Today was just one of those days. From the moment my youngest pried my eyes open with his chubby little fingers, I knew the day was going to be a struggle for me! I tried to start the day as normally as I possibly could, but life just wasn’t going to make it easy for me. From a leaky bottle that chose to empty its contents on my favorite down pillow, to a tired tantrum throwing toddler who refused to let go of my leg, to playing referee between my 3 older boys while trying to clean house and prep for dinner. Today was just not my day.
Motherhood isn’t easy, and no matter who you are, how many children you have, or the type of parenting choices you make, it’s always going to feel like I could’ve done better! At the end of the day no mom is perfect, and we all make mistakes. However, the great thing about being a mom is knowing we can be better and getting the choice to fix said mistakes and move forward. Over the past 12+ years of being a mom, I’ve learned a few things that makes motherhood a little easier. Here’s my list of what every mom needs in her life to help keep her sanity.
1. Have a friend, or friends who don’t judge you. I’m so lucky that the people I can talk to without having a judge mental response are my sister in laws! I consider them some of my best friends! It’s great because we all married into the family, so we have an understanding of how our husbands work. We get along on so many different levels and disagree on others. The wonderful thing is that we respect each other enough that we accept each other’s point of view, and disagreements don’t go anywhere past the conversation. On days where life seems a little overwhelming, I simply call one up or bombard them with texts and vent knowing they aren’t going to judge my craziness! We can be a voice of reason when the other one needs it, and an open ear when we just need to blow off steam.
2. Take sometime for yourself. Some days life hands it to you on beat up old paper plate, and after days like that you need some time to reset and get your marbles back! Up until recently, I placed myself, and self-care, on the back burner. Not that I didn’t want to take time for myself, I simply put other things in a higher spot on my priority list. My husband saw me just wearing myself down, and he decided I needed to take some time for myself. As much as I wanted it, it still took a while for me to justify taking time for just me. However, if we as moms don’t take some time to regain our sanity, our hearts are going to just harden towards our family and motherhood is going to feel more like a chore rather than a blessing.
3. Take a break from being mom, and take sometime to a be friend. We’ve taken this concept and decided to have a family game night once a week. During family game nights, we normally make some easy meal for dinner and bust out the Uno cards! We play a few rounds and keep score in a notebook of who won the rounds. It’s always fun to trash talk your kids and then have one of them pull a draw 4 wild card on you. We get to relax and have fun with each other. Most days, I feel like parenting is
a lot A LOT of correction and discipline, but even after a hard day of being “the mean mom” we can reset and enjoy being a family. We also use our trips to Costco as time to play and ask our kids silly questions. Some of our favorite types of questions are “would you rather”, the questions and reasoning behind my kids answers usually make us laugh and give us some insight on what’s going on in their minds. You could also use these to segway into other subjects that may be a little uncomfortable to talk about. At the end of the day, we just want our kids to know that we are there if they ever need us, and to not be afraid to talk with us about anything.
4. Understand that you don’t have to know it all, and sometimes advice is needed. This is one I still have a hard time with. Just because I’ve been a mom for over a decade, doesn’t mean I got it all figured out. Understandably, it would make sense to take advice from my mom and mother in law, they have decades of experience in motherhood and have dealt with the same phases that I’m currently going through. But sometimes it still gets to my pride when I’m not successful in an area of child rearing and they offer unwarranted advice. I have to remind myself that they are only trying to help me be successful, and not put me down as a mother. This holds true for friends and family who have been moms for less time than I have. Yes, I’ve been a mom longer than them, but maybe they are successful in an area that I have yet to master, or they can see something I can’t in a certain situation. I think that sometimes we think that if someone is offering advice it’s because they are being judgey and superior, but in reality they are only offering advice to help aide us in our mommy journey. Even if you don’t use it or implement it, don’t be bitter about it. So, swallow your pride and be humble enough to take the advice.
5. Love your kids the most when they are driving you insane! I’ve noticed that on days when I’m about to rip out my hair and pound my head against a wall because my kids are on a good one, the best thing to do is just grab them and give them a big hug! If I embrace the anger and range of emotions that accompany it, I find myself having animosity towards my kids. Instead of feeling these awful feelings towards my kids (and sometimes my husband), I stop and just embrace the crazy and find the things that make my kid special. If it’s a time when they definitely need correction, please do accordingly, but if it’s something that you can give them grace with, show them a bit of mercy and just give them a big ol’ bear hug. It’s funny how sometimes my boys will be acting out and being rude towards each other, and I will just grab the main one starting it, catch him off guard and give him some love instead of a spoon to the backside. His entire countenance changes. The anger or wildness subsides, and they change their attitude without me having to say anything. This technique also works mid-fight with the hubby. I mean, does it really matter when all is said and done? I want my family to remember me as loving them no matter what.
6. Get on your knees and pray. There are days when my emotions and anger simply get the best of me. When the rage ‘monster’ pops out and rears her ugly head. She is normally locked up, but my kids know exactly which buttons to press to let her out! However, I have found that on my better days, I have prayed and spent sometime with God. I try to start off with prayer and time in the Bible, but there are many days that simply start off as go-go-go and I don’t. Those times can quickly go south, or I can turn them around by getting into the right spirit. Some days do require more prayer than others, but on days where I just forget to add God unto it are the same days where the horrible nasty monster pops out. So I do my best to get in even just a small prayer to get me going in the right direction.
Just remember, the reason why it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, is because YOUR whole world is growing up and getting too heavy for you to carry.
I hope these few things help you in your journey through raising your babies. Let me know in the comments below what helps you get through this crazy whirlwind called motherhood!