I discovered a few free, easy wrinkle smoothers and stress relievers this week. And it was right when I needed them.
“Time-In” instead of “Time Outs”
I worked it out and I spend 98 hours a week, every week with my son. Sometimes I long for an 80 hour work week instead. Sick days off? Nope. The best cure for baby fever is an actual fever. You totally don’t feel like taking care of others when all you want is someone to take care of you when you are sick, and we’re just getting over being sick.
For those of you going off to work and then coming home to parent, yes, you work just the same amount. What was getting to me this week was the jealousy of those people. Simply because they get to split their time between two jobs and mine is spent all at the same one. The thought that was on repeat in my head: 98 hours a week at the SAME JOB! Unfair! Unfair!
So anyway, these thoughts about my hours was stressing me out and making me feel overburdened. My son was reflecting this when I was least equipped to handle it, so of course it escalated the negativity. He did this in the form of hitting.
Hitting me exclusively it seems. Me and the dogs that is. I’ve never seen him hit other kids, but he comes at his mother and our pets with frustration, exasperation and all sorts of other big emotions.
After years of pleading with him to “Use his words” instead, I still feel assaulted physically and emotionally by his flinging arms and sharp kicks. “That is it!” I give into my anger and put him in time out. (This is for me more than for him, I know.)
Then I found this wonderful post about using Time-IN to connect instead of Time-Outs for hitting. I’ve been trying it and I think it’s working.
Cracking the Kid Code
Another thing I did this week that has been helping with the hitting, is to give my 3-year-old MORE words to use for his big emotions. We had focused on the simple words before: happy, sad, mad etc. If I listed them, there would probably be 20 different words at the most.
But this week I read Cracking the Kid Code by Shelly Phillips. She has a list in the book of approximately 180 feelings words! I printed it out and use it as a reference and reminder of all those other words that describe feelings. This week my son learned and used the word “irritated” for example.
All this stress I was putting on myself was amplified on my face. My forehead was tight and my jaw clenched. And we all know what that means: WRINKLES. Then I found this beautiful, free, natural wrinkle and stress reliever. Facial massage as described in the Visual Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. It may feel a little strange at first to massage your own face, but just after a few days, my skin is smoother and more vibrant without the worry or cost of strange creams, abrasive cleansers or peels.
Tornado in a Jar Craft
Finally, I found this great, super quick craft project that goes super well with the big emotions of this week. A tornado in a jar is essentially soap and water shaken up.
We were fascinated by the simplicity of this project. The simplest things can have the hugest impact in life, just like with our emotions.
It is a quick thing to get ourselves all shook up, but spinning our wheels is as destructive as a tornado. I screwed on the lid to that tornado this week by shifting my perspective on hitting and punishment, awaking to using more feeling words, self-soothing with facial massage and sprinkling a little fun on the problem. A phoenix from the ashes: triumph!