The fast pace of life mixed with the mayhem of motherhood leaves most mamas struggling to keep up with our own self-care. Tackling a personal project or taking the much needed time for yourself is not just a novel idea but a necessary part of motherhood. At the start of the day, most of us have the best intentions to give ourselves time, but the hours slip by with the daily demands and each evening you find yourself throwing yourself in a heap of exhaustion. “Maybe tomorrow…” you think as you close your eyes. But the pattern repeats, your projects gather dust and the time you want for yourself never happens.
The pressure of it all can add up to the point where motherhood just, well, overwhelming. You lose your temper, you walk around in a fog, and you don’t enjoy the things that make motherhood special. If only you could stop the cycle and find balance. Well, mama, it’s not only possible to get you back on the right track but more accessible than you think.
Here are a few tips to let you recharge and make you feel like you can tackle anything- no matter what your toddler, teenager or life
Schedule your time
My favorite number is 3 when planning a schedule. When you write down a list of everything that needs to be done in a day or a week, it can be a little daunting. But if you take that list and prioritize it can help center you and give you a better grip on the week.
If your list is more than 10 items its time to break your list up. Take the top 3 on your list and make those your focus. Get those done and then move on to the next three. That way you aren’t overwhelmed, and you can keep them on your mind when you go about your day. When you simplify you are more productive and in turn gives you more time to enjoy mommy and me time.
The Power of No
I know, I know, guilt can be a killer. You want your child to have the best experiences and you want to make sure that everyone gets their needs met. You’re a giver- what mom isn’t? But saying yes to things that don’t have you or your families best interests, in the long run, can really wear on you long term. Don’t push for that extra birthday party, play date, volunteer work or other obligation when you know it will take away from your much-needed sanity. You can always make it up to the person or group if you do it with grace and give ample notice.
Take a walk
When frustration is at an all-time high getting out of the house can be a complete game changer in your mood. Taking a walk outside or working out with your little one or by yourself can boost your morale as well as your endorphins. Being outside can lower your frustration levels and get the much-needed exercise and fresh air. Let your mind wander, take time to reset, and who knows what sort of visual treasures you may find in your neighborhood.
Listen to Yourself
As mothers, we are always telling other people what to do. Nagging, yelling or talking in that low before-you-lose-it voice, we are continually trying to get our point across. Whether it’s for safety, manners, social norms or just mamas sanity, we are repeatedly trying to get our point across. Did you ever stop to think that maybe if we started listening to ourselves more, we could be more effective in our communication with others?
When we push ourselves too far, we as mothers tend to break down our consistency, and in turn, we are more prone to lose control. When you lose control of the situation, your effectiveness goes down the tubes as well.
Know your limits on what you can control and what you can not. Listen to your body and negative self- talk. If you are becoming anxious or emotional- take 5 and give yourself a mama time out. Even if it’s locking yourself in the bathroom to read this article or surf the web for a few minutes- do it. Taking a much needed time out is just the same for children as it is for adults. It gives both of us time to reset. Make sure to listen to your own needs as well as your children’s. Set the example that your voice and limits are ones even you can’t ignore.
When we take the time to slow down, breathe and focus our multitasking skills are at their best. With a little strategy, we can be more effective in our parenting day. Its ok to call in a favor, ask a neighbor, family member or friend for help if things are getting overwhelming. I know the guilt is strong when we have to do this, but we are all human. Take time in your day to make time for you as well as your children. Watch them practice piano, sketch with them, do an activity of their choice together. Learn to be in the moment. Too many times we are just trying to get through the day, and we miss these little moments that make it all worth it.
It’s the little things
Appreciation in a mother’s world can sometimes be hard to come by. Your kids may not notice your endless juggling of schedules and housework, but it doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge your little daily accomplishments. A reward to look forward to keeps us from procrastinating the unfun things like laundry and potty training. It will give you something to focus on and will help put a much-needed smile on your face. So turn up that favorite song, stop to get a fancy coffee, buy yourself flowers the next time your at the grocery store. Cause girl after all the things you do you deserve it!