It’s been a rough week for this Mama. Is there a sudden burst in hormones as you enter your third trimester?? I’m pretty sure I spent more time crying than not. Sweet L decided to drop naps and wake up an hour earlier in the mornings this week. I still schedule ‘rest time’ during our day, and she is perfectly content to lay in her little bed singing for an hour. The few hours of sleep that she’s missed every day are taking their toll, however. The tantrums and whining have made our home feel like a war zone.
Everyone here is on edge. My grumpiness and impatience led to me snipping and falling into arguments with my two-year-old (seriously, how does she get me going in a yes-no back and forth like that?). And the constant crying and grumping annoyed my work-at-home husband who then made a grouchy comment to me, which led to a sobbing tantrum of my own. Does anyone else have weeks like this?
So, in an effort to make this post (and my attitude in general) less whiny, here are three things that have brought my sanity back this week.
- Structured Playtime
I started using a basic and altered version of this preschool curriculum from Timberdoodle three weeks ago. Even though I am a teacher, playing with kids is not my strength. I get distracted and bored sitting on the floor playing the games my toddler makes up. I also get busy cooking or cleaning or (ahem) looking at Facebook.
Now, we have a checklist of playing/learning activities to do three days a week. They take about an hour or so, and it is a time when I am fully engaged with my daughter. I do not want to push my two-year-old at all academically, so I’m very careful about reading her cues and keeping every activity play-based and fun. Right now, we’re working on letters and sounds (which is totally led by her, she LOVES alphabet books) and counting to 5.
I was worried that another checklist of things to do would be added pressure. But, it’s really taken the pressure off – L and I enjoy ‘school’. And, when we don’t, we do something else. The conversations we’ve had and memories we’ve made in the last three weeks have been amazing.
- Scheduled Away Time
After completing some practicum hours for my *nearly finished* Masters of Library Science degree at the closest elementary school, I was hired on to work 8 hours a week as their library assistant. L goes to a mom’s day out program at a nearby church, and it works out perfectly. Going to work at the library is a joy! And, for some reason, being away from the things that are going on at home for a few hours changes my mood and perspective completely.
I’m not sure if my part time job will last beyond this school year, but I have learned that prioritizing time that I can do something other than be a mom and a wife is so important for my wellbeing. Just one half-day of being away completely reversed the tense atmosphere in our home.
- Full Panel Maternity Pants
This is silly, but SO true! I said goodbye to my pre-pregnancy pants several months ago, but I have been noticeably showing for just the past few weeks. I know because strangers are starting to feel comfortable asking when my baby’s due. Even though my husband laughs whenever he sees them and calls them my old man pants, full panel pants are amazing! They add an extra layer of warmth in these cold winter months, and they smooth out my strangely jiggly, lumpy baby belly (is that too much detail for people I don’t know?). There are many frustrating and annoying things about being pregnant, but I love having a baby bump to show off. There’s something about having a little tiny baby in there that takes away my usual insecurities about my body.
What helps you when being a mom feels impossible?
Here’s hoping for a better next week,