A few nights ago, as I put my daughter to bed, we read the book Mama Seeton’s Whistle by Jerry Spinelli.
As I read this book, my eyes filled with tears as I thought about my own children growing up. If you’ve never read the story, it’s about a mother of four who calls her children to dinner every night with the sound of her whistle. As her children grow, the whistle continues to call them home each night. However, the children eventually become adults, and I won’t spoil the wonderful (tear-jerking) ending. As we finished the story, this quote came to mind, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
The quote is by Gretchin Rubin from her book, which I recently read, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. It’s a great read, and I love her practical ideas for adding more happiness into daily living. However, I love her quote so much.
I think being a parent is rewarding in so many ways, and motherhood is one of my life’s greatest blessings. BUT, there are days when bedtime can’t come soon enough. This quote comes to my mind at least a few times a week. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the challenges of motherhood, I think about this quote. It’s so true, too. I can hardly believe that my oldest daughter will be five in a few months, and that my baby turned one at the beginning of this year. Time truly flies, but why does it feel like some days are never-ending??
What do we do as parents when the days seem too long to handle? You know those days, right? When the spills and messes are never-ending, the free time is nonexistent, and you feel like you will go crazy if you have to answer one more question. Every mom has these moments, but it’s how we choose to handle them that matters. Don’t get me wrong, I’m human, and sometimes I handle these days with negativity. But I’m learning to choose positivity and find ways to turn these long days around. Here are some ways you can turn around the long days, live in the moment, and remember that the years are short.
Take some deep breaths.
Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, one of the first things that I can do to quickly relieve stress is breathe. Yoga has taught me so much about finding my breath, and there is one type of yoga breathing called alternate nostril breathing. It’s an easy way to recenter, and it forces you to focus on your breath. Check out this video to try it out.
Vitamin D, aka the sun, can do wonders for your body and mind. If you’re having a long day with the kids, definitely get outside. If it’s a little chilly, bundle up and take a walk. If it’s warmer, plan a scavenger hunt (my spring scavenger hunt is coming to the blog next week) or head to a park! I promise you that a little sunshine can help. If it’s a rainy day, try my next idea.
Don’t even tell me you can’t dance. Everyone can dance to let loose. And it’s even better when you have kids. Put on your favorite CD or Pandora station and have some fun. I think a dance party is actually the absolute best medicine for any day that feels too long. I vote Gwen Stefani or Justin Bieber, but that’s just me!! We also love KidzBop and Disney Pandora stations.
I hope that these few ideas can help you as they have helped me when the days feel long, naps are too short, and things feel a bit out of your control. Remember that the years are short, the kids will grow, so enjoy the way they need you while they are young. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below for how you make the long days feel better!