Are you stuck in a mom funk? Is it hard to see past the mundane tasks of motherhood? Try these 5 self care tips to bring new life into motherhood today!
Motherhood can be a little overwhelming. It doesn’t matter if you are happy, angry, sick, tired, or pregnant-your responsibilities are the same. You are responsible for keeping those children alive, happy, and safe. If we are not careful, we can easily get sucked into the rut of motherhood. Taking care of YOU is essential to being a good mom!
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In my almost 11 years of marriage, there have been just over 12 months where I have not been either pregnant or nursing. Let’s just think about that for a minute. For nearly 11 years I have been sustaining other people’s lives with my own body! No wonder I find myself being an exhausted and cranky Mom!
Stuck in a Time Loop
There have been times in my life where I feel like I’m living my own version of the movie Groundhog Day as I perform the same mundane tasks on repeat. The thing I have realized is that in each different rendition of these ‘life-on-repeat’ movies, the character’s life never changes until they find and accept the best version of themselves. (PS, a couple of my favorite ‘Groundhog Day’ movies are Pete’s Christmas and The Twelve Dates of Christmas.)
The best way I have found to get out of this motherhood rut, is through self care. When I think about how I survive in the trenches of motherhood, I realize it is by clinging to the framework of my personal self care plan.
If you don’t have a plan, make one! If you don’t think you have one, read on! You might be surprised how many of these things you already do. Make them a priority and you will see your true self surface over time, even if it’s just for a quick breath!
What is self care exactly? It seems to be a bit of a buzz word lately. Self care by definition is any activity that we deliberately do to take care of ourselves. Brianna Wiest says “true self care is making the choice to build a life you do not need to regularly escape from.” Moms wear so many different hats during the day. Caregiver, housekeeper, spouse, mom, teacher, friend, etc. It is exhausting, and if we don’t find ways to energize ourselves we will become lost in the care of others.
While serving others is a good thing, we need to maintain our sense of identity as a person, independent of our calling as mother. We need to make, not find the time to make sure we are doing well, and our needs are being met. It’s the age old “in case of an emergency, please secure your oxygen max before assisting others” scenario.
I figured the best and easiest way for me to lay out some great self care examples is by breaking it down into the different areas we need to focus on.
Finding a connection with God, the one who can guide you through your daily struggles better than anyone else is powerful! Start your day with prayer, meditation, scripture, whatever YOU need to rely on someone bigger than yourself.
For me, God has to be first in order to survive each day. I start my day with scripture study and prayer. When I check in with God and align my priorities with what He has in store for me, things go much better. I also have different scripture passages or motivational quotes that I memorize sort of the same way that people review affirmations.
Have a Plan. Loosely plan your day with the most important tasks at the top of the list. Block out times that things must be done. Know what meals you are eating throughout the day. Do whatever it takes to remove the guesswork from your day!
Each night I write out the tasks that must be completed the next day. While scheduling my day, I make sure that we will not be out and about during any potential melt down periods of the day. This means we group errands together and make it home in time for lunch and naps for the littles so I can enjoy my quiet time! This quiet time is essential to helping me keep my cool through the after school energy and the dinner time craziness.
There are times where mom life gets VERY overwhelming. Having a bunch of sick kids home from school, having an extremely busy day, not getting enough sleep can all lead to higher levels of stress. Have a plan to reduce that stress. Know when to give yourself a time out. Have someone to talk to. Create a life line that is available 24/7.
My husband is my 24/7 lifeline. Though he is not always available to talk, I text him all throughout the day. I text him the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am able to feel as though I have someone to talk to without constantly calling people all day. When I talk to him later, we are able to review the texts and discuss the problems and highlight the successes.
What do YOU need to feel top notch? Schedule time for you to stay energized throughout the day through exercise and healthy eating. You don’t want to be eating only the leftovers from your kid’s lunch! If you need to restart your day, take a nap, take a walk. Do whatever it takes to not let a cranky morning spoil the entire day.
Physical self care starts with getting myself 100% ready for the day every morning before we eat breakfast as a family. When I treat my mom life as a career, I find that I try harder to be productive throughout the day. In order to be productive, we need to feed our bodies healthy and delicious foods! Trying to fit exercise in during the day is easier than you think. Going for a walk or running around at a park serves as good exercise. The extra benefit is that the kids will be worn out and nap better!
Find what fills your social cup. Is it attending a play group, book club, hosting parties, getting together with the girls? Even though you are never alone as a mom, it can get lonely. Make time to have grown-up conversations with other women.
I have a couple of friends that I get together with every month. We are all at the same stage of life. Busy moms with young kids and busy husbands. We all have the same goals in mind to raise our children to be honest, kind, and successful members of society. It is SO good to meet with them and brainstorm ideas on how to improve ourselves and overcome some of the mom challenges.
In all the ups and downs of being a mom, don’t get stuck in that crazy time loop! Create a self care routine that keeps you invigorated as a person and helps you remember that you have unlimited potential to change the world in the form of little humans. By taking care of your self every day, you are better equipped to raise the next generation.
What is your self care routine like?