiful, but lively children, this is not always the case.
No. There are many pear-shaped days in this household. Mornings when you feel like you have barely been to sleep. When sisters annoy each other by the way they are breathing. When toddlers are grumpy and nappies malfunction. When the lid escapes the blender and you wear your smoothie…and blueberry is not your colour! When you chase your tail and have to fight for every single forward movement. Days when, though you love your children, you don’t feel like being a mother at all.
These days happen and the thing I have learnt from them is that they pass.
However, knowing that doesn’t really help when you are trapped right in the middle of one. So these are my strategies to help mum survive a bad day…
1. Let go
Let go of anything that is not absolutely necessary. Housework can wait. Supermarket shopping can definitely wait. Give yourself permission to be flexible. Switch off and head to the park for an hour…sunshine always makes things better.
2. Be kind to yourself
Give in a little. Choose your battles wisely. If your toddler won’t eat breakfast, big deal, let it go. If your daughter wants to go to school with a non-school hair do, let the teachers sort it out. Smile a lot. Indulge in a treat – you deserve it! Don’t sweat the small stuff – because it’s mostly small stuff.
3. Make it easy
Getting a meal on the table is one of the hardest tasks to achieve on the pear-shaped day. I would recommend avoiding sugar as it seems to make the problem worse but who said you can’t have breakfast for dinner? The trick is to make the kids think it’s a treat!
4. Get help!
Make a list of all the things you don’t want to do that day and delegate them to your husband! Go to the deli and buy a quiche for dinner. Rope a friend with kids into a visit to the park to take the pressure off and give you a chance to debrief.
5. The Big Guns
Cake. Coffee. Chocolate. Green Smoothies. Whatever it takes to make you feel better and NO GUILT allowed!
6. Be grateful
Try to think of something to be grateful for. A sleeping baby, a supportive partner, a phone call from a best friend.
And when you are having an un-pear shaped day, cherish it. Appreciate it. After all, these are the days that get us through!
Kristin Cosgrove is a whole food baker, blogger, educator and mum of three. She is a real food devotee and owns a small business, Mamacino Homemade, making whole food treats and snacks for those without the time (or inclination) to do so themselves. To see all of Kristin’s articles and recipes, click here.