Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time for a reality check, Mama....

I haven't been feeling my best these last couple of days. I caught a nasty cold from one of the kids and my temper has been very short....absolutely no patience at all.

Yet, the kids keep pushing my buttons with their constant demands..."Mommy, I want juice", "Mommy, I need you to put my shoes on me" and "Mommy, I want you to make me a sandwich". Life doesn't stop just because I feel like crap. We all know that the words "sick day" do not exist in the vocabulary of motherhood.

The other day, Tim couldn't work from home, as he sometimes can. I was on my own with the kids for a good 9 hours...and I was dreading it.

By 4:45, I was hanging on by a thread...after having yelled at the kids pretty much all day long, crying off and on, as well as whining "Who's gonna take care of ME?" I knew if I could just make it through the next 30 minutes, he'd be home to take over.

At exactly 4:47, the phone rang and it was Tim..."Hey sweetie, I'm sorry but I left later than I expected and I'm stuck in traffic. I won't be home for another hour...maybe a little bit longer". I wanted to cry. In fact, I think I did cry....again.

Two of the kids were screaming loudly at one another, one kid was flinging himself off the sofa onto a pile of pillows on the floor and the other kid was running around naked, slapping himself on the ass. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs again for them to settle down but...really...what would that have accomplished? Nothing, obviously, since I had been yelling pretty much all day and they weren't listening.

I quietly excused myself upstairs for a few minutes, being sure to grab my iPhone so I could listen to some soothing music to help me calm down. I told the kids not to come into my bedroom unless someone was bleeding (which is absolutely possible, considering who we're talking about).

I sat on my bed and found the perfect two songs which would give me the boost I needed until Tim walked through the door. Both of them are songs I listen to when I feel like I just might explode into a million tiny pieces, with the hope of disappearing into the atmostphere.

Even though I didn't feel good and the kids weren't exactly making life any easier for me, they didn't deserve to be yelled at. What I needed right at that moment was a 6-minute reality check.

If you've never heard the songs "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins and "Let Them Be Little" by Billy Dean, you really do need to hear them both. And if you have heard them before but you're having a particularly rough day with your kids, listen to the songs again.

Both songs never fail to move me and brings tears to my eyes, especially when I watch the music videos, which I've included at the bottom of this post. It's a healthy reminder that we need to make the most of each moment with our kids, especially when things are rough and we want to fast forward through each and every day, clinging to the hope that things will "get better" at some point.

As the song by Trace Adkins says, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast....even if your kids drive you to the point of wanting to slam your head against your cement driveway at least 10 times a day.


Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This"

Trace Adkins MySpace Music Videos




So what helps you calm down when you realize the stress is getting to you? Is it a song? A picture? Meditation? Please...share the details!


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65 comments:

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Helene, I love music ;it helps me to calm down, Internet, and i also use to a short-term goal list, or else i would lose my mind.
Have a great day!
hugs

yonca said...

Oh, music definitely helps me to calm down. I also take a walk. Makes me feel better lol.

Creative Junkie said...

I had never heard the second one - it was beautiful.

Music also helps me calm down and find a little bit of sanity. I plug in earphones and I can escape for just a little bit.

Running out of the house and threatening never to come back also works, but only if you have a built in 15 year old babysitter.

Michelle said...

Don't feel bad about needing a break. Good for you, for realizing it and taking the time to rest.

Great songs! Have you heard, "Find Your Wings" by Mark Harris and "My Wish" by Rascall Flats? Both make me teary thinking of my kids growing up.

B said...

"Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle, let them sleep in the middle"...so cute!

B x

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I find that duct tape is very soothing.

LazyCrazyMama said...

:) I have to check out at least 5 times a day for a few minutes! Otherwise I would be completely insane!! ;)

Robin said...

they are beautiful..but my best stress reliever is laughing and i cant stop laughing at your "son running around naked slapping himself on butt"...that is just tooooo much....LMASO..!

Jayme said...

I have to agree with Lee and the duct tape suggestion. Either that or sedatives. For the kids, for you, whoever. Doesn't matter once they're in someone LOL

Sadia said...

Is is the water? Is it the weather? Is it stir-craziness? What has gotten into toddlers these last few weeks? You're the fifth or sixth mom to have reached the end of her rope.

Chocolate. I do chocolate. I cry. I exercise, if I can. I call my husband ... more precisely, I e-mail my husband, and hope that he calls. I always feel better after I've talked to him. He always feels crappier.

Sadia said...

Oh, in a pinch, neighbours! One neighbour and I have a deal that we can drop of a crazy-making kid for a few minutes before we totally lose it. We use it rarely, but OH WHAT A BLESSING!

Sidnie said...

I was browsing through my reader when I saw the music videos. I scrolled back up to see what you wrote about them... And ended up in tears.

It's 6:20 PM here. We just finished dinner, and I escaped to our bedroom for a break from today. This is normally bath time and family time. But today, I don't (or didn't) have another ounce of energy left... It was a horrible day full of yelling, tears, and tantrums.
I'm going to listen to these songs again, and then head back out to the living room with my husband and our boys....

Thanks for the reminder. I will miss this... :)

Mimi and Tilly said...

I hope you're over your cold soon. Feeling under the weather and not being able to hide under a blanket is so hard. I think you are a complete star for the way you handled how run down you felt. I give myself a reiki treatment when I feel yuck. I also have a hot bubble bath, then climb into bed with a good book. But then, I don't have two sets of twins. You are my hero!

Nezzy said...

Great for you dear girl for knowing when you need a time out. The songs are great and I can see why you love them. I had an autistic student who would put on classical music and stick his head in his desk to clam down. Heeeheehe!

Me??? Oh please don't hate me but cleaning house clams me, just nothin' like the sweet humm of a vacuum to soothe this chicks soul.

Have a wonderfully calm day!!! (OK, I know that's a joke)

Twins Squared said...

Helene the minute I read the names of the two songs my eyes started tearing up. I LOVE Let Them Be Little. Those both would bring things to perspective really quick. Thanks for the advice (not that that's what you were trying to do but I will take it as such).

I hope you are having a better day today. Oh, and thanks for adding me!

Colton's Mommy said...

Darius Rucker's "It won't be like this for long" is one of my all time favoites. I almost cry every time I hear it.

Christina said...

Beer.
Oh, and Xanax.

*smooches!*

Kim said...

Thanks for the morning cry . . . geez, that Trace Adkins video is powerful.

I think that the sentiments expressed in these songs are the main reasons I blog. Theoretically, I don't have the time to sit at the computer to write and upload photos and make videos, etc. BUT it's my way of slowing down this time when my children are little and capturing moments that would otherwise pass by and eventually be forgotten.

MamaHen Em said...

Alrighty - now that I am actually CRYING . . . I've never heard either of these songs before (I know- totally out of the loop) but SUCH a great reminder. It goes by way, way too fast. I hope you have a better day today :)

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing...I've heard both of these songs, in passing. It's good to listen and watch the videos. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Honestly? What calms me down? I really do think to myself, "it won't always be like this." For better or worse, it won't always be like this. And I KNOW I will blink and they'll be all grown up. I hate to think about it.

Shell said...

I love those songs.

We all have those days. Today feels like one.

Samantha said...

I push myself through the mornings, trying to enjoy my time with Bree all the while thinking of those 2 precious hours in which she takes a nap. I know that nap time is the only reason I am able to get through a day.

cindi said...

Once again, I was laughing out as I read...especially when I got to the part about the one running around naked. When my kds were little I use to say I was raising a future nudist colony. Then I was brought to tears as you mentioned those two songs. While I didn't have 2 sets of twins, I did have 3 children in 3 1/2 years, so I spent many days waiting for daddy to get home. And yes...you do miss it when they're grown. Cherish each second, because the years fly by.

Jessi said...

Helene, I know all too well what you are talking about. I only have two kids but for the past three days they have not listened to one word I have said. I feel like I've been screaming for 2 days straight and I don't know why. It's obviously not working, it's giving me a headache and they don't deserve it. It's hard being a stay at home mom, it really is.

I love those songs and they really do put things into perspective. I think I'll listen to them when I start feeling like I could run away.

thanks for posting!

Jessi said...

OH and about one son running naked smacking his butt and one child jumping onto a pile of cushions on the floor: you just described my two kids to a T lol!

Together We Save said...

I hope you get a break soon.... kids can be stresfull.

Mighty M said...

I am definitely going to download those songs - they are great. I don't cope very well when I am cranky. If it's later in the day I admit I head towards the wine bottle. But I try to hold off until at least 5 pm in MY time zone. :) I also try to just take a break for a minute, like you. I saw a quote on another blog that I remind myself of often: "The days may be long, but the years are short".

:)

Amy said...

I am so sorry you felt so yucky the other day no fun. Tears do help. I cry every time I hear that first song.. Have a great day. :)

HT said...

For me when things get bad it is because my kids are pushing all the buttons at the same time and I don't get a break to recover from one thing before I have to deal with another.

Something that works for me and my kids (thus far) is to just go stand in the middle of the room and say: "Stop, everybody! Stop, stop, stop!" and totally change course! "Lets go do XYZ!!" But this means you also will have to change course and go do XYZ with them. I will usually come up with something totally different to go do (preferably outside like an egg race, hoola hoops, or cartwheels) or something wacky and funny like what you never will allow them to do normally. I'm sure you will be able to come up with a lot of those being as creative as you are!

Usually my kids will be so blown away - it's an instant mood changer!! (Wow, mommy can be goofy and funny!!)

Dinner is late??? Too bad! I cannot pick up the phone??? They can call back! My house looks like a pigsty??? Get over it!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

OK, Helene, I am going to be honest, so please do not laugh...

I totally imagine in my head a whole different life. Maybe I am the new Kelly Ripa, or my blog goes viral and I am on Oprah... whatever, I just whisk myself away in my head and that always calms me down.

Then I get irritated because I never know what to wear even in my dreams :-)

Erin said...

What a great post. It's so nice to know other moms yell and aren't perfect and feel helpless and irritated, etc....and thanks for sharing these songs---they are both new to me and so wonderful!

Thank you also for your thoughtful comment on my blog yesterday. I've discovered it's not my thyroid, so back to the drawing board, I guess...but it helps to know I'm not alone and that people like you really do care!
;-)

The Lane Family said...

I so can relate to a day like that!! Those are actually two of my favorite songs as well!!!

I also understand that feeling when the husband calls and says...I am going to be late...beautiful!!

For me I find music helps relax me, going up to my room, shutting the door and hoping onto the elliptical helps a TON and sometime just taking a moment by myself to read a quick story helps!!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

We can all relate to days like that. When the boys were little I put them each in a crib and walked around the house three times. I came back in relaxed and ready - to realize the source of the nonstop screaming was that they were both teething.

blueviolet said...

Removing myself from the situation,even if only for a few minutes. Going in my room, closing the door and just lying down by myself to calm down and try to get a renewed sense of "I can do this."

Just One Week said...

I don't have children yet, and when I hear that song I often think of my own parents and how quickly my childhood flew by. My husband and I are going to start TTC in about (exactly) 10 months and I keep reminding myself to enjoy this childless time because it will be gone too soon.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Those are two of my favorites. Such perfect reminders that, though the days are LONG, the years go by in a flash. When I'm having a particularly rough day I try to remember that. And sometimes I need a time-out too. Because you're so right, kids do not deserve to be yelled at.

The Mother said...

Okay, so these are both GUYS, right?

And they have WHAT right to tell us to enjoy ourselves?

Six o'clock parents do not get to make us feel bad. I give you permission to wallow.

Karen said...

There are days when work just gets to me, people won't leave me alone, everyone wants to talk and I don't feel like it. On those days, I get into my car, settle into my hour-long drive home and turn the radio OFF.

For me, silence really is golden.

Andrea said...

I remember hearing Darius Rucker's song "It Won't Be Like This For Long" for the first time while I was pregnant with the girls. I was driving to the hospital for the millionth time because of all my preterm contractions, just PRAYING that these girls would stay put and survive, and that song comes on. UGH! I cried and cried and cried. It's soooo good.

Two Normal Moms said...

Hope you feel better soon! I love that you have songs to get you through the tough moments. I haven't done that for a while - I should!
***Ally

Jen said...

I don't really even know what to say. The tears are dripping off my face. These songs just spoke to me especially b/c I have been thinking a lot about when my kids were babies.

Helene, I just LOVE how we get each other. It is really awesome.

Booklover1212 said...

Those are absolutely two of my favorite songs. When hubby was deployed, I did a little video of our daughter that included those two songs. They always make me cry.

Hope you feel better soon, my friend!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com

Valerie said...

Great reminders...I've been having a few days (weeks actually) like this myself.

And, I didn't get to read and comment on your last post until tonight, but I have some very dry and "useful" info for you...not nearly as fun or funny as your readers comments...but,

Did you know that the child brain (I think up to adolescence) does not typicaly process a negative (such as "don't or no") before a verb. (yes, there are children that are the exception to the rule, but they're that 1%...right?!!!)

Anyway, we were taught in my brain-based master's class (education) that classroom rules that emphasized the negative were typically not useful such as "no running with scissors...don't they always?" or "no hitting" (don't they still hit in preschool?!!!). All the child hears is RUN WITH SCISSORS or HIT. Odd but true!

Instead, you are supposed to give affirmative commands that don't use negatives. For example..."walk away from the kitchen" or "Put the Sharpie down" to get immediate compliance and safety resolved.

The discipline can come after....LOL!!!

Like I said, not much fun...I definitely like your reverse psychology fridge list better...but basically we're talking about the same thing here!

Good luck!!!

Ginny Marie said...

I take the kids to the park when I've reached the end of my rope, but now that's it's below freezing and we've got a foot of snow on the ground, that just doesn't work. I do listen to music--the classical station does wonders for me--and that helps, too!

teena said...

My 8 month old is going through a clingy phase right now & when I start whining about not having ANY time to myself, my husband starts singing, "You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back....."
I love & hate him for it! ;)

Rebecca said...

Didn't listen to the songs yet, but I will...slapping himself on the ass...LOL!!!

Morgan said...

As usual, I can so relate to what you're saying Helene. I could list out what this day has been like, but it would be complaining. Let's just say that I sit down for the first time in 6 hours, get on here, and then here the dog vomit dog food in two big spots on the CARPET! Ewwww! It's been fun.

What calms me down? Like you, I really just have to get away by myself until I can calm down. I also give the kids a warning that whatever it is that's going on has me frustrated and that they need to be really quiet.

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

These songs are beautiful. I have never heard them before, but I can see why they are favorites and helps calm the moments of chaos.

Thanks for sharing!

Sharlene said...

What helps me calm down? Liquor. Lots and lots of liquor.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I hope you're feeling better! I decided to take my frustrations out on music too and calm down a bit with Baby Boo next to me on the piano. I thought, "This is good..." until she started banging on the piano with both hands an elbows.

The next time, I will take your advice and give myself a 6 minute time out. ALONE!

wife.mom.nurse said...

wow, those are amazing songs. What a sweet post.

I hope you are feeling much better.

I am feeling awful today and I had the same thought as i was doing my laundry... there is no day off for mom.

My biggest stress relief is taking a bath. But I did not get to use that tool when my kids were little. It is wonderful now.

Holly said...

I cry every time I hear those songs, especially the Trace Adkins one. I know it is so true, but sometimes hard to grasp.

If it is a bad day, I make a cup of coffee and tell the kids mommy needs a time out...sometimes I will sit on the deck and listen to the birds. Other times, probably when I am feeling most guilty, I grab the kiddos and we get cozy in my bed with a bunch of books, not worrying about dinner, homework, etc....and then I usually tickle them. Their laughter makes me happy.

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Oh, the joys of being a momma (especially a sick momma)! I know the yelling all too well and you are right- I can not stand to yell at the girls.

I love music too and what 2 great songs. Thank you for sharing these with me - I will remember these the next time I need a break.
I definitely go to my room for a few minutes and take big relaxing breaths. Sometimes even stretching out my neck, shoulders, etc. help because they feel tense at times.
Thanks again for sharing - glad it is not just me that feels this way sometimes!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love both of those songs. So beautiful.
And as for what calms me, it's crack.
*Kidding!!*

Louise said...

Hi Helene, I'm a newcomer to your blog, and am amazed at how you're surviving. Bravissima! Your story made me remember what it was like in the dark days (not so long ago) with my two, and I tried to imagine what life would be like with a cold and two sets of twins and I just daredn't go there. Wanted to add to your story that moments like you describe must have been fewer and further between when people lived in extended families where there was more than one person looking after the kids all day...

Merri Ann said...

I agree with Sadia ... is there something in the water lately ... the kids have united to drive us crazy ... welcome to 2010.

Ok ... even on your bad day you come up with something funny ... slapping himself on his bare ass ... OMG that was funny.

Hope today is better ... hugs from here ... and thanks for making me cry ... those songs are great ...

Mrsbear said...

Why do you want to make me cry first thing in the morning?

Good reminders though.

Except for that whole sleeping in the middle part, I've done that and it's unpleasant. I'm sure the kids would rather have a mom whose spine is intact.

Also, some of the ear piercing shrieks my youngest lets out are a little tough to appreciate. ;)

Hope you feel better soon.

Corrie Howe said...

A time out, like you took. And usually I'm praying the whole time, "Lord! Please! Help me! I can't take it anymore!"

And a scripture or a song will come to mind and I'll mediate over it. The Lord is good.

Carly said...

Helene, I work on Wednesday so I always catch up Thurs with you blog. I have listened to let them be little love that song. I had never herd your going to miss this. Still crying. Thank you for posting this I am downloading this song to listen too during those freak out moments.
It is a great dash of reality in the stressful moments of motherhood to listen to this song. Hope your cold goes away soon:)

Dreamer said...

Wow, what a tender post. I think as mommies we've all been there!Those songs are both amazing. The first time i heard Let them be little I sobbed. I really don't want them to grow older. When I'm stressed I have several things that help. I play a few songs on my violin (that also tends to change the kids moods as well) or I lock myself in my bedroom with chocolate and spend a few minutes on my knees. Also every morning in my prayers I pray to be able to find joy that day. It's always there, we just have to be looking for it. Sorry, this got really long. Oh, and I blog! Thanks for the perspective.

The Plateniks said...

Love those songs too. Kenny Rodgers has one..."Handprints on the wall"
and Trace Adkins song "All I ask for Anymore" is all about my husband...just watch the video on YouTube...with your tissues.

shortmama said...

Those 2 songs are some of the same songs I listen to as my little reminders in hard days too!! They are perfect. When I get overwhelmed I ask my oldest to keep an eye on my youngest for a minute and I just lock the door on my bedroom and breathe. Sometimes its all I need to get myself together.

Working Mommy said...

The TA song moves me to tears almost every time I hear it...because I know that one day when the babe - and any of her siblings who follow - are going to be too big to want to cuddle...and I'm going to miss the times I yelled instead of taking them into my arms!

~WM

Tesa said...

I love the Let Them Be Little Song. Makes me tear up every time. I often feel like I'm trying to do so much that I don't slow down to enjoy the kids and that's especially hard when you're sick and just trying to get through the day. Great song choices, glad you found them soothing and I hope you are feeling better too.

Frugal Vicki said...

I LOVE that Trace Adkins song. It is by far one of my favorites.He also sings Watching you, the first time I heard it I was pregnant with my son. I love him!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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