I am not going to lie to you, parenthood at times can be tough. And recently I have been feeling the stretch a little bit.
I think mainly it is the tiredness setting in and the fact that on a day to day basis my main conversation is with two adorable 1 and a half year old toddlers - and as fascinating conversationalists that they are (and they are), sometimes it is nice to sit down and have a cup of tea with someone a little nearer your own age.
It is also a little harder when you are having 'one of those days' and you are exhausted and your loving children decide that 'today' is the day that they are going to explore just how naughty and dangerous they can be.
Frustration is a word that all parents are very familiar with and being a paragon of patience and cuddly understanding on days like these can stretch that word to its fullest. It is also on days like these that I am just grateful that I can keep smiling and not end up rocking backwards and forwards while sobbing in the corner. These are real Jonah days - but because parents are mostly made up of love and a little sprinkling of superhero dust - for the most part on 'Jonah days' we manage to keep it together.
But on days that really get tough here are a few things I do that help manage the stress a little bit and stop the impending meltdown occurring (or at least help when it is in progress). Please note that the below, for the most part only applies to small toddler-types - (though if you can get your naughty teen to stay put in a travel cot whilst you enjoy a time out, then good luck to you).
I know, so cliché and simple. But it really does work. I take a deep breath and count to 10 and keep doing it until I feel a bit calmer.
Call a friend
A chat with someone who cares about you and can make you laugh, helps heaps. It is on tough days like this that you really need someone in your corner and you know what? That is exactly what friends are for. Even if you don't talk about the fact that mentally you are about to enter Death-Con-1 and your internal self-destruct button is quietly counting down, a nice chat about nonsense can make all the difference and can help make your day a lot less gloomy.
Put your child in a playpen
If like me you have a travel cot set up in the living room and your child (or children in my case) are climbing the walls and making a case for World War 3 legitimately breaking out in your living room, then it is probably time to give yourself a little space to calm down. Scoop them up, pop them in the travel cot with some toys and books, stick on their favourite cartoon and take half an hour to sit on the sofa (so you can watch for escape attempts) grab a book and some tea and have a break. You need it and deserve it.
Go for a walk
Quick head back, I meant with the child!
The fresh air will do you all the world of good. Being cooped up in the house with twins for too long is never good, and will drive you a little crazy. I speak from experience as I live in quite an isolated area where the weather dictates if taking the buggy out for a walk is a good idea or not. The change of scenery, the fresh air and the break from a toy covered floor, will cure most woes (at least for an hour or two).
Arrange a treat
Sometimes having something in your diary to look forward to can help immensely. Whether it be my personal favourite (a solo trip to the cinema) or a shopping trip or meal out with friends, just knowing that you have a well-deserved treat on the horizon can help keep you going.
Well, there you go - not the most ingenious of ideas, but it helps me. Are there any things that you would add to the list?