Laugh when you want to cry.
A wise friend once told me. "Just laugh when you feel like crying." When the words came out of her beautiful and loving face, I have to admit, I thought she had gone as crazy as me.
But she was right. Not only was I grateful that a fellow mama was brave and honest enough to tell me there are days she wants to just scream and cry, but she was right. There are two choices when the days seem endless and the angels you live for turn into Jekyll or Hyde. You can either melt, scream and cry or you can laugh.
Sure, when I am driving and one kid is screaming and kicking the seat and the other is repeatedly (yet sweetly but still maddening) saying "mama...mama...peeeaazzee mama" I look like an insane woman laughing but it absolutely helps bring my boiling blood down. I feel more in control of my emotional being and wellness and I don't feel like a horrible witch for screaming at my kids when the day is over.
The other day a couple of mom friends and I took our kids to a museum. Seemed like a harmless fun filled day full of history and wonderment. But have you ever taken three 4.5 year olds and three babies (2 of which run faster than most adults) to a historical museum with gorgeous echoing halls and huge dark animal filled rooms? Well we did and it was madness. But for some reason it was an absolute blast! There was no yelling or screaming from anyone...well until the end of day meltdowns for toys began.
I know what you're thinking..."the moms were on their best behavior". Nope...the raddest thing about having mom friends is that they are just that...friends that have kids. We bare it all. The embarrassing, the nasty, the things that no one tells you and there are no judgements. Just hugs and huge glasses of wine. We all learned our dear friend, Lucy's trick! Just laugh. Crying or yelling will make it all worse.
Not only were the kids less defiant when we weren't shouting at them, there were less meltdowns. When we almost lost one in an elevator because the doors began closing with her alone in it, we were all less stressed and it made it that much more memorable. We actually laughed a bit when we got that door open. Throughout the day each one of our kids did something too loud, too naughty, or too 4.5 year old and we would all look at each other, laugh, roll our eyes for the other and continue on.
Of course I don't mean laugh instead of discipline. Just try it when they are acting out, when they are testing your last nerve. It actually scares them a little. Sssshhhh
And P.S. this whole laugh it out idea is a work in progress too. There are plenty of tear filled, loud voiced, losing it days too...