Fighting a Bad Mood

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For the past couple of days, I have been in a pretty bad mood.  There are a few things triggering it, but I am really over feeling like this.  Though they aren’t the reason for my mood, I have been taking it out this week on my kids.  Isn’t that terrible?  I catch myself snapping at them or nitpicking at them, and I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that they haven’t done anything wrong.  They are just being a toddler and a preschooler.

When I find myself in a bad mood, the only real solution is to break the cycle and put myself in a completely different place physically, so that I can put myself in a different place mentally.

So, I went to Neverland.  Or, rather, Downtown Disney.  Same thing.

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Tuesday morning, Gracie had her little Oceans in Motions camp at Chris’s work. But all through that half hour session, I kept thinking to myself, “If I have to go back home, I’m going to scream.” In the parking lot after camp, as I was strapping the kids into their carseats, I suddenly announced, “We’re going to Disney today!”

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After a quick discussion about whether they wanted to play in the splash park or just walk around, we decided to dash home real quickly and change into bathing suits. Less than an hour later, we were at Downtown Disney ready to have a great, spontaneous afternoon.

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We started by cruising through the kids favorite shop. They love to look around at all their favorite characters, and there is a lot of stuff for kids to do in the stores besides shopping. We read books in the book section, we tried on funny hats, we put together a Mr. Potato Head, we played with Legos.

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I posted some pictures of shopping with the kids on Instagram and several people asked how I was able to go shopping without my kids asking to buy everything they see. I’m not exactly sure how this happened, really. I’ll have to think about how this has worked out and post about it in the Romper Room soon. However it has happened, the kids love playing with things and looking at them without ever actually bringing them home. It’s pretty awesome, especially, because we can hide from the heat in the air conditioned stores without any meltdowns or anything.

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After cruising the shops, we headed over to the main attraction and spent the next hour playing in the splash pad. It was a cloudy day, so there weren’t many people out. This meant the kids had the whole splash pad practically to themselves, and they loved every minute of it!

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Bean was happy because he could ninja kick to his heart’s delight. (Normally, I tell him no ninja kicking when people are around so that he doesn’t hurt anyone…) Thankfully, he was wearing his Ninja Turtles crocs, so he said that made him kick extra good that day. This is all VERY important in the life of a ninja.

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I packed lunches for us all when we stopped by the house to change, so whenever the kids were ready to eat, they came over to the bench where I was sitting and had some lunch. On a regular day, I would have called them over and had them sit down to eat before they finished playing, but on bad-mood-kicking days, I figured they could eat when they wanted. I had been all over them so much that my mission that day was to leave them the heck alone! I didn’t make them eat, I didn’t inspect for “happy plates” (which is what clean plates are called in our house), I didn’t even care if they only ate the stuff they wanted and left the veggies in their bags. Today was for the kids to just be kids and for me to just let it all go. So, that’s exactly what we did.

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Especially when it started raining…

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It started pouring while we were out by the splash pad, so I loaded the kids up quickly and headed to the first covered seating area we could find… which, conveniently, was the Ghiradelli ice cream shop! The kids hadn’t eaten much of their lunches, but WHO CARES?????? We were kicking the nitpicking today, and that called for a shared brownie sundae!

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When the sundaes were finished and the rain had slowed a bit, we loaded back up in our go-mobile and hit up one last store. This was the princess store, and Gracie almost wet her pants… which was a very real concern considering how recently she has been potty trained.

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By the time the rain stopped and we finally headed home, it was just in time for naps! We got home with everyone happy and full and in much better moods. We all took a three hour nap, and by the time we woke up, I had left my bad mood in the dust.

Sometimes, I have to put my kids in time out. They throw things or don’t listen or (one time…) let the dogs out the front door, and they end up in time out until they can settle down. Sometimes, though, moms need time outs, too. I know I did. I needed a day to not be a mom, and to just hang out with my kids. No rules, no nagging, no time outs – just a day to have fun. I think we all need those days from time to time.

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11 Thoughts to “Fighting a Bad Mood”

  1. R'sMom

    Your post could not be more timely about me…and that last paragraph was a kick in the pants for me…I need a time out. This morning with R, I was so short-tempered, and we both ended up in tears. And it has nothing to do with him. I’m stressed about work, I’m hormonal from being 20 weeks pregnant, and I still have morning sickness. This morning, it was just too much. I was planning to take R to the pool after work/day care today…I think I will adopt your approach, and just have a fun evening with him.

  2. Just curious – what time do you do naps and bedtime in the summer?

    Sounds like a great day! I’ve been a grump lately too and also just decided to SNAP OUT OF IT!

  3. Emily

    When I’m grumpy I need like 2 or 3 hours to myself. Either with a new book or taking a nap. And preferably chocolate when I wake up.

  4. Rita

    What a great post! Being the mom, I’m always the one who stays on top of schedules and naps and meals and it gets very tiring. Next time I’m having a hard day, I have to remember that it’s ok to let go of some of the responsibility and just chill out.

  5. refreshing to hear another parent say they need a timeout themselves to NOT be a parent. i find myself getting more and more nitpicky and nagging the grumpier i get. its a vicious cycle.

  6. I SO know what you mean! I only recently made the transition to full-time freelancer/WAHM, and there are days I think I am going to lose my mind! Seriously, love my kids… they are the best, but still. LOL. The other truth is that, no matter how supportive husbands/daddies are, they will never fully understand what it is like to be the mama. I have found one of the best “time-outs” for me to get back in the right headspace is a night out with my girlfriends. And if wine happens to make its way to our table, so be it 😉

  7. Suzanne

    Your posts about Disney make me want to move to Orlando just to be closer to all things Disney…I’m such a Disney nerd 🙂

    You’re such a good mom, Katie! You know exactly what you need to do to get yourself back on track and that makes you awesome! I need a time out right now…just a day to play hooky from work, school, everything. Great idea!

  8. sdr

    We bought into the Disney Vacation Club (Disney’s timeshare) when our oldest was a baby and have always gone to Disney a couple of times every year and get asked the same thing about souvenirs and shops–I think because we’ve always just shopped as a form of entertainment and never really buy anything they don’t really think about it. Occasionally they will get something but it’s always something they’ve thought about and saved up for which makes it a treat.

  9. I was in ‘mommy time out’ practically the whole day yesterday… or at least I should’ve been! I do the same thing to, declaring ‘no nit picking days’ anything goes… and it’s always such a delight!

  10. You are correct, and a very wise woman for your age. Don’t you think turning 30 makes you feel just so, I don’t know, *legitimate*, somehow?
    Glad you gave yourself a break!

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