A Simple Way To Redeem A Bad Day

By November 14, 2011General

I had a not-so-great motherhood day last week. By about 2pm I just sat there reminiscing about how lousy it had been. I thought, “Well, there’s a whole day down the tubes!”

And then I smacked my forehead. Theoretically. I’m not in the habit of hitting myself, but I did talk back to myself, “Kat! It’s only 2pm! There are so many more hours in the day!”

All Aboard!

So I lined up a few chairs in our living room, put on a dress-up captain’s hat, cut a piece of paper to look like a ticket and grabbed a backpack. I walked to my son, who was playing by himself, and said, “Sir? Are you on flight 1523 to Wyoming? It’s time to board.”

I did the safety presentation in perfect dry monotone. He got an upgrade to first class. (Handy Manny was on his flight!!!) After I went through the cabin with the beverage and snack service, I even let him fly the plane.

It took about 10 minutes and didn’t cost a dime, but he talked about it the rest of the afternoon and the next day.

He didn’t remember how boring I’d been the other 10 hours, he just remembered our flight to Wyoming.

Never underestimate the power of a simple, memorable moment with your kids.

So the next time you have a rough day, instead of giving up on it, redeem it!

What are your favorite simple, fun things to do with your kids?

Leave a Comment



  • Avatar Ashley says:

    I loved this post! The hardest part of my day is from about 5pm-6pm. Dinner is over, it’s not time for a bath yet, and my hubby usually isn’t home from work yet. I’ve had a hard time filling this hour, and have started having a dance party with my 20month old. We put the baby (he’s 3 months) in his crib or bouncer, and then we crank music in the living room and just jump around. I’m usually worn out by the end of it, and so is she! It’s becoming the best part of my day 🙂

  • What a cute idea! Like the poster above, 5-6 pm is my rough time of day too. My 18 month old is a late napper…she gets up around 4:30 or 5, hubby doesn’t get home till 6, and she asks for him CONSTANTLY till he gets home.

    We’ve started heading out for the park as soon as she wakes, to enjoy the last few minutes of daylight, and then we come home and I make dinner while she helpfully empties the cabinets for me. 🙂

  • Avatar Melina Bryan says:

    We make play doh, or paint pictures, make up stories and play games, and bake together. When I feel “blah”, it helps to find something we all get involved in; so I enjoyed this post.

  • Avatar Diana Drexler says:

    So fun!
    I will have to remember this. Does it work for dogs?

  • Avatar Dasha Estalilla says:

    Usually, I know I’ve blown it with my kids is when my 2 and 3 year olds (11months apart) cling to my legs, one on each side and just look like orphans. The best way to redeem myself and my day and to give my undivided attention by reading a few of their favorite books. By book #5 (10 minutes later) their attention span has exhausted their capability to sit still and snuggle and their “mommy cup” is full. I feel accomplished and we can go on about our day. That usually takes care of my grumpiness too.

  • Avatar Amy says:

    It is so reassuring to know that others have the same issues! We usually sing songs. The ants go marching is our current favorite. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles to fill the day.

  • Avatar Allison says:

    Thanks for the fun idea! And as a mom to three boys (1.5, 3.5, and 5) I get to “that point” too many times. It’s always about the simple things! I was reminded of one of my favorite childhood activities when reading this post which was playing grocery store. Lining up food from the pantry on the kitchen table, shopping and then checking-out at the register with my parents’ calculator. And of course, you have to bag your groceries and go put them back in the real pantry.

  • Once in awhile – not real often – I would have rice crispies cereal with ice cream for breakfast. I would innocently tell them that ice cream is just frozen milk.

    Most of you may not remember a commercial where people put a slice of orange peel over their teeth and smiled. One morning I pretended to be busy working as they all came down to gather for devotions. After they all sat down and looked to see if I was ready to begin I smiled with the orange peel between my lips. They all cracked up and someone ran for the camera.

    Fun ways to start the day.

  • OK this may seem absolutely lousy when it comes to fun but since my daughter is going to be 17 there’s not much we do that she’d consider fun other than these 2 things: The Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii and……shopping!

    For my 10 year old who is not quite 10 mentally yet, he just enjoys sitting with me. That’s enough for me.

  • Avatar Dawn says:

    What a fun thing to do! My boys would love it, thank you for this post!

  • Avatar erin says:

    Love it! And isn’t it just like us to do this all the time with so many things? We eat poorly at breakfast and lunch and then throw in the towel and decide we may as well just eat junk the rest of the day because we’ve already messed up. We wake up late and don’t get to exercise or read our Bible, so we just throw up our hands and live in a funk all day instead of finding another time to fit those things in. The day is never over until your head hits the pillow! Thanks for this reminder!

  • Avatar Linda says:

    Jumping in puddles with my kids, and letting them run around the backyard when it is POURING with rain, then a nice warm bath.
    Having a karaoke/dancing disco with kids while listening to youtube music videos.
    Dancing along to the Wiggles dvds.
    Changing the words to a well read book and substituting ridiculous words, or reading the story with a different accent. Reading Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes is ALWAYS a winner with my kids, especially when one of them wants to say a particular funny bit!
    Never underestimate the power of a few minutes of fun and spontaneity with your kids- we are building beautiful memories for their future!

  • Avatar Christy says:

    Love it. Last week my girls (2 & 4) were getting super antsy and crabby, wishing they could go to the local orchard (which is closed for the season) to play in the corn pool. I filled up a pie tin with unpopped popcorn and instead we let the dollhouse people play in a miniature corn pool in the middle of the living room! They were IN HEAVEN, and it was totally worth the 20 minutes I had to spend vacuuming popcorn out of my carpet later that night. 🙂

  • Avatar jen says:

    So great!!! Sometimes when I have that mother guilt thing going on because I’m busy cleaning or cooking—-we grab all the pots and pans and wooden spoons and spatulas and play marching band. We take turns who gets to be the leader and we go fast or slow and sometimes, and this is the only time, we march up onto the couch or go running through the house. My kids love it and it’s kinda silly but they think it’s the best! Another thing we do, and the older kids love this one is play hide and seek in the dark. Sometimes I really don’t want to but once we get started it’s fun!

  • I know what you mean! One day, we celebrated “National Lemonade Day” with the kids I babysit. We looked up recipes (3-4 of them), made them and then sampled them all. It was a blast and so simple. I still remember this as one of the best things we did together!

    Lindsey @ ErieFamilies.com

  • Avatar Eliz. K says:

    What a fun activity! I shall have to remember that.

  • Avatar Amy Dunham says:

    Great reminder for Moms to afford themselves a little grace and to find the fun in a not-so-great day. Today, Maddie and I read three books (she chose) and then at dinner she was singing the song from one of the books and I asked her if she liked reading that story today and she said – Mommy, it was so fun! We also made a garland to hang up for Thanksgiving… it had leaves that we collected for the last week or so…. Last Friday, we put a light glaze of Elmer’s Glue on the leaves so they would be less crumbly and shine a bit… today I hot glued them to piece of twine… Maddie picked what order the leaves would go in. Simple and Fun….

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    Love it! This kind of stuff keeps me sane on those crazy days.

  • Avatar Amber says:

    You know after leaving MOPS today the day went well. We had a speaker and the topic of loving your children like there is no tomorrow. I feel I do this 98.9 % of the time and then that 1 .1% of the time pops up like today when my autistic 5 year old son came home, gave me a hug and grabbed his helmet and took off onto our vast property. I am so pregnant that I have a hard time keeping up so what happens I yell. Then once I get him cornered and in the house…I sob and sob because I yelled and he screams. Seriously, who am I to yell at this miracle of a boy yet sometimes I can’t reason with him other wise. But then I too remember things like this activity and remember how blessed I am that he will want to snuggle with me still and that I am still his “best friend”. We line up boxes and baskets and make roller coasters and trains. It just depends on the mood. We also listen to and “play band” to Christmas music. Him and his brothers call themselves “Alvin and the Chipmunks” other times they are the “ABOYS”. I always worry that if something happened the last thing I want them to remember isn’t mommie being mad but that mommie was smiling and she loves them so much that words can not describe. I want them to remember they were more important then the computer, laundry and the dishes…..that what they love and what is important to them really matters.

  • Wow! We did that long years ago!! It was not a plane, but a busride, and the children loved it! It is wonderful to redeem the day when we blow it!! Great word!

  • Avatar Jill says:

    I homeschool my three children so somedays seem to be nothing but battles. Today, we played “store” for our math lesson and then we pulled apart a whole chicken from the grocery store and of course we went to the park. What a great day 🙂


  • Avatar Christina says:

    We had a crazy day one day, and bed time was approaching. They started complaining that they were not tired. So, I told them to get their jammies on…and get outside! Then I sprayed them with the hose to initiate a water fight. That was the last thing they expected! Everyone had fun, and they all slept well afterward.

  • Avatar julie Harding says:

    It won’t necessarily cure a bad day, but my kids new favorite activity is being lifted up to press the garage door button to close the door when we get home. There were a few fights at first, but now the respect taking turns. They get the biggest smile and such a look of wonder!

  • Avatar Valerie says:

    Forts. Build forts!
    Then everyone get a bowl of cereal…
    *Love* your idea about the plane ride. I’m totally stealing that!

  • Avatar Evonne says:

    love this post!! has been on my heart to find little ways to spend quality fun time with my kids. I feel overwhelmed sometimes at the thought of planning too much so have asked God to show me how to have quality time for 10 mins here and there…sometimes we read a book, my eldest loves picking an origami project that we make together, we draw, play with play dough, have discovered recently that my youngest thinks its great fun to help Mummy do laundry (bonus!), and today it was really hot and my littlest man (3 yrs) was begging for food and my attention so we sat on the front steps and ate watermelon together. Every time I spat a seed he pretended to spit one too – simple but so, so precious!!

  • Avatar Suzie (from Sydney) says:

    Kat! I needed to hear this right at the moment. Thank you. I’d never really thought about it, and yes, I have a tendency to write the whole day off by early afternnon with a grumpy mum or kids. This is so simple and yet, when I think about it, so true! Thanks, you’ve just given me so many more GREAT days 🙂
    P.S. My fav things is put on wild music and dance like a lunatic with the kids or playing chasings around the back yard.

  • You are so fun, Kat! I love it!

  • […] A Simple Way to Redeem a Bad Day {Inspired to Action} […]

  • Avatar Margaret says:

    What a great post! I love it when a bit of spontaneity changes the mood of the day. Your plane ride sounds like fun, I will definitely try it next time! My girls love playing hairdressers so we give each other crazy hairstyles and laugh ourselves silly.

  • […] “A Simple Way to Redeem a Bad Day” by Kat at Inspired to Action, […]

  • Avatar Laura says:

    That’s awesome!

  • You’re a great mom! I just found you through Not Just Cute, and I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it amazing how “small” things can make the biggest difference?