Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Smiles

It's no secret how much I love breastfeeding and the joy it's brought me. But I've also shared before about some of my tough uphill climbs in the roller coaster journey that comes with nursing in particular, and motherhood in general. Those cloudy days are rough, especially when they can range in severity from "I'm so depressed I don't know how to function" to "I dropped the gallon of milk which exploded all over the kitchen and I want to curl into the fetal position."

If you're a mom who's in the throes of one of those cloudy haven't-showered-or-slept-in-days, will-this-hurricane-ever-end, can-I-have-my-boobs-back days/weeks/seasons, lots of hugs to you. I'm not suggesting this little list will solve all your problems, but I'm hoping I can at least give you a chance to smile while you're going through this tough time. So, without further ado...

1. Check out the Humans of New York Facebook page. Brandon photographs people as he walks the streets of NYC and interviews them. The result is often hilarious, melancholy, poignant, or just plain wonderful. His recent trip to Iran resulted in some truly amazing interviews in particular. I love scrolling through and remembering how awesome humanity is.

2. Visit 1000 Awesome Things. I love the poetry there. It inspires me to relish the little triumphs and bits of joy in my day, even when most of the minutes are tough ones.

http://funnyasduck.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/funny-bathroom-break-kid-baby-hand-door-find-you-pics.jpg3. Look at The Kid Should See This. Hands down my favorite blog. It can be so difficult to recharge when you're feeling less than stellar, especially when you have zero alone time. Having a helper hand you wads of toilet paper while you "go" is sometimes helpful and sometimes...not. If you and your little one(s) are on the outs, check out a video on this site together. Learning and marveling together will distract you both from your feelings of stress and help you relax and rediscover what it means to be awed and filled with wonder.

I guarantee you'll find a video here your little one will love, whether s/he's 12 months or 12 years old.
Photo courtesy of The Kid Should See This (see link above)

4. Ask for help. Now, I'm not talking about a cryptic vaguebook. And yes, I am admittedly terrible at the whole SOS thing. But if you can shoot off a text to a family member or friend (or hey, you can call them sobbing if you want, they have to love you anyway) they will jump at the chance to help, whether it's helping with laundry, coming to visit, or just telling a bad knock-knock joke.

5. Celebrate what's right. I've already talked about this before, but if you're in a season when things are grand, pretty pretty please document that grandeur. Because you know what? We humans are forgetful. When we're stuck in the muck it's like we have gratitude amnesia. Having the good stuff written down or typed out or photographed makes it easier to reference when the rainbows and unicorns have left the building. Flipping through my journal I'm reminded of my faith in God (not myself). I see good times and bad in those scribbles, and without a doubt Past Me hollers through the pages, "Hey, maybe this poop-fest won't last forever."

And you know what? Poop-fests rarely do.

What about you? What are your go to strategies for regrouping when you've run out of steam?

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