10 Ways to Stay Sane Until Bedtime When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy
There are days (like today for me) when your kids are on a mission to steal your sanity as quickly as humanly possible. First of all, I want to say that you’re still a good mom if your kids drive you crazy sometimes! Some people make other moms feel like horrible mothers if they mention their kids are annoying them that day. I’m sorry, but every single mom gets annoyed at her kids at times. You’re not alone and you’re still an amazing mom!
Here are some ways I’ve learned to stay sane until the kiddos are sleeping peacefully in their beds so I can recharge until the craziness starts all over again the next morning.
10 Ways to Stay Sane Until Bedtime When Your Kids Are Driving You Crazy:
1. Listen to calming music. I like to listen to contemporary worship like Hillsong or Covenant Worship. Singing along to songs about the greatness of our God helps stabilize my mood a lot better than Larry the Cucumber singing about his belly button does. Some people enjoy classical music. Find a genre that relaxes you and turn it on as loud as you want.
2. Give yourself a timeout. This will vary depending on the ages of your kids. My two are currently 15 months and 3 years old and were both born with a highly destructive nature, so I’m not really comfortable leaving them unsupervised for longer than it takes for me to use the bathroom. If my husband isn’t home and I need a “mommy timeout,” that usually means making a fresh cup of coffee or tea, turning on Mother Goose Club on Netflix and staying in the same room as them and reading a book or scrolling on my phone guilt-free.
3. Let them make a mess. I know, I know. The constant messes are probably part of the reason why your kids are driving you insane in the first place. When I’m getting annoyed at picking up the same basket of toys for the 67th time that day, I realize it’s not worth it and let my living room turn into a disaster zone until bedtime.
4. Go outside. Stop what you’re doing and go take a walk. Sunshine and fresh air will do wonders for everyone’s mood! Engage the little one’s minds while you’re out there. Play “I spy” or do an outdoor scavenger hunt.
5. Toss them in the bath. Grab your bathtime poncho (if your kids are anything like mine!), lay a towel on the floor, and let them splish and splash! Even if they don’t need a bath at 4 in the afternoon, you’ll probably get 20-30 minutes of listening to giggles and squeals instead of whining and fighting.
6. Do something annoying. Your kids may be driving you crazy because they miss you. Maybe you’ve been extra busy and haven’t been able to really play with them in a while. Try to turn your mental “to-do” list off and as annoying as it may be, play 4 games of Candyland in a row, or race cars across the kitchen floor. Mommy playing a game of their choosing for 30 minutes uninterrupted might just make the rest of the day go a lot smoother.
7. Clean. I know this one contradicts #3, but just trust me and keep reading. You can still let them make a mess while you walk away and clean something else. Personally, the more messy and unorganized my house is, the more messy and unorganized my days are. If the kids are driving me crazy and the only thing that keeps them occupied is letting them dump out every toy they have access to, I let them do just that and go work on something else. Maybe I’ll go around and make beds, wash the dishes, or get a load of laundry started or folded. Even getting a small chore accomplished when I’m feeling frazzled helps my mood.
8. Listen to a podcast. I love podcasts. As a SAHM in a one-vehicle family in a new community where I haven’t met a lot of people yet, I don’t get out as much as I used to. Podcasts help SO much! When I’m doing the dishes, folding laundry, or making dinner, I’m almost always listening to a podcast. Listening to an adult human voice is a nice break from the constant “M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-m!” whines I hear throughout the day. I love to listen to others encourage me and give me helpful tips to strengthen my marriage, be a better mom, or even to grow my blog. I also listen to some preaching podcasts but I usually listen to sermons on Youtube. Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in me sharing a list of my favorite podcasts.
9. Pray. Maybe this one should have been first, but this list isn’t in any particular order. As moms of young ones, it’s hard to get up before the sun and have time with the Lord, even though we know the importance of it. I used to be so hard on myself when I failed in this particular area, but after much encouragement from seasoned moms who have raised God-fearing children, I’ve learned to cut myself some slack in this area. While waking up and giving God my undivided attention before anyone wakes up is my preference, it doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, keeping Him in the forefront of my thoughts throughout the day is a necessity. Instead of reacting to my kids out of frustration, asking God to give me wisdom is much more helpful both to me and to my kids, then me yelling at them. If I’m overwhelmed, taking a few minutes and acknowledging that I need His help to be the best mom I can be, alters my mood considerably. Thanking Him for being such a wonderful Father is sure to brighten my day. Turning on an audio version of the Bible (I use YouVersion) loud enough for both me and the kids to hear is also something I’ll do. There is so much power in the Word! It’s never too early to help your kids fall in love with the Word. It will keep them grounded as they grow and navigate this world that will tell them that God isn’t real. As parents, it’s our job to help our children develop a love for God and the things of God. Don’t put it off. Make it a habit early so it will be easier when they’re older. If daily Bible reading is all they remember, they’re more apt to keep up the habit when mom and dad aren’t there to remind them.
10. Talk to your tribe. Send a text to another mom friend and vent. Swap stories of the crazy things your kids have done today. I have a few mom friends that I text throughout the day and they never fail to put a smile on my face and remind me that I’m not alone! We all need a support group to help us through this wild ride called motherhood!
What are your tips for staying sane when your kids drive you crazy? Share them in the comments below!