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15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

Children are truly amazing, but being in charge of more than one at any given time can be a genuine challenge. If you are a parent of more than one kid, you know what was difficult with one can snowball into quite an adventure with multiples! But you’ve gained some real insight into parenthood on your journey. You go you! Here are a few things parents with more than one kid learn through the experience:

1. You know calendars make for sane parents

When your kids hit the after school activity age, thing get busy in a hurry. Your daughter has ballet, softball, and karate while your son needs to get to his music lessons, basketball practice and his volunteer project at the animal shelter. Add all your regular shopping needs and the PTA meeting you’re hosting, and you have got to keep a ton of stuff organized. The solution? Break out the planner. Whatever calendar system you use, you love it and know that its the key to the land of sanity.

2. You realize sleep is a precious commodity

Keeping up with one kiddo can really drain you. This is especially true when your offspring are very young. Add a toddler to the household of a newborn and suddenly parents start to forget what sleep can feel like. But oh, when they find a moment to snooze it can be so wonderful.

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3. You understand the value of a giggle fest

While the kids may make you tired, they are also so darn cute. The silly things they do can induce a big laugh which can lead the whole group into bursts of laughter! As your kids and you are laughing hysterically, you realize just how awesome your life is.

4. You know how to prioritize happiness over task lists

With multiple kids, you simply can’t get everything done everyday. In order to stay clam and happy, you’ve learned how to determine what things are most important and what things can wait for another day. While the trash really needs to find its way to the dumpster, that pan from dinner really can wait. After all, tonight is simply better spent watching Toy Story with your daughters.

5. You are filled with joy when your kids play together

One of the best parts of having more than one child is seeing them interact. Sure this can seem negative when they are pulling each other’s hair and playing tag in the aisles of the grocery store, but in those moments where they are sharing their favorite toy and laughing together at the silly cartoon, you know that this is what its all about. Nothing can fill the heart faster than watching two of your kids be kind to each other.

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6. You know how to work the relatives for babysitting

When its your turn to go to a grown-up event, you see a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some grandma, niece, or cousin quality time. These little bundles of joy won’t be little forever, so why not pull in some trusted relatives to enjoy the journey. Plus, family baby sitters tend to come with a nice discount. Score!

7. You love buying in bulk

Trips to the grocery store become more complicated with several kids. Fortunately, buying in bulk decreases the number of trips dramatically. Who wants to spend time walking through the laundry soap aisle when you could be having princess tea time with your kids?

8. You realize little people can create a lot of mess

Even though you may only have a family of four or five, the amount of dirt and mess generated can get out of hand quickly. Just because your kids are small that does not mean your cleaning regiment is small. But, that’s ok. Cleaning up a bit seems like a small price for all the laughs and joy of taking care of this family.

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9. You’ve got packing lunch down to a system

When the kiddos reach school age, they need some lunch to take with them. When you’ve got multiples to prep, you’ve got to make sure nothing gets left behind. To get everyone ready, you’ve got the lunch boxes ready and a tried and true system to fill them.

10. You drop some knowledge when your single child friends complain

For every problem a parent with one child has, a parent with multiple kids gets those issues compounded. Trouble getting the house clean, try multiplying that by twice the number of kids. Issues with scheduling play dates, try doubling the headache. Single child parents are cute, but they don’t even know. Fortunately, you are here to help them out.

11. You know it gets easier by the second or third child

With your first child you were stressing out about everything from getting the bottle to the right temperature to what kind of music he or she fell asleep to. By kid number two or three, you’ve got all that stuff figured out. You know what is worth your mental energy and what isn’t.

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12. You love going to the park

The kids get to run around, and you get to sit and supervise. Sure you may be called in to repair a boo boo or provide a snack refuel, but really you just get some time to relax while the kids get rid of their pent up energy. Your relaxation time is made all the sweeter knowing they will sleep well tonight.

13. You know not to play favorites

That one time you gave your daughter a slightly bigger piece of candy than your son made this situation very clear. You spend time making sure each child understands they are loved and equally special. You can see the stress playing favorites can cause, and you work hard to prevent it.

14. You buy toys in multiples

If one child gets a toy, its important that the other child receives something as well. So long as the kids preferences for toys are similar, the best choice is to buy in multiples. This keeps everyone on an even level and makes your life in the toy department a lot simpler.

15. You love story time

Reading stories to your kids is the best. Not only do we get the opportunity to snuggle, but watching their imagination take flight while engaging with literature is truly special. If you had your way, you would have story time all the time. Bonus- the kiddos often nap after their literary adventures!

Featured photo credit: gellert via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

“Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

1. Make a Gratitude List

In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

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The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

2. Write in a Journal

Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

3. Meditate

Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

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Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

4. Do Child’s Pose

Yoga Outlet says:

“Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

     

    Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

    5. Try Positive Self-Talk

    Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

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    When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

    Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

    When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

    When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

    Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

    6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

    Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

    You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

    It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

    Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

    If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

    7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

    “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

    If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

    You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

    When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

    If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

    Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

    Final Thoughts

    If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

    Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

    You can invest in yourself via self-care.

    You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

    More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

    Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

    Reference

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