You haven't vacuumed in two weeks, you have a fight with your partner, and you need a haircut. Then your child decides to dump his paint set on the floor. And then you lose it. By losing it, you have turned a crummy day into a truly horrible day. Where do you go from here?
It's important to know that just like you, many parents feel these bad times very acutely because they want so much for their children's days to be good and happy. But it is unrealistic to expect that every day of your children's life will be pleasant or that every day of your life as a parent will be easy.
When you've had a few hours — or a few days — of feeling overwhelmed or being stressed, the first thing you need to do is identify the problem. Are you trying to do too much at once? Do you need a break? Is your child going through a difficult phase that you are struggling with? Have you been inside too long, or is something on your mind?
If you don't have much money, taking a break can be difficult. But you can rely on a mental break to help yourself recharge. When your child naps, give yourself a half-hour to sit quietly, dance, or do some sit-ups — whatever your body needs to feel relaxed. Don't immediately clean the house just because you aren't busy parenting.
If you can pinpoint the source of your stress, you will be more likely to be able to fix the problem. If you can't pinpoint the issue, look to find a way to nourish yourself and your relationship with your child. This might mean doing something together, or, if necessary, doing something apart. Remember, even when it comes to children, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and sometimes it is better to just take a break from a situation. You can get a babysitter or ask a family member or friend to step in for a day, and there is a good chance you will have more to offer your children when they need you.