I’m proud to introduce to you: “Project: Calm Down Mum”

As I cracked the whip and lost my shit about something as silly as shoelaces the other morning, reality hit me in the face.

I am a bloody cranky pants!

And more often than not it’s the small, silly things that set me off.

Shitburgers, that’s not the sort of parent I want to be!

So I’ve taken it upon myself to write a few ‘inspirational’ messages to keep things in perspective.

Here’s the first one in the pantry.

At breakfast time when there's tears, moans, spillages and question after question after question after question.... I need a little reminder to take a deep breath and BREATHE!

At breakfast time when there are tears, moans, spillages and question after question after question after question…. I need a little reminder to take a deep breath and BREATHE!

If this doesn’t work, then while I’m making up three lunch boxes* from stuff in and around the fridge, and listening to the kids saying: “Yuk, I won’t eat that” or “Mum why don’t you have a willy?” – I have another strategically placed note to try to help reduce my cranky pants stress levels.

Read the great fridge magnet, above the yellow note, my sister brought it back for me from overseas, makes me smile every time I see it. You are my love angle, don't treat me like potato. DAMN STRAIGHT MOFOS

Read the great fridge magnet, above the yellow note, my sister brought it back for me from overseas, makes me smile every time I see it. It says: “You are my love angle, don’t treat me like potato”. LOVE IT

So once everyone is dressed, teeth brushed, hair sprayed to keep the nits away, school bags packed, and water bottles refilled after they have already spilled throughout bags, it’s time to get in the car.

This is when I strap in the kids, turn on the car, air-con and radio, it usually calms the little people for a bit. It gives me two minutes to get out of my daggy, dirty home clothes and breathe for 30 seconds. I then look at myself in the mirror to make sure that I don’t have my shirt on inside out, and yes I’ve actually done this :(.

As I walk past the garage to my bedroom, I can hear screams, tears and fighting, but I resist the urge to give my ‘angels’ a stern look or head shake, and instead I head to my bathroom to slap on some brown stuff, aka foundation, to make myself appear ‘not so old haggish’!

By the time I return to the kids it’s bad, and I mean tears, screams, pinching and shit, it’s all I can do to not to scream my tits off at them.

BUT – I look down and see my strategically placed note that says:

Notice the empty cup holder, as soon as I drop off the kids I go and get it filled up with liquid gold. COFFEE!

Notice the empty cup holder, as soon as I drop off the kids I go and get it filled up with liquid gold. COFFEE!

I must admit it’s only early days in “Project: Calm Down Mum” – but I will keep you posted on my progress.

I was motivated to start this stupid simple project after hearing my daughter scream at her younger brother for something so silly as shoelaces dropping something of hers.

And I thought, where did she learn this behaviour?


It ain’t pretty and I’m working to make sure that it doesn’t continue.

So if you’re keen to do a similar thing, then post, Instagram, Pin, Twin, Tumblr, Tweet, or Facebook about it – spread the word and let’s try to be less cranky pants parents, here is the handle, or whatever, for it: #projectcalmdownmum.

All you have to do is write an honest note to yourself – keeping it simple here folks!

Watch this space, it might just be the start of something amazeballs or not!

Have A Laugh On Me

Are you game to play along?
What would your yellow note say?
Got a better fridge magnet than my one?

*Umm it should be called an everything box, not a lunch box, because I don’t just pack lunch, I pack morning tea, afternoon tea, mid-morning tea, mid-afternoon tea, when I’m cranky tea, you get the message.

Rewinding with Bron and Sonia for Weekend Rewind



Flogging with Grace @ With Some Grace



  1. You are not alone my dear. I may have to follow suit. I threaten to send mine to boarding school. Not cool but it works! My wellness course is helping me heaps with this sort of stuff. Can you really but spray to keep nits away? X

  2. I love this and count me in! I lost my cool way too many times today and it has got to stop. I love the ‘calm down psycho’ one in the pantry 🙂

  3. Hilarious. I burst out laughing at “calm down psycho”. I’m worried how many yellow sticky notes I might end up with around my house if I do this. My 3 year old has become well, three and a huge handful in the last week x

  4. I’m a cranky pants Mum too!

    Because you have to so often, it’s easy to get into the rhythm of saying no, and yelling it too!

    I might just get in on this note dropping ‘cos I too see Little Vick have an emotional yelly outburst and scold him for it but it’s hardly fair when I do it several times an hour!! I’m the one setting the standards around here.

    Thanks for keeping it real and awesome you’re being proactive about change!

  5. hahaha! Yes, I could use some of those stickers.
    And yes, they should be called “everything boxes”. Absolutely nailed that one …

  6. Lydia C. Lee says:

    You should make ‘calm down psycho’ into a fridge magnet. I’d buy one…

  7. Yep, I’m a cranky pants. Going to try the whole calm down thing and see how we go?!? Could be an interesting time 🙂

  8. Too funny Em. And true. So very true. Bring on the inundation of sticky notes! X

  9. Although not technically a Mum – (I have been called a Motherfu….er) I have lived by this de-stress motto for many a year …

    “When it all gets too bad … go to the fridge”

    Works for me.

  10. Oh man. I need to introduce this. Usually I’m okay, but lately I seem to lose it over ridiculous things. Things 4yo does accidentally.

    My post-it note would be: She’s 4. She’s MEANT to act like this. And another one saying: YOU are the adult. Act like it. x

  11. I used to have a bumper sticker on my bathroom mirror that said “Care Factor 0%”. I don’t know why but it helped me calm down when my 5 kids were all between 7 and 14 and I was a struggling divorced parent. I just wish I’d had a blog back then:)

  12. This made me laugh out loud. The Calm Down Psycho sticker spoke to me. I may have to join you!

  13. Laughed at the first one like everyone else… 🙂 You’re taking great steps…good luck and hope it works out well! 🙂

  14. Did your sis get that magnet from Hong Kong? It looks familiar haha. It’s a good project to start to remind us to really, don’t sweat the small stuff 😉

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  15. AAHHH loving this project Em!! I remember the crazy-town younger years, but now I’m dealing with an almost 11-year-old, and it’s scary!
    My note would say ‘don’t become your own mother!”. xx

  16. Haha I am Queen cranky pants in the morning if my kids are stuffing around – we leave to catch the bus at 7.50am !
    I have found a use for the post -its 😉
    I will use acronyms. C.D.P
    C.O.M our secret !

  17. I so need to do this. This morning I lost my nut over missing containers. Turns our they were missing because I accidentally through them in the bin. Mother of the year over here?!!

  18. I think you’ve just described me!! I got o bed most nights saying ‘tomorrow I will be calm and serene, I will not yell, its not their fault, they’re only little!!” (it helps with the guilts to make this nightly promise). Sadly I have not yet make it through the day without loosing my shit over something stupid!! I am so joining in Em!!

  19. I so need some of these sometimes – its always involves some kind of time pressure.

  20. At teh moment I am doing this count to ten and breathe thing. I want to punch myself in the face.

  21. Seriously in. You know how I’ve spoken many times of my propensity for yin yang yelling (that’s yelling one moment, feeling like shit the next) – I reckon I’m going to do notes and I’d like to invent myself a volume button to turn myself down when I need to.

  22. I love this !
    But to let you in on a secret….YOU ARE NOT ALONE 🙂 I am always loosing my shit. My kids are older than yours but still they bring out the gnarly gnome in me……I must give these little note reminders a go and see if will work for me,

    Good luck x

  23. Perfect! love it Emily. Will have to get back with some witty post it note. But I have often had as my mantra..”Whats the worst that will happen” It helps me take a new perspective and realise that I am be overreacting!

  24. Great idea, Emily. I’m in!

  25. I’m in! Once I get off this board I’m sticking post it notes everywhere, man! Even on my children’s’ foreheads! 🙂

  26. Love it. I have a few pics up on my desk at work that remind me to laugh. I’ll send you a pic on monday.

  27. I’m a cranky pants mother too. Why are we so cranky all the time? Oh, I know, it’s because nobody listens the goddam first time!

  28. What a brilliant project! I have tried in the past to just stop and say to myself, loud enough for the kids to hear, ‘Okay Kate. Just breathe. In. And out. In. And out.’ And honestly, the kids think I’ve lost the plot and stop whatever it is they are doing and stare.

  29. Great thinking Em. I’m in too, once I get some post-it notes! My messages will be along the lines of “get over yourself” and “think of the children”….

  30. I love this 🙂 I must admit, my patience is really being tested at the moment with a threenager and a newborn. Following and joining in when my baby brain allows it 🙂

  31. Such a good idea. Of course, there’s a chance my kids would find the post its, scribble on them, write rude words or just hide them! One thing I find helpful is hanging onto those little love notes kids occasionally write for no reason – the “I love you mummy because…” type stuff. I have one on my bedroom door at the moment. But having one in the car is inspired! Lucky for them they have flashes of adorable in amongst the insanity!!

  32. I noticed that I started to be more cranky too and it came down to me setting ridiculously high standards and being impatient. I think the post it notes are a great idea and I have resorted to reading some parenting books about discipline cos surely there is a better way than yelling and losing my bundle!

  33. I need this! I am definitely in! LOL But all my reminders will have “calm down psycho!” on it! 😉

  34. It hit me yesterday how much I yell when I woke up with no voice after a particularly bad day. I’ve gotten better though and tend to mutter most of it under my breath rather than letting the whole of my suburb know that I am pissed off..again.

  35. Totally what I need!!! Lil Miss 3 is testing my patience now definitely – every day! And yet I see a lot of me in her some times -especially the way she acts towards her little sister – so yes Mummy has to set a good example!!! She even tells me some days – calm down Mummy – that she learnt from DAddy

  36. Love Love your fridge magnet by the way!!! Can’t help but LOL!

  37. Gotta get me some sticky notes, better get love heart shaped ones to remind me of the precious hearts I lose my shit at sometimes. I could benefit from some florescence about the house 😉 Great initiative Em xx

  38. Love this! I’ve been seeing a few photos on Instagram for ‘Project: Calm Down Mum’ so I don’t think your alone. I’m not a mum yet but a definitely can be a cranky pants!

  39. God speed. I need to do this too, but am not nearly ready to yet!

  40. Love this. I need this. Count me in!

  41. I’m reasonably sure that my neighbours think a banshee lives here most mornings so I’m definitely on board the calm down train. Just need to get some post its!

  42. What a fun and hilarious project… and so you! Only you would come up with something like this. Some photo projects are a nice way to pause, reflect, be thankful and treasure sweet moments… but it’s nice to have a fun one to have a laugh together like this. If I catch myself at an undesirable moment, I’ll keep your project in mind and see what I come up with!

  43. Oh man how I need to do this!!!! I could do with one stuck to my forehead and every surface in the house. Great idea Em xx

  44. I love this. I am so joining in, it’s certainly something I need to rein in at the moment. Thank you for being so honest, it’s nice to know I am not alone in this struggle.

  45. I loooveeee this idea. I need them at my office… less so around the house. Some adults make me lose it more than my two year old does!

  46. I have seen this on Instagram and wondered what it was all about….LOVE IT 😉

    Its funny how we act, and then sometimes see our kids do the very same thing and think “Gee they are so out of control, where did they learn those words” – lately I have been seeing mirror images of our boys behavior and its scaring me….so YEP I sure need this #projectcalmdownmum idea 🙂


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  5. […] I’m proud to introduce to you: “Project: Calm Down Mum” – written by Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me As I cracked the whip and lost my shit about something as silly as shoelaces the other morning, reality hit me in the face. I am a bloody cranky pants! Follow: Twitter and Facebook […]

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