Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to Handle Bad Days

It's sort of a catch 22... be happy, be joyful, be grateful, be happy. I mean, we've got so many blessings!! We have no business being grumpy, or irritated, or tired, or headachy, or...

Except when we're grumpy, or irritated or tired or headachy or...

See, today? Today I'm not in the mood. I'm not in the mood to cook for the five ravenous children demanding to be fed.

I'm not in the mood to educate my children.

I'm not in the mood to do the dishes.

Or the laundry.

Or deal with the CONSTANT mini-battles that seem to define and shape the interactions of my children.


And I feel guilty about that.

I'd LIKE to want to.

I'm not actually sure WHY I don't want to.

But, I just know that I've already threatened to lock each and every one of my sons outside for the duration because of one reason or another.



Phew. I wish even that small tirade made me feel less like running away screaming.

It didn't.

I think we all have days when we just don't feel like doing the things we're supposed to do everyday.

Some days we feel less happy and thrilled with life than others.

It's normal. 

Thing is, I think the way we handle THESE kinds of days are the real test, ya know? How do you deal with the frustrations, the little challenges, the little tests? How can you rise above your own desires (TO BE LEFT ALONE) and serve the way we've been called to?

Here are some ways to deal with the days like this:

1. Pray. Pray for strength. Pray for a quiet heart. Pray that God will grant you the wisdom to get through a tough moment. There are times when I genuinely have to simply walk away from my children, go to my room, shut the door and hit my knees. In times when that isn't possible, a prayer heavenward in my mind can remind me of my purpose.

2. Change it up. Can you shake up your routine in any way? What can you do differently? Go for a walk? Put in the afternoon at the park? Make something untraditional for dinner? What can you do to make it all seem less frustating? Less monotonous?

3. Enlist help. I think sometimes, (not all the time) it is appropriate to share with your kids that you are having a rough day. It's okay to ask them for help, to ask them to be kinder and more patient with each other, because it will help YOU be kinder and more patient with them. I don't think there is harm in showing your children that you are human.

4. Work. The best cure for not wanting to work, is to get up and get to work. Work your frustrations out on that dirty counter, or the pile of laundry. Instead of loafing and wasting time, getting to work will allow you, despite your initial feelings, a great deal of satisfaction. You worked that frustration to your favor.

Gordan B. Hinckely said,“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes

5. Accept that every single day will not be sunshine and roses. It's okay. Tomorrow will be better. While we are that we might have joy, most days are just regular days. Try and find the joy in the moments. If there simply isn't any, then hang on, because you never know what tomorrow will mean.

Hang in there. I know that for myself, today, I'm surviving. I'm trying NOT to be a grumpy mom. I'm failing. But, I'm going to go practice the above list, and I'm having faith that it will get better.

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