Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Mommy Meltdown Basket

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Let's face it.  Everyone has had one of those days.  Those days when the little one is whining, there are toys everywhere, the dog ate your baby's snack, and you just can't find anything that will keep their attention for longer than 5 minutes.  To top it off, your head is pounding, you have nothing in the fridge for dinner, and you think that you've just put on your last clean pair of underwear.  The Meltdown commences.  It takes last bit of your strength to simple keep calm and trudge through the rest of the day.  When I was in the middle of one of my Mommy Meltdowns, grasping at straws, I was desperately trying to figure out what would mellow both me and my son out, allowing us to carry on for the rest of the day without a further downward spiral.

Two things came to mind while I was struggling through that day. One was to take of myself and the other was to try and reconnect with my son. Once I figured out how to reach those two goals throughout the remainder of the day, I decided to have the tools necessary to carry out those objectives within reach.  Hence, The Mommy Meltdown Basket was born.


Help Mommy Relax

A basket like this may look very different for everyone.  When collecting items that would help Mommy cool down and relax during a hectic day, you have to think about things that make you feel at peace. What helps you relax? Feel rejuvenated? Gain perspective? Below you'll find a list of items that works for me and why.  Use this to work on your own Mommy stash.






1. Tea ~ Tea is my go-to drink to relax and unwind.  It helps me to focus and enjoy the little things.  Adding a special flavor of tea that I don't often get to savor is a way to add a special treat into an other otherwise trying day.

2. Chocolate ~ Need I say more?  Again, I added a bag of dark chocolate drops that are a special treat for me.  A type of candy that you don't often allow yourself or one that may be a bit costly for everyday enjoyment may be just the ticket to help you gain perspective when needed the most!

3. A video ~ I included a video that my son loves to watch and that never fails to keep his attention.  Sometimes you just need your little one to be still and quiet for 30-40 minutes so that you can use that time to take care of yourself.  Win, win for you both!

4. Lavender Dyed Rice ~ I came across a wonderful post from Nurturestore recently.  She uses lavender rice as a nighttime sensory activity that helps relax the little ones just before bed.  Focusing on awakening your senses is a great way to clear your head and focus.  Just like my son, playing in rice is very calming for me.  Adding that extra touch of lavender does also does wonders!

5. Books/Quotes ~ If my little guy's attention is absorbed into the video that I have slipped into the DVD player, then it's the perfect time to grab a book.  I tossed in a small book of short quotes about peace that helps clear the mind is very enlightening.  Another is a journal of gratitude.  Focusing on the positive aspects of the day may be just what you need to help bring you out of your funk and lift your spirits.



Reconnect

Next, I decided to collect a few things that will help me reconnect with my son.  Now is the time to think about what he enjoys. Are there any activities that are no-fail and always make him smile?  What about ways that you can communicate and meet in the middle?





1. Play Dough ~ Play dough is of my son's all time favorite items to play with! Just as I love playing in rice, play dough has a calming effect on me as well, just by simple squeezing it in my hands.  You can play together forming objects with the dough or find some random toys around the house to add to the fun!

2. Crayons & Paper ~ Coloring was an activity that I loved doing as a child.  My son has just started to enjoy coloring, as well, so I thought it would be a perfect to share with each other.

3. Music ~ Sometimes you just need to let loose and have some fun.  I found a CD (one   song would also do) that makes us both smile and want to get up and dance our troubles away!

4. A photo album ~ Looking at pictures from a happier time always makes me smile.  Leafing through baby pictures, reliving a family vacation, or glancing at silly photos that I took of my son always put me in a better mood.  Grady has always loved looking through albums as well.  Sometimes he'll just sit on my lap and we'll talk about the pictures in an album.

5. A book ~ Reading aloud with each other is a great way to reconnect.  A novel or other picture book that your child enjoys would be another great addition to your basket.


For more ideas for creating a sense of peace on an otherwise chaotic day, visit the links below!

Creating a Calming Space for Children from Creative Playhouse

Relax with Lavender and Glitter Sensory Salt from The Imagination Tree

Find an activity that your toddler loves to give you a few minutes to yourself like The Good Long Road did!

Combine Aromatherapy and Play Dough for a wonderfully calming experience from The Imagination Tree. 

Be sure to stop by my Pinterest board entitled Connect: Parenting for more tips related to parenting!



What would you include in your Mommy Meltdown Basket?

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47 comments:

  1. Oh these definitely. Toddler stress/sensory balloons!

    http://www.creativeplayhouse.mumsinjersey.co.uk/2012/05/sensory-balloons-toddler-stress-balls.html

    we also made one of those glitter calm down jars that are all over pinterest and I love it!

    fantastic post!

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    1. Toddler Stress Balls would be perfect! I have one filled with birdseed and I love squeezing it, too! I've been wanting to make one of those glitter jars. They do look relaxing. :)

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  2. I love this post and the idea of having a basket like this ready. Everyone does have days where this basket would be the difference between total disaster and a fresh start. My basket would also need tea! I love tea. I have actually started having little tea parties with my sons when they need a distraction (they drink herbal tea with ice).

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! There are many days that I need a bit of help from this basket. ;) My son loves tea parties, too! What a great idea to include him as well!

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  3. Gina this post is great. In fact a better word pops out at me after reading this when I think about your blog...it's CONNECTING. It's what I feel whenever I read your posts!

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    1. Heather, that means so much to me! Thank you for your kind words. Each day I try harder and harder to be present and connect with my little guy, and many of those days I think that I could do better. I keep the quote "tomorrow is another day" in the back of my mind and focus on the special moments that we share. :)

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  4. I love this idea. Having it ready is definitely going to help ease those melt down moments. I think I would have soothing music, lavender lotion, Godiva truffle...oh the possibilities! I like the re-connect part too. Reading together, playing chase, playing with alphabet bean bags...aaah!

    Thanks for the tip!

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    1. I love your ideas, Bea! Alphabet bean bags would be a great one for my little guy, too! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

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  5. Such a great idea Gina! Hope you're sharing it at The Sunday Showcase this week! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Linked up with the Sunday Showcase, too!

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  6. I love these! I finally got my act together to put together a craft basket full of bags of various craft activities. Somehow it never occurred to me to have them at the ready before(?!?). But I love this idea of really being ready with an arsenal of things to help when you are having THAT day. Thanks.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by, Mary! I know what you mean...sometimes those things that are the most obvious, we tend to overlook. ;) Putting a craft basket together is a great idea as well!

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  7. Love this. Will have to keep in mind. I've been wanting to make this "mind jar" I saw on another blog, I think it would be a great visual relaxer during times like the ones you described: http://www.herewearetogether.com/2011/06/27/another-mind-jar/ Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I've been wanting to put together a mind jar, too! I bet it would be a good way to help me focus and for my little guy as well. :)

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  8. This is such a great idea. I love the idea of reconnecting after a crap day. I am going to go off and find some items for my basket! Thanks for sharing x

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    1. So glad to hear you're making one, too! I would love to hear what you find for it! :)

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  9. What a fun idea. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf. I hope to see you again next week!

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  10. What a wonderful idea! I had something very similar when my second was born, a go to bag full of activities to keep us busy while nursing baby - it was a sanity saver!!

    Sharing this on the positive parenting connection facebook page :)

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this post! That makes me think that I should put together a similar basket just for my little guy when he becomes a big brother. Thanks for the tip!

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  11. What a fabulous idea, Gina. I really, really need to make one of these. And, I'm definitely including the dark chocolate! I'm pinning to my Parenting Tips & Tricks board.

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    1. And, I forgot to say, thank you for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf. I'm always excited when I see a favorite blog link-up. : )

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    2. Thanks, Bethany! Dark chocolate is always a good idea. ;) Thanks for sharing my post!!

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  12. I love this idea Gina! We all have those days and this is a great way to be prepared!!

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    1. Thanks Jaclyn! Those little guys can certainly test their mamas sometimes. :) Hope you both are doing well!

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  13. Fabulous! Bobo just tells me, "Mama, we need to breathe." Then, he takes my hands and we take some deep breaths. LOL, I wonder where he got that from? I'm going to look up the lavender rice, it sounds great.

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    1. How sweet! Yes! The lavender rice is wonderful!

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  14. This is such a fabulous concept! I just got home this evening from teaching a parenting workshop called "Don't Flip Your Lid:Conflict Resolution Skills for Families". Of course we all "flip our lids" and can benefit from using calm down tools such as are in your basket. This is a four week class and last week, we made lists of activities and items that can help us and our kids calm down. I love your photos here and will share this blog post on my fb page.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly, and for stopping by to visit! That workshop sounds like a great place to get some techniques and activities to help us all calm down a bit! :)

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  15. What a brilliant resource. I always have a mental list prepared in my head, but having a tangible basket full of actual supplies is the best idea ever. I'm featuring this at The Sunday Showcase this week. Thank you for linking up and for the great idea!

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    1. Thank you, Allison! I know, I always had a few things in the back of my mind, but putting them out in a basket has been very helpful!

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  16. wonderful idea! I have a bedtime basket :)

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    1. Thank you, Hannah! Is your bedtime basket for Mama or for the little ones?

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  17. I love this idea so much! Thanks for sharing it. Now my mind is buzzing about what I would add to my basket. Awesome.

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by MJ! I would love to hear what you've added to your basket!

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  18. Yes, we all need a Mummy Meltdown basket. I love the point you made that sometimes we need to meet our children in the middle.

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Sometimes when we're having a rough day, we forget that those little ones don't always understand what's the problem. I often try to remember to put myself in my son's shoes and meet him halfway.

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  19. I love this idea! And I think it's great that it's not just about calming yourself down but also reconnecting with your child!

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts!

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  20. Brilliant idea. I think we all have moments like this.

    When I first saw the title I tout it was a box just for the parents - in that I would put some chocolate a newspaper, some bubble bath, Some ear plugs, and a cup of tea. Tee hee!

    Thanks for linking to the Sunday showcase.

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    1. Those are wonderful ideas, Rebecca! Anything that helps you find that peace and allows you to recharge!

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  21. This a wonderful idea. We mums often forget to take care of ourselves and on a bad day it can be difficult to reconnect with our littles ones. I love the idea of having a little "care package" all set and ready to go. I'm featuring this on the blog today as part of The Sunday Parenting Party. Yes, I know, that's two weeks in a row, but this is just too lovely not to share. Pinning as well.

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    1. Ness, thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate you sharing this idea with your readers. I agree, we often forget to allow ourselves time to recharge and gather our wits. It's my hope that this little basket will help remind me to take a breath.

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  22. Hi Gina,

    I found out your blog via Ness (One Perfect Day). I love your idea! It will come in very handy! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Bebe! I'm so glad that you find this basket useful. I would love to hear what you've added to yours, if you decided to make one!

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  23. Hi Gina, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com), and I’m visiting from the Kids Activities Blog Hop.

    This is absolutely wonderful! Truly. I'm going to pin this, plus pass the link along to my sister, who often struggles to find peace when her two y/o son is tantrumming.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

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  24. This is such a wonderful idea! I love that you have baskets for mom, kids, and both together. I just pinned this idea to my parenting board.

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Thanks for commenting! I love hearing your thoughts!

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