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It happens. More often than I’d like to admit, but it definitely happens. My kids drive me crazy. I’d go so far as to say bat shit crazy sometimes. It’s not their fault, they’re learning their place in the world, pushing boundaries, seeing what they can get away with and what they can’t. But sometimes, oh Mama sometimes it’s like they’re dancing on those buttons of yours instead of just pushing them.
I’m with you. I understand. The days when I’ve tried 8 times to drink the one cup of coffee I’ve now reheated repeatedly in the microwave are usually the worst. I don’t have as much patience as my caffeinated self would, and sometimes I just need to reign myself in.
So here’s what I’ve learned. Here are some ways to calm down when your kids are driving you crazy and you want to scream. The key is finding what works for you, and then falling back on that when you need it. Hopefully, some of these will work for you too.
1 – Walk Away
How easy is that? Unless something dangerous is happening, sometimes simply removing yourself from the situation and walking away is enough to help you calm down.
My kids are so full of energy and so full of chaos which also means they are very noisy. Often it’s that noise that grinds me down, but you know what? That’s my problem. Kids are meant to be noisy! I don’t want them to be boring, unadventurous things that just sit in front of a screen all day. I want them to have fun.
So, when things are noisy or a bit too much, I simply walk away to a quieter spot and just calm down.
2 – Drink The Darn Coffee
It’s no secret, I love coffee. But it’s not (usually) for the buzz it gives me. I’m pretty sure that buzz stopped working a long time ago. It’s more because it is my grounding point. It’s my self care moment. It’s holding the warm cup between my hands and breathing in the aroma before drinking it.
It’s easy to forget to take those moments for yourself, especially when the kids are going crazy and are full of energy. We feel like we need to do all the things for them, but sometimes, actually, often, that can wait.
They can wait another 5 minutes for breakfast while I drink the coffee. They can read a book for 5 minutes before I take them to the park. They can do something on their own for 5 minutes while I enjoy my coffee. We will all be much better off for it.
3 – Give A Big Hug
There are so many things that can be solved with a big hug…
If your kids are full on, a hug can calm them down. If they’re making you cranky, a hug from them can calm you down. It can give you a chance to just stop and focus on each other in a positive way. And cuddling your kids sets of a hormone cascade that kicks our nurturing, protective and loving instincts in.
Even if you’re all touched out, a hug might just be the thing your kids need from you, and you need from them. Just a few moments of cuddles can make the world of difference.
4 – The Sanity Call
My husband and I have a rule, we can give each other a ‘Sanity Call’ at any time and there doesn’t have to be a point to the conversation, it’s merely a way for us to just take a few moments out, calm down, and deal with the chaos.
Admittedly, I use it more than him. And there are some times when it doesn’t work (we are both Paramedics so there are times when we just can’t answer our phones). But it’s nice to just call up and know that we can just talk and by the end of the call I always feel so much better.
Most of the time my hubs will remind me that I’m doing a good job and that motherhood is hard and just all the things I need to hear as a Mama. It’s just nice to know he has my back.
5 – Set Them A Challenge
This doesn’t work all the time, but I do try it often. My kids are super competitive. I mean, so am I so there’s no real surprise there. But if they’re just being a bit too over the top and I need a break, I’ll set a challenge for them and most of the time, they get right in and do it.
Sometimes it’s a physical challenge like can you do 20 push-ups in a minute? Or can you run back and forth from here to there 10 times? Or it could be a reading challenge like ‘I challenge you to read 3 books right now’.
My daughter is still too young to really understand what’s going on, but she sees her big brother getting in and doing things so she copies.
These aren’t always going to work, but sometimes, especially if you get in early and do one of these, a big meltdown (yours, not theirs) can be avoided.