We’ve all been there right? Days where you just wish or wanted to lay in bed all day long because you are so tired but you absolutely cannot because you have humans who are relying on you for so many things. Especially now that we get zero break with school ending early, more people working from home,summertime, COV-19, and more things being cancelled and closed. It is easy to become emotionally and physically exhausted. We meal plan, grocery shop, cook, laundry, clean, on top of Moms who work, and we still need to make sure our kids are learning, engaged, socialized, and taken care of every single second. Mother is a beautiful experience but it can also be draining.
When you find yourself yelling more and losing patience easily feeling overwhelmed these are all signs of burnout.
So how do we continue to thrive as Mothers and be our best selves to our family? I dedicate this blog to the overwhelmed Mom trying to juggle it all and who is just trying to survive in hopes it helps you to find more balance, more happiness, and inspiration to thrive and find joy in Motherhood again. Here are some tips that have helped me find more balance and less stress within my work-life, motherhood world. I really hope these tips help you to reduce stress and experience the beauty motherhood can offer.
Self-care. It is time to check in with yourself. You have to find some time for yourself every single day. Maybe it is before the kids wake or after they go to bed. If you give give give every single day and do not refill your cup, guess what Mamma, you will burn out. What are ways you can refuel yourself, your soul, your spirit? That is easy. Do something every single day you loved doing maybe even before kids. I am talking about something solo, something that allows you to catch your breath and really feed your soul. I love going on long runs and jamming to some good music. I also love going to yoga classes and waking up before my kids to meditate and journal. I find ways every day some how to re charge and feed my inner spirit. This is so very important in order to have the energy and happiness for your family. Figure out what brings you so much joy you get excited even thinking about it and find a time a consistent time in your schedule and make it happen. Every day from 6pm-7pm, I am going to ask my husband to watch the kids and I am going to leave the house for some quiet time, for some me time, and go recharge. Maybe its to go have drinks with your Mom friends, or go to yoga, or to go get your nails done, or to go shopping solo. Whatever passions you have go do it!! I promise you will come back a renewed and more patient person. MAKE IT HAPPEN TODAY!!! Treat yourself to something you love. Happier Moms, have Happier Kids. Check out more ways for Self Care here.
Sleep. Are you getting enough sleep at night or are you staying up till midnight trying to get stuff done you could have had done throughout the day but waited last minute or didn’t have the energy because you were up all night. You can not and will not have the energy for it all if you don’t get a good nights sleep. Start making yourself go to sleep 30 minutes earlier then you normally do. I shoot for 9pm every night and I wake between 6-8am. Nights I stay up till 11pm blogging, I can tell in my energy the next day. Now if you are waking up nursing and just had a baby this is hard. I would suggest you nap and rest throughout the day if you can. However, even at 3 months I had my babes on schedules and they were sleeping through the night by 4 months. To this day when my kids have had a long day, they will tell me they are ready for bed and ask to go upstairs and start bedtime routines. Trust me on this, when you get enough sleep everyone in the homes benefits from it. Make sleep a priority and watch your mood will improve dramatically.
Exercise. Yup just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can not find time to exercise. I love including my kids in on my exercise or again working out before they wake or after they are asleep. Sometimes I will even get my babysitter over here while I go for a much needed long run without the kids. Mine use to go to the gym with me and they would do their own kids fitness classes like kids yoga and kids kick-box class, but we did pause that for now. I will take mine on a run pushing them in stroller or I will run while they ride their bikes. There is always a way to move your body even when you have kids. Stop making excuses and get moving.
Eating Healthy. Are you eating clean and well? This is so important. Nutrition is a science and like medicine to the body. Your body is your temple treat it as such. A well fueled body will work better and be more efficient and energized throughout your busy day. All things grown and green are great for you. Smoothies, salads, fruit, veggies, are you eating homegrown type foods? If not you may need to re-evaluate your nutrition. Where can you improve?
2.Let Go of Mom Guilt
Stop self sabotaging and feeling like your are failing. Oh man, the first year my kids were born, I hated leaving them. Talk about Mom guilt. I rarely left them actually. They would have major separation anxiety with any new program I put them in. However, now that they are a little older I do not have this guilt as much. I see the benefits of all us having a break and then coming back together. It gives me a chance to miss them and it gives them a chance to miss me. So stop with the Mom guilt and feeling like you are failing. You are an amazing Mom and when you start to truly believe and feel that everything around you changes. Days you feel like you are barely surviving, be bold and tell your inner critic to go away. You are Mom enough and you are doing a great job and every day is a new day to start again. I think the negative self talk needs to vanish and once you start having more positive self affirmation and working on not going to the negative space in your head everything improves. Remember, your life is a reflection of your thoughts. You are a beautiful Mother and were made perfect in his image. I love knowing God made me to be the Mother of my kids for reason because he knew you were exactly what they needed and they are all that you need. What better love then that of your kids, and you for your kids.
3.Ask for HELP
Kids. Teach your kids to do things own their own. Raising independent children begins with letting them do things for themselves. Lately, when my 4 year old says he is thirsty. I respond back oh ok good, “then go fix yourself some water”. The more he takes on himself the less I have to do. He went and of course spilled some but then cleaned it up himself too. He felt empowered, like I can make my own drink now. Never do for your child what they can do for themselves. I always tell my kids they need to figure it out if I know they can do it by themselves.
Babysitter. Some times when I absolutely need a break and because we do not have family around, I call my babysitter and have her come over for 1-2hrs while I go run errands, work out, or grab coffee or a yoga class. It is okay to take a break from your kids. When I return home, I am in much better spirits and a lot less likely to get upset over spilled milk. I no longer have Mom guilt because I had to shift my perspective on this and when Mamma is happy everyone is happy.
Husband. On crazy days, after my husband gets home I explain to him how hard the day has been and I will go reconnect with nature and leave for a walk. Do not be afraid to ask your husband for help, your neighbor, your friend, or even your own Mom . You cannot be supermom all the time. Again, It is okay to ask for a break especially when you are non stop all day cooking, cleaning, scheduling, and teaching. Ask your friend, your parents, your brother or sister. Please get some help on the days and weeks you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. You deserve a minute to catch your breath, trust me.
Outsource. Yup, this one has and is always hard for me. In my head I am always like, Oh but I stay home all day I should be able to do this and that. The hardest job on this planet is raising humans. Especially little ones who need you for everything. So if you want to hire a house cleaner, do it. If you want to order meal plan like Hello Fresh, then do it. Whatever will bring you less stress and more time for your family I highly encourage you to outsource for things. Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and many others will deliver your food and groceries for you. Try some things out that will free you up to do more of the things you love with your family and see how it goes. Again, It is okay to ask for help.
Say NO if you have to and want to. Find time for the things that make you and your family feel happy and strong. To me this is like a mission statement. What are your top priorities in life to date? You will never ever look back on life and think “I spent too much time with my kids”. Do not be too busy to enjoy quality time with your family.
So I will let you think about the question what are your top five priorities in my life now? Write them down. Then whatever does not add value to or bring you closer to those priorities then you need to X it out.
Proverbs 14:1 ” The wise woman builds her house.” Do the things that will make you a better wife, a better mother, a better neighbor, a better friend. Schedule in your priorities every day. Make time for what we really matters to your heart and soul. Say no to things and people who do not bring us closer to and in alignment with our priorities. I love all Erin Condren’s planners. They are so amazing. You can grab one off Amazon and start organizing your life now.
Schedule. It is time to get organized and have a schedule. I am extremely type A and love to schedule, plan, and be organized. It helps me be more productive and really helps our days run smoother. Schedule in one hour a day of self care that I talked about earlier. Every single day, find one hour to fill your cup up.
Plan. What will your week and month look like? Plan ahead. Prepare activities for the kids, meal plan,field trips to take, work deadlines, and get your shit together. I am telling you this will take away so much stress and really help your days feel in order.
Planner. If you do not have a planner just use some paper and physically write out your routine for the week ahead. Talk to your partner about your agenda. I know some families who do a shared calendar. There is Google calendar or iCal.
List. Make a list. I love making a list every night on the top 5 things I need to get done and are first priority for the next day. When I knock things off the list I feel so good. I make a list every night on my phone. This helps direct my days and helps me to stay focused.
Do not over schedule your family. I have a problem with this because I always want to do everything and give my children as many experiences as I can. However, if quarantine has taught me anything is that it is ok to slow down. Kids are just as happy being home in the backyard then going some where extravagant. This will cause burn out and make everyone tired. If you are constantly on the go can you imagine if you are exhausted how your kids feel? When you start to simplify your schedule, your kid’s toys, your stuff, your cabinets, your closets, your expectations, your energy will return and you will feel lighter, and you will be able to breath every so beautiful again. Where are some areas in your life you can simplify some things starting today?
Schedule in a date night once a week. If not once a month. Find time for your husband and staying connected is extremely necessary. May be its watching a movie on the couch after the kids go down, or doing a puzzle together, or sipping some wine on the back patio. Make time to have un interrupted conversations to check in with one another. This can help decrease all the Mom stress you may be carrying. My husband has a way of calming me down and really helping me put things in perspective.
Find your tribe. Call a friend. Have a Moms Night Out. Emotional support from friends can re energize your soul so very much. If you just moved to a new place look up some Mamma groups near you on Facebook. Put yourself out their and make some new friends. There is nothing like having friends who are there to celebrate with you, cry with you, and support you as a parent and as a friend. Especially, if you are going through the same things and knee deep in motherhood.
Disconnect from social media and your other gadgets and have some fun with your family. I love doing family dinners, family bike rides, family hikes, and family adventures. Schedule in family days yall. Make some fun memories and get out of your head. To me the greatest legacy we an leave our children are the happy moments we have together. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Suess
Look I am not saying change and do all this at once but speaking from experience if you want to be a happier person and healthier Mom then you have to start some where. Save this post and come back to it when you need a road map. Start with adding in self care, then maybe adding more date nights, saying “no” more to things that do not serve you nor make you a better person. When you find your balance and your grove as a Mother again your family will thrive. Subscribe to my Mamma-Tribe for access to my resource library. You can download the self care list below for fun and hang it up to remind you. Spread the love. Send this article to a friend who may need it. I hope this has inspired you to find new ways to recharge and truly enjoy your life with your kids again.