Friday, January 4, 2013

How to make unsuccessful days successful

I have a theory that my kids have a way of communicating with each other to play jokes on me.  For instance, I stay up two hours after everyone goes to bed and I try to get up an hour before everyone wakes up so that I get a few quiet moments to myself.  This means, that I get roughly 6-7 hours of sleep a night.  I know, I know, 8 is the magical number, but honestly, give me 6 hours of unbroken sleep and I am good.  Lately, however, Dexter will be up ready to par-tay from 10pm-1am, leaving me not one second of quiet time in the evening.
The children have gone mad!
Then, as I stagger myself out of bed with crusties still in my eyes at 6 (er...6:30am) to enjoy a hot cup of coffee before they wake up, D-man wakes up only moments after I hit the brew button on the Keurig.  I leave my coffee, get him, go back to my coffee and he starts to play.  After a few minutes, he wants to nurse, which makes him fall back to sleep around 7:30-8, which is the exact time his sister wakes up.  So while he is sleeping on my lap, she crawls up in my chair to snuggle and breathes her fiery, toxic, morning breath on me.  All before I have enjoyed my coffee.

Could I look more tired?
Now, don't get me wrong, there are actually days I love this.  I love early morning snuggles.  They are when my kids are the most squishy.  They don't need to talk or move or do anything else other than sit in my lap and let me squeeze on them.  However, as a stay at home mom, I dream of evenings sitting in my chair blogging while watching Gossip Girl marathons, alone.  Mornings drinking a hot cup of coffee with the quiet pattering of rain on the sun roof with just the glow of my laptop screen on my face, sound like nirvana.  Weeks of my time being taken from me, and I end up like this:

If I was better at photoshop, I would change the pictures to say "no coffee and quiet time make mommy go CRAZY" but I am not.

Back in October, I wrote a post about how not every day is a success.  And sometimes, those days happen.  Lately around here, they are happening a little more often than not, which is why I have had to figure out how to survive the unsuccessful days.  So I wrote a list...

8 ways to make unsuccessful days SUCCESSFUL:

1. Make your list smaller.  Every day, I write a list.  A list of things I want to get done, things I need to do, places I need to go.  My list is always far more than what I can typically get done, but I write it nonetheless.  I have learned that on days when I have had 4-5 hours of broken sleep, having an extra long list does me no favors.  So I try to make lists far smaller than normal so that at the end of the day, if all I have accomplished is doing the dishes, I feel like I got something done.  This also helps my exhaustion to not mix with the feeling of failure which helps meltdowns on my part.
See how the handles kind of make a little heart...
2.  Invest a thermos mug.  Those things keep your coffee hot for hours.  There is nothing worse than waking up knowing today is going to be rough, grabbing your cup of coffee, taking a big gulp, and it's ice cold.
Not a thermos mug, but it keeps coffee warm for a long time. 
3.  Dig out the reserve movies.  Always keep a few movies in your arsenal that you don't watch regularly.  When you bust out a new movie, they are likely to keep everyone's attention way longer than something you watch often.  I know in our house, Lucy can go weeeeeeeeks watching the same movie, but she won't actually watch it, she plays, "reads" or does her projects while its playing, but you put on a new movie?  She will sit there the whole movie.  Do you know what I can get done around the house with a new movie and a napping baby?  A LOT.

4. Accept the fact that the day will most likely be full of suck.  Get passed that fact and move on.  If you keep getting frustrated at every.single.thing that goes wrong, you will end up in a straight jacket.  Know that someone is going to spill something and it probably will happen while you are in the bathroom, so in the 30 seconds it takes you to get there, the little one has "finger painted" in it.  Bonus points if the spill is actually puke.

5.  Go for a walk.  When I am grumpy the last thing I want to do is go to the park.  Other kids are there, Lucy runs in places I can't see her, Dexter wants to chew on whatever he can reach for which includes but is not limited to, leaves, dirt, rocks, and bird poop.  Instead, I strap them in the stroller, and we go for a walk.  The fresh air does them some good, the walk gives me a little more energy, it also gives us all time to just enjoy silence.

6.  Forget dinner.  At this point in the day, you probably have figured out that you forgot to take something out for dinner, meaning, dinner will not be ready by the time your husband gets home.  So what I do is this:  I text Matt around 5 and say "There was a disaster (everyone is ok) and dinner isn't going to happen, we can pick you up at the bus stop and we can get dinner on the way home"  I should probably have that one saved in my "default" texts.

7.  Pass them off.  After dinner, you get home, play pass the babies.  You have to be very sneaky about this one because all too often you can get caught.  When you get home from dinner, you pass the baby and say, "hey, take him for a minute, I have to go to the bathroom."  And then you have at least 30 minutes before anyone comes looking for you.

8.  Enjoy the wine.  When your bathroom break is over, get bath time over and done.  Get the kids in bed.  The baby will probably fight it and never sleep, that's fine, because that's when I pass him back to Matt.  Send everyone to bed.  Then pour the biggest glass of wine in the world.  If you don't drink, eat cookies, or cake, or ice cream.  Something that will just hit the spot and make everything better.  And while you are at it, put on some smut TV, like Jersey Shore or one of the Real Housewives because those shows are a constant reminder that your life would actually be worse you could be one of them.

To read about my regular day to day when things are normal, click here.


  1. We are having these grumpy days way too often over here!! I think I am the grumpy one :) Good tips!

  2. Remember, if U set your goals low enough, it's easy to be successful every day!!!!!

  3. PS.......Is that your celebrity "Mug Shot"?........

  4. "Pass the babies" is brilliant:)

  5. This is a brilliant list I already do most of these! Number 3 is sooo true I literally keep a new movie hidden in my closet for sick days or days like this!


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