Rule 9: Float Above Insanity

This is part of an ongoing series chronicling my attempts to regain a bit of my sense of self, and my sanity, by implementing Elizabeth Lyons’ 32 Rules that Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get the whole series!

Don’t forget to check out Elizabeth’s assignment for each rule at the end of the post!

Rachel and Claire loved Milli Vanilli when they were babies. And by loved, I mean that watching me dance around like a fool, singing “Girl you know it’s true! G-g-g-girl! Ooooh ooooh oooohhhhh, I love you” was one of the things I could guarantee would stop the double dose of crying because Mom is putting them in the double jogger for a walk for the second time that day because she really needs to kill some time wants to get some exercise.
In Rule 9 Elizabeth encourages us to develop little strategies to implement when we need to stay sane while out with the small people. Sing to yourself. Talk to yourself. Pretend they’re not your kids (I admittedly do this sometimes when their dad’s around…to a point. I call it “letting him handle it”). 

I’m rather reserved. Are you surprised? Don’t be. I grew up a devastatingly shy kid, and through the years I’ve been able to overcome it — or at least make you think I have. No, Christian’s the goofball in the family. He doesn’t think twice about acting silly at the park or pulling out all the stops to make the kids laugh while waiting at the doctor’s office (and the staff members have mentioned more than once how much listening to his shenanigans through the thin office walls entertains them).

Of course there’s nothing cooler than bringing a smile to your child’s face. But I’m self conscious like that. Which is why Christian truly is my better half.

Then there was the day I like to call “The day I sang like a lunatic into the Dora microphone to stop the whining and the crying and the begging for Toy Story.” Or as you might like to call it, Tuesday.

Something set someone off (not hard to do…they’re three after all), and all of the sudden it was a mass hysteria of moaning, yelling, rolling on the floor, and not wanting to do anything I suggested. I was at a loss. And trying to avoid giving in to the magic that is Buzz and Woody.

Then I saw it peeking out from behind the couch: the Dora microphone. A fun bilingual toy for all, often fought over, but always a winner. I grabbed it and showed it to Claire with massive enthusiasm, which was met with…

“NO!!!” Seriously, it was like she was yelling in a bigger font, y’all.

Double unhappiness was quickly growing, and those double bad moods were in danger of colliding with my own to create The Perfect Tantrum, minus the affiliation with George Clooney or Marky Mark.

So I floated. I floated above my physical body, where I saw a woman (surely that wasn’t me!) dancing around the room in front of her three year olds, who looked at her like she was absolutely nutso, singing as hard as she could into that microphone, trying her damnedest1 to crack a smile out of those two.


Oh, and sometimes I may do a little “Check check, one two! This is DJ Mommy in da house!” But that’s for another day.

Did they like it? Uh, no. They swiftly reminded me that a) I’m not Dora; b) I can’t sing worth a lick; and c) they were still very, very unhappy with the way this segment of the day was going.

But did it help me not want to throttle them for a few more minutes and laugh at the fact that no matter what I did, they were going to veto me? Yes. Yes, it did. And I have Elizabeth to thank for that one!

I’ve said before how my kids have taught me patience, and it’s so true. They feed off of our moods and vibes, so getting frustrated right along with them just makes it worse. I’m a Libra, and I gotta keep my scale balanced by responding to their crazy with my calm.

Important quote from Rule 9: “Moms everywhere are talking to themselves in the stores, pretending they’re talking to the kid they have in the stroller or the grocery cart. But I know better.”  Yup. Girl, you know it’s true.

Elizabeth’s assignment for Rule 9: I’ve always found it ironic that when things get the craziest in my house, I’m yelling at people to stop yelling!

Sometimes the best way to manage insanity is to counterbalance it. When my 2-year-old is whining for the 3rd hour in a row, I’ll quietly ask, “How can I help you?” (and, yes, there’s a bit of sarcasm in there that she can hopefully not detect).

The next time the insanity strikes, try speaking slowly and quietly. If nothing else, it will keep your own adrenaline in check! Adrenal fatigue is the new buzzword for women, and I figure this is a way to keep that at bay! (I hope.)

How have you “floated above insanity?” Leave me a comment and tell me about it!

1 I swear this is how my computer’s dictionary says to spell “damnedest.” Looks weird, no?

Purchase your own autographed copy of You CANNOT Be Serious! You can also follow Elizabeth Lyons on Twitter: @elizabethlyons


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  1. I admit to allowing my kid to watch Barbie's Diamond Castle twice in a day. It happened yesterday. Not her fault, i have a little problem and it's called blogging/reading blogs. Ahem. Not my proudest moment.

    There's just something cool about a three year old's volume level when she wants something. Yesterday, also, she found the box containing her Easter surprises. She was told, "no, it's a surprise." (Imagine the font ten times this size) "WELL, I WANT A SURPRISE NOW!"

    If I can't keep a straight face now, how'm I going to do it when she's a teenager?

  2. I struggle with this. I love the concept, by the way, of floating above the insanity. Just thinking about it makes me feel lighter, less stressed!

  3. I've never heard of this book till now! Yes… this also proves that I'm WAY behind on my blog reading… sorry.

    I'm a bit reserved too… but when you let loose and have a bit of fun the kids love it!

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