Tricks of the (mother) trade – part 1

One of my favorite things is to gleen insight from others about how they make their life work, so in that spirit here are some of the ways I make it through my days…

*When I’m feeling my frustration level rise and my patience is gone, I start singing all my words to the kids.  It is impossible for me to yell or be angry when I’m talking to them in song.  It is magic for me.  Raising my voice is one of my biggest struggles.  Sing-talking forces me not to do it.  Songs from our Kindermusik CD are usually the ones I end up singing to, they are catchy and fun and my kids love them!

*The “5-item-pick-up” game we play.  When disorder is creeping in, I ask everyone to pause and pick up AND put away 5 items that are on the floor.  Suddenly there are 15 less things (Audrey can’t do it just yet) on the floor and we resume play!

*If my blood pressure is high and I’m really upset about something (usually someone blond and blue eyed)-I go to the bathroom.  I lock the door, count to ten or twenty and come out.  The space and quiet help me refocus and calm down.

*I might rather not admit this but if I know Chris will be gone 12+ hours (which is often lately – 15 hours yesterday!) and if the day is off to a rough start and nobody is happy, we pack into the van, grab a fresh CD to listen to and go for a drive for 30 minutes or so.  Everyone is stuck in a carseat, no one can do damage to anyone/anything.  And I go to my favorite drive thru coffee shop to say hello to Amy who makes the best coffee and always makes me smile.  It is a win-win.  Kind of like a ‘start over’ for our day, works wonders!

We’re still getting over some serious sickies here so my coping mechanism yesterday while I felt really sick was borrowing my neighbors little TV so the kids could watch movies.  I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have made it through the day without it – it was the first day I really truly missed having a TV since we ditched it this summer!


Kristin McKinnon

Your fresh perspective inspires me. It is hard to be so objective while being sick! I hope you feel better soon. Good tips, thanks!


(smiling) I do the singing too. I learned this early on when Morgan was a newborn and would SCREAM during diaper changes. The singing turned out to be so much fun that we continued singing about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING because Morgan found it to be so soothing. Yesterday morning the three of us were dancing and singing in Morgan’s room, making up a song about getting ready for the day and he ate it up.


Sometimes I sing to my residents while I’m giving them medications…makes getting laxatives & antipsychotics a little more enjoyable!! They get crabby and inpatient like a toddler does 🙂