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Little ones get a big rush out of pushing your buttons. And guess what? That’s actually age-appropriate. Your reactions? Um, not always so much. Here, ten things to do to stay chill on those days when you seriously risk losing your cool.

Related: Quiz: What Type of Mom Are You?


1. Get away
Squeezing in a quick workout or blowout will do wonders for your perspective. Do something—anything—outside the home that prioritizes your needs. (A grocery run to buy spinach dinosaurs does not count!) Put on your own oxygen mask first. 

2. Don’t be a mirror
If your kid is acting wild, angry or frenetic, do your best to stay calm. Envision the way you handle a difficult adult in your life—an in-law, a boss—and behave accordingly. She who manages her emotions…has less mom guilt to contend with later.


3. Take a breather
You know breathing exercises calm your body and center your mind. Here’s one to do with your kids to help the whole clan chill out together. 

4. Draw a line
Sit down at night (with vino obviously) and actually write down your boundaries and rules. Define what’s acceptable behavior to you (Coloring on her dollhouse? No problem. Coloring on your walls? Problem!) so you can clearly communicate when a line has been crossed.

Related: 8 Ways to Relieve Stress in 5 Minutes


5. Graze
Do NOT let your blood sugar drop below “Yeah, I could eat.” Hangry x parenthood = no good for anyone.

6. Vent
Join a parenting group and complain enthusiastically about the kids you love more than life. Fight your desire to compare yourself to other moms and be open to their advice. 

7. Take a shower and get dressed
Even if you have no intention of leaving the house today, this—unlike putting 7,000 more chocolate chips in the pancakes—is non-negotiable.


8. Laugh
Watch funny cat videos together. Read a joke book. Laughter increases our threshold for pain. Why not parenting?  

9. Keep them busy
Get them started on an activity: building a tower out of blocks, a house out of magna-tiles, then slowly…walk…away. You may get the five minutes of quiet you require to reboot.

10. Be grateful
Notice the little things about your little people—their tiny fingernails, their velvety-soft skin. Remind yourself they grow up too fast. It’s amazing how quickly you can flip the switch from near-lunacy to pure love.    

Related: 6 Brilliant Ways to Get Your Kids Out the Door Faster

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