You know how certain factors can really determine the mood of a setting? Candlelight and soft music for a romantic evening, bright colors and a table of sweets for a child’s birthday party, formal-wear and your best dishes for a fancy Thanksgiving dinner. There are elements that we incorporate to set the atmosphere within an event, a celebration, and within our living space.
But now, let’s place the focus on you. Yes, you. Yourself. What kind of moods do you exude on a daily basis? How is it effecting your home life? How is it effecting your kids?
Remember the old saying “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy”? It’s true. It’s poor grammar, but the message is well stated. Mom’s mood affects more than just mom, it sets the whole tone for the home and everyone in it.
Could your attitude be giving your household a negative vibe?
How Mom’s Mood Sets the House Attitude
First Thing They See in the Morning
Mornings are hectic. Family members running around each other, shuffling to get ready, pack up, and set sail for their day. Most likely, you’re the captain of the ship.
Mom, generally speaking, you’re the first person everyone sees at the start of their day… so make the morning an inspiring one. Kick it off with good energy so that everyone else will feel it and carry on with it.
Mornings can be extremely stressful. I am well accustomed to the frustration of trying to catch and wrangle a toddler into their clothes. I get the exasperation of repeating over and over and over and over to put shoes on. (Like it’s a surprise that everyone has to wear shoes to school.) And well, you’re only human.
However, a day started off with yelling, anger, privileges taken away, and tears makes for a really long, rough day for both kids and mom.
If it’s sibling rivalry that’s causing momma to be cranky, give your kids an individual task to help you with (making breakfast, filling water bottles, etc.) so that it takes the focus off their sibling and onto something helpful.
If it’s time management and sloth-ly slow children that makes mom’s mean side spark, set your clocks 5 minutes early or have everyone get up a few minutes early.
Parenting.com, suggests easy solutions like preparing the night before or creating charts: “A morning routine chart — with images for pre-readers — can keep easily distracted kiddos focused.”
Basically it boils down to getting mornings organized and getting your family on-board. This is all about teamwork and you know what? It’s about keeping your sanity, too.
Oh… and it’s about coffee. If not getting your cuppa Joe is the crankiness culprit, set the timer on the coffee pot so you can be greeted with a warm hug in a cup first thing in the morning. BTW… I have some really great Copycat Starbucks Recipes you coffee fanatics will love!
Keeping Emotions at Bay
So we all have these things called emotions. And they can be a ______ (you fill in the blank). What I’m saying is that we humans have skin, we breathe, our hearts beat, and the blood that flows through our veins sometimes runs so hot it boils with the rise of those lovely little emotions.
It’s okay. It’s okay to be emotional.
Different people get triggered by different things. It is so easy to be triggered by the pushy PTO mom, or the rude person in the checkout line, and even easier to be triggered by our children or our spouse. The key is not to go bat crap crazy when you get emotional. Communicating calmly and effectively should be our goal. Learning to react to certain situations with a calm demeanor can set a great tone for your household.
Remember that our children (and sometimes, even husbands) will mirror how mom reacts and feels. Both good and bad. So when I’m displaying a poor reaction to something that has just occurred, not only does my mood rub off on my family, but my children are more likely to mimic my behavior when they are confronted with a similar issue.
In the blog, Scary Mommy, one mother confesses: “When I’m grumpy, they are grumpy. When I’m happy, they are happy. When I am stressed out, they act like total lunatics. When I try to pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t, they can somehow sense it. No pressure or anything.”
In other words, we gotta keep our emotions “tasteful”. It’s okay to feel your emotions. It’s okay to display emotion. However, we need to be good guides and lead well!
Give Yourself a Break
At this point you are probably internally screaming, “Give me a break! Give me a break!” And although us girls have got a thing for chocolate, I’m pretty sure you’re not asking for a Kit Kat bar. Seriously, there is soooooo much pressure on us moms.
Remember the days when your little ones thought breaking crayons was like the coolest thing? Their pudgy toddler fingers would grasp each end of the crayon, their baby Hulk hands pulling down, straining and manhandling the colorful stick of wax until the satisfying crack of the crayon snapping under the pressure rang in their ears.
Momma, you are the crayon.
Your kids aren’t necessarily trying to crack you. But they do wise up to know that moms tend to give in under pressure.
Parenting pressures added to the pressure of life (bringing home the bacon, bills, mortgages, and oh yah… proper behavior modeling) and mom you might break if you don’t get a break!
I can’t emphasize enough how vital self-care is for a mom.
Locking ourselves in the bathroom for an extended potty break may be great for a few minutes. But it doesn’t fulfill the R&R that your body requires. A healthy body is a happy body. So practice healthy eating habits, drink more water, SLEEP.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a trip to the spa and an afternoon alone. There are so many quick, cheap and easy ways to add pep to your step. You just have to make sure to do it.
With a rejuvenated better state-of-mind comes an improved mood. And your positive mood will be good for your brood.
What’s the overall tone of your home? How does everyone in your family handle conflict? Communication? Do they turn to you for most situations? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!