Top 10 Tricks For Stay-At-Home Moms To Turn A {Bad} Day Around

Tips for mothers to turn a bad day around

When the thought of “It’s turning out to be a bad day” pops into my head, I try to remind myself that there are no bad days.  Every day has its challenges, its highlights and its downfalls, but if we have been blessed to have another 24 hours to live and to learn then, for this, we must be grateful and find the good within.

But it is not always to get past that “bad day” mindset, to do something to turn the day around, and to move on to make it a “good day.”

Here’s my top 10 list for turning the day around (to be used as a future reference by myself and by any other stay-at-home mom who wants to do the same):

1) Be thankful.

Think of five things you are grateful for.  Then imagine you did not have those five things in your life.  You will probably become even more grateful.  Focus on what you do have instead of what you do not. (If you need inspiration, go here.)

2) Center yourself.

Do some stretches and take some deep breaths.  Repeat the phrase, “It will all pass” several times.  Then look at your children, your home, and yourself with new, hopeful, and loving eyes.  Give some hugs.  Start again.

3) Set the timer for 10 minutes.

Is your house a mess?  Have you had a shower?  Do you need to put in the laundry, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, and vacuum?  Don’t get overwhelmed.  Tell the kids you are going to set the timer for 10 minutes to get some work done (invite them to help if appropriate) and when the timer goes off, you are ready to play.  Do whatever you can in that time period, focusing only on doing the time-critical tasks that really *must be done.*  You will be surprised how much you can do.  Then stop the chores and concentrate on spending time with your kids.  After two or three hours, set the timer again.  After a few 10-minute sessions you will hopefully have most of those little jobs done.  The rest can wait until tomorrow.

4) Find joy in music.

Find an old favorite upbeat CD you haven’t listened to for a while and turn it on.  Sing and dance (and invite your kids to do the same).  Let the music melt your bad mood away and remind you of all the joy in the world that there is to embrace, if we only remember to look for it.

5) Recognize your frustrations and leave them behind (for now).

Is there something in particular that is really frustrating you, or is it just the way you are dealing with the issues of the day?  If it is something that truly needs to be dealt with, write it down on a piece of paper, tuck it away, and choose not to think about it until after the kids are in bed (if possible).  Then read the piece of paper and map out a plan of what you need to do.  You cannot always fix everything in any given moment, even if you want to.  Give yourself a break so that you can address it later, when you have time and space to do so.

6) Get outside.

Kids love the outdoors.  No matter the weather, a bit of fresh air can do us all good.  Go outside, even for just a few minutes, and find some beautiful things to marvel at.  I have found this can do wonders.

7) Shake up the day.

Do something you usually would not do.  Say yes to something you normally refuse.  Have a picnic lunch outside?  Make popcorn and sing karaoke?  Make an early birthday card for Grandma?  Do that thing on Pinterest you saw last week?  Find something to break the negative cycle, spend some time doing something fun, and reset the mood in your home.

8) Find a way to help someone else.

Often when we stop focusing on ourselves and find a way to help someone else, we recognize our priorities and purpose in life once again.  Here is a list of five fun and creative service projects to do with your kids from one of my favorite blogs Pennies of Time.  Or you can check out my archive of Acts of Kindness.

9) Put down the parenting books and trust your intuition.

One of my friends once said she enjoyed reading parenting books but she also trusted herself enough to put them down when she just needed to make her own decisions.  This really stuck with me, as I have been one to search for parenting advice nonstop until I’m exhausted, fed up, and completely unsure of what to do anymore.  Sometimes we just need to trust ourselves and do what we think is best, without consulting the books, our parents, our friends, and doctors for every little issue.  (I’m not saying we shouldn’t read parenting books or consult with others we trust; but sometimes maybe we should just make our own decisions, feel good about them, and move on without guilt or uncertainty.)  Look at your situation with a fresh perspective, do what you think needs to be done, and take one step after the other.  Don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t doing it the way you think someone else said it should be done.

10) Forgive yourself.

No mom is perfect.  Your kids love you.  Forgive yourself, forgive everyone around you, and try, try again.  You can find a way to make the day better, even if it only requires you to change your own attitude.  By doing so, your children will see you model the very important skill of turning the day around.  And that, in itself, is something to feel good about.

If you liked this post, you may like  my morning list great for a stay-at-home mom as well.

You may also like…

The Reason Why Parenting Is Hard

How a Growth Mindset Can Help Your Kids

Ideas for Connecting with Your Kids on a Hard Day

Thanks for reading.  What are the ways you like to turn a {bad} day around?  I would love to hear your ideas.

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  1. says

    Great post! I wrote a similar one last year, but still forget to take my own advice, haha. This is a great reminder. Pinning. :)

    • says

      Hi Bek!! I definitely wrote this post as a reminder to myself because I often need the reminder too he he :-) Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  2. Maria says

    Great post! Another one that really helps me is letting my little one give me a “recharge-mummy’s-batteries-hug” …

      • Laura says

        Oh, wow! I’m glad that idea resonated with you, too. I also needed that reminder myself, so thank you for remembering that idea and sharing it here! So great how your blog is a place for moms to support each other.

  3. Cat (Yellow Days) says

    Really great advice! It’s so important not to get sucked into that ‘having a bad day’ frame of mind but its easier said than done. I’m visiting from the parenting pin-it party and have pinned and shared.

  4. says

    some really good tips here. sometimes i think we get caught up in the moment and can’t seem to shake those cloudy thoughts. thanks for sharing at the sunday parenting party! i’ll be featuring this at crayon freckles on sunday.

    • says

      Aw thank you Andie I will be sure to check out your post, thanks for featuring me! I have already referred to this list as I totally agree it can be hard to get out of a rut. :-)

  5. says

    visiting via the MAPP facebook page.
    I gravitated right to this post because today was one where I might have also yelled something like “drink the dam smoothie.” :) This is a great list. I keep a little card taped to the cabinet by the sink (you know, that thing full of dirty dishes. . .) of ideas to refresh myself. The timer trick is already on there, but I need to put #5 up there for sure, and maybe a few others. On my list, I also have “glass of ice water and a snack,” because sometimes I’m just hungry, and “go put on mascara.”
    Glad I found your site!

  6. says

    I whole-heartedly agree with these! I think I’ve tried every one of these at different times, but never thought it through enough to make a list. Thanks for putting this together. Best wishes!

  7. Christine says

    These are great! Thank you so much for sharing. One I do is take a “mommy’s time out” and pray. And I love the music! We will go onto You Tube and play a few favorite songs. Always helps…

  8. says

    Chelsea, this is a wonderful resource for the rough moments and days. I definitely do quite a few on this list as well when my four get the best of me. It really is such a precious blessing just to get another day as their mom-you are right that each day is good overall, there are just bad moments.


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