Had another Tired and Cranky Day the other day. I’ve talked about my expertise in this area before; being tired and cranky is all I’m good at sometimes. By lunch time when I was willing my son to watch “just a little more television” so I could walk aimlessly around the house failing trying to do something productive, I telephoned my husband rather pathetically.
“When are you coming home? Is it now?”
I knew what the answer would be but I asked anyway.
I continued in a not-quite-whingy-but-rather-desperate voice.
“Son has watched too much TV today and I’m feeling bad about that. I have all this washing but I just can’t seem to do it. And I’m eating all the carbs in the house.”
To my husband’s credit, he quietly said, “It sounds like you need to get out Honey.”
“But where? It’s in the middle of the day and I have to go get the kids from school soon.”
“Just take son down to the local pool and have a swim. It’s all under cover and you’ll both love it.”
It seemed such a radical idea at the time but I thought: why not? So I left the washing pile I wasn’t going to fold anyway and went to the pool.
I spent a blissful 2 hours role playing Octonauts with my son. When we came home, our skin still cool from the pool, we snuggled in bed read books for half an hour before picking up the other children from school.
It turned out to be a rather nice day. I was still tired but it was a more relaxed-tired rather than a stressed-tired and that’s huge for me.
How to Be A Fun (Tired) Mum
1. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do messy activities — or any major activities in fact. When I’m really tired this is usually a disaster.
2. Talk to someone outside of the situation. When I’m really tired and I’m putting one foot in front of the other, that’s all I can really see — my feet! It can help to talk to someone who can give you some helpful ideas on how to get through the particular day.
3. Do something both you and your child/ren enjoy. I knew (well my husband knew) that my son would spend a few hours VERY HAPPILY in water. He would probably enjoy a park too but the last thing I wanted to do in the middle of the day. For it you it might be visiting a close friend, reading books, going for a drive or visiting the shops for a little while.
4. Get out! If being at home is feeling toxic, just get out. Go out for a walk or even just a drive in the car.
I don’t always have these really tired and cranky days but they do come round. And when they do, it’s great to have strategies to get through the day.
PennyMarch 4, 2011 at 7:48 am
Soooo have those days too. I invite friends over! Then our kids can run amok in the next room (and get tired then sleep) and we can have coffee and get a caffeine rush then get the comedown together. We can also moan to each other about how tired we are and feel better that we’re not the only ones!
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm
@Penny, Sounds like a great plan Penny! Especially the coffee. Oh coffee: I LOVE YOU!
Julie JonesMarch 4, 2011 at 7:49 am
I often go stir crazy if I’m in the house all day. Some days I only go as far as the letter box. But most days I try to get out, even if it’s just down to the local shops to get in the aircon and get out of our heatbox of a house. Swimming is a good idea. I’ll start Ben in swimming classes in the next month or so.
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm
@Julie Jones, Yeah, I get stir crazy too. I learned early on in my parenting career that I had to get out…and often. Swimming is a wonderful activity isn’t it? Hope Ben enjoys it!
AshMarch 4, 2011 at 7:52 am
A perfect day! And it could have been a horrible day! Love all your tips, x
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm
@Ash, It was a lovely day! And you’re right…it could have been so different!
Angela HallMarch 4, 2011 at 8:26 am
I absolutely relate, and called my hubby this morning in much the same way. Sometimes things just need to wait, no point feeling guilty about it right?! Thanks for another honest and real blog Kelly.
Your timing is divine.
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm
@Angela Hall, Yep. I could have stayed home vacillating and trying to get the washing done or go and do something productive with my son. I just needed someone to point that out to me. I hope your day goes fast! xx
BookChookMarch 4, 2011 at 8:28 am
Sometimes what helps me get through a day like that is treating myself like a toddler. After all, that’s mostly how I’m acting!
Distraction: put on loud music and dance, make a luscious chocolate cake for dessert and lick the bowl, find a book or movie that makes me laugh and plonk down with it.
Bribery: promise myself a new pair of shoes if I get the chores done, go out for lunch once the chores are done, research cruises on the Rhine.
Nicole GrantMarch 4, 2011 at 9:14 am
@BookChook, Love all of these – particularly licking the bowl after making chocolate cake!
BookChookMarch 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm
@Nicole Grant, @NicoleGrant Why is raw cake mix so attractive? I only found out recently that you’re not supposed to do it because of salmonella risk from raw egg. So now I have double the guilt! (and half the cake mix, usually.)
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm
@BookChook, BAHAHAHA! I adore you BC. You’re gold. So, does that mean I can throw myself on the ground, kick my legs and scream too? Please? Pretty please?
Love your tips! They rock!
BookChookMarch 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm
@Kelly B, You know what Kel, I honestly think most mums could cut themselves some slack and have a little tantie at times. We’re so used to being strong for everyone’s sake, tamping down and being in control, that we forget about “me time”. If that means throwing ourselves down and letting rip, what the hey! Better to let some steam out than crack the pot.
VeronicaMarch 4, 2011 at 10:02 am
I honestly don’t know what I do. We live too far from anything to just nip anywhere and I find parks exhausting. I love the idea of visiting the pool however, I’m hoping our “close” pool (30mins drive) reopens soon.
Kelly BMarch 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm
@Veronica, It’s so hard being isolated. My sister has the same problem. Lives out in the sticks. Bath tub might get a bit cramped hey 😉
It’s taken me…um…10 years of parenting to work out how to semi-get through the tired days…in a semi-productive way. Hey, I’m a slow learner.
ReneeMarch 22, 2012 at 10:22 am
Maybe you could just put the sprinkler on and run through it screaming with laughter like a child?? Or I get the sprinkler and some buckets and some tupperware and we play with that – not much mess to clean up afterwards. Get a bit of plastic and some soap and play slip and slide on the mat like we used to when we were little kids?
ReneeMarch 22, 2012 at 10:24 am
Or invest in a good blow up pool?
Michelle Dennis EvansMarch 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Fun always works to get through tired and cranky.
Kelly Be A Fun MumMarch 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm
Thanks Michelle xx
MultipleMumMarch 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm
A perfect move Dr Tired and Cranky. Sometimes you have just got to take it outside 🙂
Kelly Be A Fun MumMarch 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm
Seriously, this made me LOL. It’s quoteable! Thanks for making me laugh today 😀
ChristieMarch 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm
I love this, you really turned your day around, great advice!
Kelly BMarch 5, 2011 at 12:16 am
I was thrilled with how the day turned out (when it could have been very different)! Thanks Christie.
AliceMarch 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm
Kelly I’ve been through many days like this recently. As you’ve suggested, I’m trying to give myself some grace, still getting used to living in a new city.
On many of these days spending a few minutes catching up with my neighbour, while the kids are playing outside has been a great help. I’ve also appreciated chats with my sis-in-law on the other side of the country, and my husband also helps me to keep things in perspective.
Love the photos, and thanks for the tips. Looks like I need to check out that pool. Miss 3 plays in the bath or paddling pool on most days 🙂
Kelly BMarch 5, 2011 at 12:21 am
Sounds like you are doing so well Al. It really is tough moving around.
Since this day, I’ve been back to the pool many times!
I’m praying for you now. x
JulieMarch 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm
Totally agree with #1. I made that mistake this morning. I am VERY tired and cranky today as I think I have a stomach bug (so praying it doesn’t go through the whole family!)
I decided to let the kids play with this stuff called “Bubber” (a sensory texture sort of like play-dough and fairy-floss combined). It started out well until the kids threw it all over the lounge-room. It ended up squished into the cracks in the floor boards, stuck to our pants…
After I got even more cranky and sent the kids out of the room, I had to spend 1/2 hour cleaning “bubber” from between the floor boards with a skewer!
Kelly Be A Fun MumMarch 7, 2011 at 9:15 am
HA! I know it wouldn’t have been funny at the time but you just have to laugh sometimes hey… I learnt no. 1 from experience too. Hope you feel btter soon
PollyMarch 6, 2011 at 3:31 am
I find this very inspiring…sometimes we moms don’t allow ourselves to have fun. We’re the ones who really need it!
And your husband really gets major points for listening and giving some great advice!
When I’ve had a hard day, I have to admit that I wait until the kids are in bed, leave my husband with them and head out to the bookstore or coffeeshop.
Kelly Be A Fun MumMarch 7, 2011 at 9:18 am
It’s great to get out on your own sometimes isn’t it? And books and coffee sounds like the perfect combination.
katie @aussibummummyMarch 6, 2011 at 1:50 pm
ohhh i also get like this, to tired to do anythign but cant stand being in the house, the local pool is also a favourite for jordy and i, we get that awesome 1 on 1 time, and i dont have to fret baout where the other boys are, its also refreshing going for a swim and its very relaxing and tires the little ones out so its a winner for us =D
Kelly Be A Fun MumMarch 7, 2011 at 9:19 am
Yeah Katie. You summed up the pool experience well. It was relaxing for both me and son. It turned into such a positive day. Happy 🙂
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