There are times (aka seasons) in our lives when we need to give ourselves ample amounts of grace and patience.
These seasons may involve the time right before or after a baby is born, an especially busy work schedule for you or your spouse, extreme weather (hello, winter), or when you or someone in your family is dealing with physical or mental health struggles.
We can give ourselves grace during these times by making temporary changes that help ease the burden of the moment. These changes might not fix a problem but they may help you and your family get through a difficult or crazy season of life.
The following are modifications that I have found to be helpful during particularly difficult times:
Use disposable stuff.
Paper plates can be a lifesaver when you're trying to eat at home and doing the dishes feels insurmountable due to a new baby or an illness. If you use cloth diapers, switch to disposable for a bit. (This is an all-the-time thing for us but for cloth diaper peeps, disposable diapers may be a helpful break.)
Consume more media.
Maybe you and your family try to limit it, but holy cow. Sometimes turning on a show can be the number one way to get dinner on the table or to survive an epically long afternoon.
Try a music subscription. We pay for Spotify and it's the best $10 we spend all month. Almost every afternoon I turn on music and the boys "dance" (which looks like wrestling-meets-jumping) but it gets us through until dinner.
Have convenience food on hand.
When we had our third son, I bought a giant bag of frozen chicken nuggets from Costco because lunch was a really difficult time of the day. It was so helpful to throw them in the oven because it required minimal prep and hands-on time.
Pre-cut fruit and vegetables and applesauce pouches made eating healthier feel less daunting during that time. Also - bananas and clementines. They are the best snacks. Neither are news to anyone but they come "pre-packaged" and are easy to eat. Nature for the win.
Sign-up for a gym membership or delivery services.
I am currently debating this one. We live in Minnesota and our winters make going for walks with babies difficult. Getting a gym membership to survive the winter would be totally worth it.
Also, there are indoor track facilities that have open walking times which could be worth checking out.
Grocery pick-up or delivery services and Amazon Now make it possible to grocery shop when it is difficult to get to the grocery store. Maybe you usually avoid these services (that's totally fine) but it is also totally fine to use them during times of transition or difficulty and it doesn't have to be a forever thing. Do what you gotta do.
Hire weekly childcare or a mother's helper to watch your kids or clean your house.
If that kind of help is hard to come by, see if you can adjust work schedules to help during this difficult season.
During a particularly difficult time after our third son was born, my husband would come home mid-afternoon (after naps) once a week. He would then work from home that evening for a couple hours. It made it possible for me to get through the week knowing that I had a break one afternoon.
Have an end date in mind.
In order to ensure this is just a "season" of life (after all, seasons only last a few months at a time), have an end date in mind or a date when you plan to review what is and isn't working.
In my family, there is always an adjustment period as we recalibrate back to normalcy but it is worth it to make modifications along the way.
Which modifications have been helpful for you when you’ve gone through a particularly difficult time? Share it below - we can use all of the help we can get!
Thanks for reading. I am so glad you are here!