Kids are brilliant. They are funny. They learn rapidly. They have great personalities. They mispronounce words. They chase pigeons. And they can make your day with a sound or a smile. BUT… there is a flip side. And that flip side is… kids can make you feel down. Especially when they won’t sleep. Or listen to instructions. Or keep their food in their mouth. Or put their shoes on. Or stop hitting you in the face with their big truck.
With this in mind, and because yesterday was #NationalMentalHealthDay, I’ve decided to make this week’s Father-Hood.co.uk Midweek List all about parental mood boosters. Like coffee, booze and those extremely chocolatey mini rolls you get from Marks & Spencer? No. Like ‘Tickle Time’, ‘Nursery Rhyme Re-mix’ and ‘Ickle Clothes Gaze’. Confused? Don’t be. Simply read on, as I reveal my favourite parental mood boosters.
1. iPhone People Movie
If you don’t have an iPhone, proceed directly to parental mood booster 2. If you do have an iPhone, proceed directly to Photos. Once there, click people, touch the picture of your kid’s face, watch the Movie and prepare for a massive smile to spread across your face. Feel better now, don’t you?
2. Ickle Clothes Gaze
In the heat of the moment, you can begin to doubt the cuteness of your child. But there’s no way you can ever doubt the cuteness of a tiny sleepsuit or T-shirt, especially when it says something like, “Daddy’s Little Man Born in 2016” or “Mummy’s Best Friend”. So here’s the plan. Instead of chucking all of your kid’s old kit in the attic (or selling it on eBay), keep a few items back to gaze at during your little parental wobbles. I mean, look at those precious little feet and arms and… no, I’m not crying. You’re crying. Okay, so we’re both crying. But the good news is they’re happy tears that make us feel proud to be a parent again.
3. Tickle Time
It’s well known that there is no better sound in the world than your child giggling uncontrollably. So whenever you’re feeling useless or overwhelmed: stop! Because it’s tickle time.
4. It’s funny, because it wasn’t you
Remember that day when you had to change that hellish nappy and the poo went absolutely everywhere? I think we can agree that wasn’t funny. But the time when the same thing happened to your partner? Now that was hilarious. So what are you waiting for? Sit down and make yourself chuckle by recalling every gory detail of their nightmare. Especially his or her displeased facial expression. LOL.
5. Nursery Rhyme Re-Mix
Ladies and gentlemen, are you sick of singing the same nursery rhyme over and over again at a child who just will not sleep? Join the club. I grew so bored of warbling Twinkle Twinkle that I began to change the words. This made me laugh. So I did the same with Frère Jacques. And Wind The Bobbin Up. And Humpty Dumpty. And loads of other songs. And before I knew it, I wasn’t actually dreading my 1am-4am a capella sessions. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Go on, try it. You know you want to.
So there you have it. Those are my five top ways of turning my frown upside down. Got some different ideas you’d like to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. Cheers.