another "Mom Funk" solution – reconnect with your kids

After I blogged about being in a “Mom Funk” the other day – and shared some of the ways I have found to break out of one – Caren remarked that she has found the best way to break out of a funk is to spend time with her kids:

I have had those days, and what gets me out of the funk quicker and more effectively than anything else is being with my kids. Turning off the computer, looking them in their eyes, and joining in them in whatever they’re doing… or at least sitting near them.

Good point! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, finding some breathing room (via exercise, fresh air, quiet, solitude) does help me in the short term, but like Caren points out, sometimes “me time” leads to just craving more and more “me time” to find peace, and “escape” is not a great long-term solution to creating contentment. Breaks are nice, but they naturally come to an end, and sometimes the thing your kids need most when they’re making you crazy is to know they can make you crazy and you’re still crazy about them.

But sometimes when you’re in the midst of a serious funk and just want to hide under the covers, it can be hard to motivate yourself to jump right into the mix. (This is especially true on those days when everyone is cooped up inside and going stir-crazy!)

So in addition to the ‘take a break’ strategies I outlined in my other post, it’s helpful to have some low-key ideas for ways to reconnect with your kids on hand.  Some simple things that are easy to try even when energy is low or tempers are short:

  • Sit on the sofa, let kids pile around and just have an epic snuggle
  • Play a board game with  child. (Feel free to let them “win.”)
  • Read a book to them.
  • Take that walk, but let it be one of those dawdling, long strolls you tend to have when there’s a toddler holding on to your hand or a four-year-old stopping every three seconds to look at a new colony of ants or earthworm
  • Bake with your kids. Something about mixing up flour and sugar and chocolate chips with my kids is so relaxing, and reminds me of the more important things in life. Like cookie dough.

After a busy weekend connecting with other bloggers, sharing information, and staying up far too late at the Brands and Bloggers Summit in Chicago, I’m definitely feeling refreshed, but now it’s time for some re-connection. I’m planning a pretty un-plugged week with lots of walks and snuggles. And maybe some Chutes and Ladders and cookies, too. Thanks for the reminder, Caren!

It’s clear from the comments to my other post that many of us get in “Mom Funks” from time to time! What are your favorite low-fuss ways to reconnect with your kids when you’re feeling distant or overwhelmed? Do you find that taking a break first helps you feel more refreshed and re-focus, or do you have better luck just walking away from what you’re doing and jumping into kid-time?

I’ve been busily blogging over at Babble’s Strollerderby! Here are some of my posts from last week – I’d so appreciate you clicking over and checking them out.

Judging Moms For Texting On The Park Bench? Why it’s OK to let your kids play without your undivided attention.

Michigan Mom Faces Jail Time For Veggie Garden Would you stand up for what you believe to be right – even if it meant facing criminal charges?

Do Breastfeeding and Babywearing Equal Less Sex? Erica Jong blames attachment parenting for snuffing out romance. I say it’s normal for new parents to have less sex – and it won’t last forever.

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