I am feeling the effects: grumpy, bleary-eyed, tired, haggard. I am aching all over, and my willpower is weak. I had too much. I was overserved. I can not possibly take one more drawn out, high-pitched syllable.
Nothing is as miserable as a whine hangover.
It started innocently enough. An “I want milk” or an “I no want to go home!” It’s how it always begins…one serving leads to two, two leads to three, three leads to EVERYTHING MY THREEANGER SAYS IS WHINEY!
After a 24-hour whine binge, I look like a first semester freshman on a Saturday morning. To be honest, I am still in the throws of this vicious whine cycle. I am trying hard to break it, to free myself from the whine. Here are the things that are currently helping me survive and, hopefully, recover.
I worked in the makeup business for several years, and I believe in the transformative power of a few well placed cosmetics. If I look fresh, I feel fresh. The biggest helper lately has been my orange concealer.
Yep, you heard right … orange.
I layer that bad boy under my eyes and instantly look a little less tired, and a lot less haggard. Instagram is filled with tutorials showing the magic of orange concealer; and one of the best ones is under $10 on Amazon! Concealer makes me look better, but what makes me feel better is…
Not just any cup of joe will help undo a whine hangover. My drink of choice is a medium roast, drip-style coffee. The coffee will, ideally, be enjoyed in silence. If silence is not on the menu, then I move as little as humanly possible until the cup is empty. I must use this time to steal myself. I must be on my A-game, I can’t let my guard down, and I must attack with…
I fully recognize the part I played in the whine dependency cycle. I was pregnant, then I had a newborn. I was weak, tired, “busy.” Hadley would whine for something, and I would get it for her. Right away … in daze … like a mom-bot.
Consistency is the key to everything. Nothing will work if you do it halfway.
To break the cycle, I have to stop doing anything that follows a whine. This is way harder than it sounds. My daughter will sometimes whine for something I am the act of getting her. When this happens, I have to stop getting it, remind her to ask nicely, and then make her wait. This is not always convenient, but it is a must. I must stay vigilant, even during the worst moments I must not give into the siren song of silence. The silence I know would come if I just gave her what she wanted. It’s tempting, but when I feel weak, when my daughter is melting, we both have to stop for…
When my child is pitching a fit or getting frustrated, I have her take deep breathes until she calms down. I usually say “Honey I can’t understand you because you’re crying. Take deep breaths and slow down.” This has been successful in diffusing fits when they happen. She will even do it without prompting now, which is awesome. The best we can do as moms is give our kiddos the tools to help themselves. Of course all the tools in the world don’t matter if your kids don’t see the value, which leads too…
Yep, as a parent you cannot whine. Period. For me, this required some hard self-analysis. I don’t whine … but wait, I kinda do. “You mean you won’t be home in time for yoga? But I’ve been planning on it!”, “You feed him, my shoulder hurts” or “You didn’t make my coffee?”
Yep, I had been modeling whining.
In all fairness my voice was less whiney and more bratty, and was coming from a place of pain. I fell apart physically post-partum. My bones and joints shifted, and moved, and spasmed. I had a lot of pain going on, not to mention new allergies that popped up overnight. My scalp was bleeding, I had hives, I was beyond inflamed. I had reasons to be whiney (see, I even just whined in this article), but being whiney is never the right choice.
I showed my daughter that being a demanding jerk is okay as long as you have reasons. This lead to her whining the most on days she was not feeling 100%, and then using her ailment (usually constipation) as an excuse for being mean.
This was all my fault … and I am ashamed. Our kids learn from watching us. They are always watching, and always learning. It’s easy to get sucked in a negative mindset when things are not going the way we planned, but a negative mindset never creates a positive outcome, so…
Create a Positive Reinforcement System
Hadley’s school has a Warm Fuzzy jar. She is obsessed with the jar and dutifully reports the status of said jar. It made sense to keep with what she knows (consistency), so we made a jar for home. It is nothing Pinterest-worthy. Just an old jar with a piece of Duct Tape that says “Hads’ Warm Fuzzy Jar.” When she is nice to her brother, asks politely the first time, or waits patiently, we give her a Warm Fuzzy. The biggest improvement is her interaction with her brother, Atticus. She plays with him more, and is overall sweeter to him.
We have also extended the jar into learning to read. I haven’t had much luck with getting her to learn sight words, but attach them to Warm Fuzzies and “Bam!” Hadley is spelling words, and finding them in writing.
Reinforcing the positives is easy, but keeping a positive mind-set can be hard. Give your child the space and time to build habits. Don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t take each moment by itself. Don’t pile on old whining frustrations when dealing with a new whining moment.
You Got This!
Our jobs, as moms, is to help our kids grow. Learning how to communicate effectively is not easy, and they need help learning. Whining is not OK. It’s annoying, rude, and emotionally dishonest. I still have a ways to go on little Hads. It is a struggle to keep my cool when I’ve been served whine after whine, and on the worst whine days, I feel defeated, I feel sick … I truly feel hungover.
The cure for a whine hangover sounds a lot like a cure for a wine hangover: take responsibility for your part, make a commitment to do better, rub on a little make-up, drink a little coffee, and have a great day.
What helps you deal with a whine hangover?
Teaching permeates Channing Anderson’s life. Teaching English locally for 6 years, she became a registered yoga teacher in 2013, and specializes in prenatal yoga. In 2014, she took the leap, making mommyhood and yoga her full-time focus. Channing is the studio manager and a teacher at Pink Lotus Yoga Center, and works with clients privately through her company NamaMamaste. in 2007, she met Tim. Married two years later, the couple welcomed their first child, Hadley, in 2012, and their newest, Atticus, in 2015. Tim teaches part-time at Chapin High School, and Channing helps manage his test prep business Attest. In her spare time, Channing practices yoga, paints, and reads everything.