You know that time of day, usually right around the time you need to start making dinner, and everyone starts complaining? Babies cry and fuss, toddlers poke and prod at you, big kids fight about homework, and teenagers start snapping. It seems like just about everyone gets cranky. Even mommy!
It’s become popular in our culture to turn that whine time into wine time for moms! I mean I’m guilty of it. For a long time it was a routine for me to come home from work, make myself a four o’clock cup of coffee, and then pour a nice big glass of wine (or two!). Red, white, rose, I’ve poured them all! My daughter even started referring to it as “Mommy Juice.”
It seems innocent enough, but all those extra calories really got me thinking: Do I really need that glass of wine? Luckily for me the answer is no. I don’t need it. There are plenty of other ways to deal with stress and to unwind after a long day. Here are a few new things I’ve been trying:
Ice Cream and/or Chocolate
I need some kind of special treat to reward myself at the end of the day. But just like the wine, this can’t be a nightly indulgence. I’ve also found a few low-carb frozen fudge bars that satisfy my cravings for something sweet.
Watch Meaningless TV
I love everything Bravo TV. What better way to turn off your mind than to watch a bunch of rich housewives argue over almost anything. From New York to Beverly Hills there is enough drama to distract me from my real-life problems. And when I really want to feel better about myself I turn on Southern Charm….or even the Jersey Shore on MTV. Popcorn time!
When things get really tough and I feel like I’m going to explode I literally let it all out with a loud lion’s roar. This is meant to be a type of yoga pose, however I’ve taken it to the next level and I actually roar. The first time I tried this I startled my children (and myself). It’s like an instant release of adrenaline that immediately calms me.
I know meditation is always the first thing recommended to relieve stress, but I can’t do it. Trust me, I’ve tried. I cannot focus and it physically hurts my brain to recenter my wandering thoughts. Instead I’ve turned to audio books. I love to read and I never have enough time, but I do have a long commute to work. Listening to audio books has helped me focus and really tune everything else out, except the intriguing story I’m listening to.
No More Multitasking
I had to learn this one the hard way, but I cannot focus on more than one task at a time. When I come home from work and need to check my email, make dinner, put a load of laundry in, and pay attention to my kids, the chaos begins. I am a much happier, calmer mama when I can focus my attention on one thing. Being present in the moment with my family needs to be my priority. Blocking off set times for other tasks allows me to get through my to-do list much more efficiently.
Don’t get me wrong, I still pour a glass of wine every now and then on a weeknight. It’s just something that I’ve decided doesn’t need to be a daily occurrence. Wine does not need to be the solution for whine time in my house. I now save my wine for weekends, date nights, book club, or a girls’ night out! But don’t ask me to drop that after work coffee. That would just push me over the edge!