After giving everyone else what they need and want, you stop to think about what you want, and can’t think of anything other than sleep. Ever feel like this? This often happens to mothers who care for their family members but forget to care for themselves. Let’s take a look at how to be an amazing mom and not lose yourself in the process. Take a look at this true story of a momma…see if you can relate. If so, then continue reading on!
My husband came home to find me sitting on the floor, with my back against the kitchen cabinet and my face hidden in my hands. The kids were especially rowdy that day, there was arguing and crying, things were spilling, and it seemed anything I said to them was completely ignored.
I was sitting on the floor because I was exhausted and because I was upset at myself for raising my voice at my children. The momster came out that day, and I didn’t like her.
My husband picked me up to my feet by my elbows, and without asking any questions, he said, “Take the keys and go. You need to get out of the house. I’ll take care of the kids.”
I walked out of the house and stood in my driveway, keys in hand. I stared at the van, trying to decide where I wanted to go. I couldn’t think of anything. I had this amazing opportunity to go somewhere alone and do something for myself, and I didn’t know what I wanted.
I walked back into the house. My husband looked at me with raised eyebrows. “I don’t want to go anywhere,” I said.
“You NEED to go somewhere, anywhere,” He answered. Then he took me by the shoulders, spun me around and gently pushed me out the door.
I got into my car and started driving. I opened the windows and just drove. Oh, how I love the feeling of the wind playing with my hair!
That was exactly the medicine I needed. I began to feel the tension subside, and a sense of calmness began to fill me. “I don’t want to feel like this again,” I thought to myself, “Something needs to change. I need to find a way to replenish what I give on a daily basis, so I have plenty within myself to pour into my children.”
“Yes, I can do this,” I reassured myself, “But I need to take care of me, too.”
You and I both know that a rested, fulfilled mom is a better mom. While planning to invest time in yourself, you need to create a day with the least amount of stress. If your day is filled with avoidable stressors, you will have less energy and the ability to pour into yourself.
So let’s take a look at a few motherhood tips for keeping your days (and yourself) sane.
HAVE LISTS When you have a list of what needs to be done not only in your head but on paper, you can relax just a bit and not worry about forgetting something. Plus, physically checking an item off as complete will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Routines are great for both you and your children. Everyone will know what comes next and this will give your whole family a grounded, “everything is the way it should be” feeling.
PLAN YOUR DAY
Spend a few minutes the evening before to plan out your day. Any appointments, kids’ activities, and pre-scheduled things go on it first with the assigned time block. Fill everything else with things that need to be done from your to-do list, and don’t forget to leave room for downtime, playtime, and time for yourself.
Time blocking for moms is a great way to keep your day in order. Even you don’t follow your schedule to a T, just seeing it all on paper will give you a sense of order as opposed to chaos. This alone will lessen your stress level.
ASK FOR HELP
Most likely, there are people in your life that want the best for you. When you feel at the end of your rope, or better yet, even before you get there, ask for help. Get over this “I can do everything by myself forever and ever” idea, and let someone help you.
TALK IT OUT
Don’t hold your feelings inside, talk about them. Whether it’s your husband, mom, sister, or friend, call them, meet with them, and get things off your chest. Even if you don’t expect them to offer you any solutions to your challenges, just talking about them will make you feel better.
JOIN A GROUP Whether it’s a local community or church mommy group, join them. This will give you a reason to get out of the house, get some air, and talk to other moms while your kids play together. Who knows, you may even make some new friends.
Be careful when joining online groups. These groups are mostly based on social media and there is a big chance of you falling down the rabbit hole of the platform. While groups based on social media can be beneficial and provide support, there is a good chance the social media platform will take more time from you than you have to give.
HAVE A HOBBY
You may think I’m crazy. “A hobby? I don’t even have time for a shower!” you may say. Now this most likely will not apply to moms with new babies when all the members of the household are trying to adjust to the new flow of life. If this is you, enjoy your new precious bundle and worry about the rest later.
Take a close look at our busy day, and you will probably find little pockets of time where you can incorporate something you love into your day. Enjoy painting? Take the nap hour to paint. Love to crochet? Sit down in the playroom with your littles and crochet while they play. Bring back something you used to enjoy before you had kids, and incorporate it into your day.
Be careful not to overwhelm yourself with a new commitment, this is not what it’s about. Whether it’s something you used to enjoy doing and want to bring it back, or it’s a new skill you want to pick up, only allow it to enter your day if it gives you a sense of accomplishment and recharges you, as most hobbies do.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Whether it’s a bubble bath, a cup of coffee and a book, or going to get your nails done twice a month, find a way to make it happen. Ask the people in your life who want the best for you to step in and help.
If you don’t have the luxury of relatives nearby, consider asking a trusted friend if they will be up for watching your child once in a while, and offer to watch theirs in return. If you don’t have trusted friends nearby, consider a local “mommy’s morning out” program. Search in your community, and you may find something that fits your needs. These programs will usually care for your child at their center for a couple of hours once a week.
You may also find daycare centers with a drop-in program where they will charge you an hourly rate. The cost is usually reasonable, and this will give you a much-needed window of time you can use for yourself. Do your research, and make sure you’re completely comfortable with the facility and the caretakers before you decide to use their services.
HAVE A MAMA BUCKET LIST
There is an easy trick to avoiding feeling like I did when I finally got some time to myself, but I didn’t know where I wanted to go.
Start a list of what you want to do. As you go through your busy day and have an idea, add it to the mama bucket list. When you finally get a chance to have some alone time, you will be able to easily and quickly find something fun, refreshing, or relaxing to do for yourself.
ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE
It’s so easy to get lost in the busyness of our days and forget to enjoy what we may have longed for a few short years back. Enjoy your littles, they’re only little once.
Learn to become a rested, contented mom. Accept help when necessary, take time for yourself, find a friend that will listen, and you will discover how to be an amazing mom and not lose yourself in the process!