A Meditation on Stressful Days

All parents know that some days are more stressful than others.  Calm and easy days are super – they’re the days when you glide serenely from one task to another, laughing and joking with your adorable cherub-faced children, enjoying the compliments that passing strangers offer about your children’s angelic behaviour… The more stressful days are, perhaps, more common – they’re the days when at least one person in the house wakes up in a foul mood; when the toddler refuses to eat anything except chocolate buttons for breakfast; when the baby needs rocking all morning and wakes up the very moment you take one hand away to make yourself a cup of tea… By the lunchtime of a stressful day, you decide that sandwiches will have to do for lunch (and tea) – only to discover that you’ve no bread left in the house.  So off to the local shop you go – but by the time you’ve got everyone’s shoes and coat on – and done two emergency nappy changes – everyone’s blood sugar levels have crashed and the screaming and shouting has hit catastrophic levels.  Oh – and the washing up from last night’s dinner is still on the work suface. On days like these, you quite fancy opening a bottle of wine at half past two in the afternoon – except there’s none left in the cupboard / you can’t find the bottle opener / you don’t really fancy teetering on the edge of that very slippery slope…

We all have days like these.  It’s on these days that we never seem to get the time to play imaginative games with the children – or read to them – or even listen to them properly.  In fact, to do any of these is the last thing we could imagine doing.  But I’m pretty certain that if we did take the time, it’d make all the difference.  Sometimes, your screaming, shouting, sulking toddler only wants a little bit of attention – and twenty minutes of proper play is all that they need.  It’s enough to settle them, make them feel cared for and calmed… And, quite often, your twenty minutes of play with them sparks off another twenty of quiet play on their own – buying you a bit of time to do that washing up or get the dinner on!

So RainyDayGames aren’t just about distractions from the wet weather – they’re also about restoring peace and harmony into your chaos-ridden house.  Give one a try – and hey, if it doesn’t work, you can always revert to the wine plan mentioned earlier…

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