The Importance of Ritual

I have my first ever couples massage tomorrow! All I have for you today is some heart to heart words of encouragement.

Life can be exhausting–trust me, I know. Sometimes I wake up not sure how I’m going to get through the day. Sometimes I see the dishes in the sink and the toys on the floor and give an exasperated sigh.

It’s okay to get tired and burnt out, it’s just the way it goes–we’re human, we can only handle so much. Sometimes the shrill, high-pitched scream of my younger daughter grates on my nerves one too many times or my tired toddler’s whining just gets to me. What’s important is how you handle it. I generally have a three tiered system for hard days:

1. Stop and take a deep breath. If your kids are frustrating you, try your best go empathize. Maybe they don’t know how to express that they’re tired, hungry, or just need you. And that’s okay, they’re kids. I find that I can often talk my toddler through figuring out what she needs.

2. Fall back on the basic routine. Don’t stress over housework, chores, or anything extra, just the bare bones necessities. So for me diapers, food, nursing, naps–the dishes and toys will be there to pick up later.

3. If this isn’t working, We get up and change the scenery. We go to the library, park, sit at a favorite haunt, or even just go walk somewhere for a while. Changing the scenery really helps me and the kids when we’re all in sour moods and brightens the day.

And last of all, it’s important to have time to yourself, for your sake as well as theirs. Make sure that you make time for your significant other and for keeping in touch with who you are and your own interests. Make it a regular part of your routine, even if it’s only five minutes in the shower alone. You’ll be thankful for the break. Though I know it’s easy to do, don’t get lost in being a parent.