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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to deal...

Every parent has those days when they are worn out and stretched to the limit of their mental abilities. It is sometimes difficult to cope with the stress of parenting, particularly when you have a sick child or other issues that cause you to be overly stressed. It is important to consider how you will deal with those times when you are not at your best. Here are a few ideas for how to make it easier to cope with those days when dealing with a child is beyond your mental and emotional capabilities.

First, try to have a set of special toys and movies that are reserved for those days when you need your child to be distracted so you can rest. It is fairly easy to accumulate this special reserve if you frequent yard sales, thrift stores, or the dollar store. Crayons and coloring books are good. Small dolls or figurines to play with are also a good option.

Second, for those days when you need to take it easy, prepare a tray of goodies that your child can graze from throughout the day. This will make it easier for you to rest because you won't constantly need to run to the kitchen to appease the cries of a hungry child that seems to think she never gets fed even though you just fed her ten minutes ago. Good options for a grazer's tray is crackers, fruit, cheese, and sliced meats.

Third, if you can muster the energy to get an early start on dinner, this is the day that your crock pot will be most appreciated. Crock pots are wonderful because you can basicly throw all the ingredients in together and put the lid on. Turn the pot on and forget about dinner until it is time to eat.

Fourth, getting outside will make you and your child feel better. If at all possible, try to spend an hour or two out in the fresh air. This serves two purposes. First, fresh air is good for everybody and refreshes the weary soul. Second, outside play is often very tiring for little people and generally results in a good, long nap. If you are really lucky you will get to indulge in a nap, too, after being outside for a bit.

Oh - and never underestimate the power of chocolate. Chocolate can entertain even the most needy child. You may have a messy baby to clean up, but at least you'll have a moment or two of peace and quiet. Miniature chocolates, like Hershey's Miniatures, is a good option because they minimize the mess for little mouths. There is also the added benefit that you will probably find something you like in that mix, as well. Chocolate makes adults feel better, too, you know.


Liss said...

I like the idea of a grazing plate. I will have to remember that trick. I hope you had a nice mother's day and your teething issues have settled down.

Petula Wright said...

Very good ideas. I'll have to remember the tray of food and to accumulate some movies and toys that are "new" to pull out when I need cooperation. Getting the baby to cooperate may be a little more difficult.

Oh, I've been meaning to tell you: I shouldn't have said anything about the teething 'cause this week as been terrible. Anna had a fever for three days and then an allergic reaction to something. So, not only are we teething grumpy (her and me) but we're itchy (her from the rash, me from watching her scratch!). :-)

Hope your teething experience is getting better.