Mommying ain’t easy. Who knew that so much mental and physical strength went into keeping kids alive and raising them not to be jerks? I would bet many moms are running on fumes or coffee or liquor. We want to be a happy mom, but we find ourselves screaming (mostly to ourselves because no one is ever listening), “Who’s going to take care of me!” The truth is, we’re the ones putting ourselves last. I’m not an expert; trust me half the time I have no idea what I’m doing. But when I find myself spiraling towards a breakdown there are a few tips that help me.
- GET ENOUGH ZZZ’s – Honestly, this one is hard for me too. I get it. You put everyone else to bed, finally get what you want/need to get done, next thing you know it’s 1am! Seriously though, getting a good night sleep, ideally 7-8 hours, will do wonders for your attitude and your energy. And if you are not currently in charge of your sleep hours (say, for little people who keep waking up to eat) naps are amazing!
- DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF – I love the quote from Teddy Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Social media can be fun & a great way to connect. But nothing is worse than seeing people who seem to have it all together when you’re struggling to survive the day. When you’re having a bad day or not feeling as confident, stay off social media. Remember social media is such a small glimpse of people’s lives & one that can easily be crafted to “look” perfect too! Instead look through pictures of happy moments with your own family.
- LET IT GO – Elsa was on to something. Whether it’s folding all the laundry, or finishing those emails for work, sometimes you just need to let it go. There are days everything doesn’t get done and it’s ok. This goes the same for grudges too. Learning to forgive and forget makes for lighter shoulders.
- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE – I can’t believe how much fresh air makes a difference but it does. Something about introducing your senses to a different environment can change a mood drastically. This is good for you as well as kids you might have at home that need to get out too!
- HAVE ALONE TIME – Yes! Pamper yourself! Enjoy that guilty pleasure! My favorite is getting massages. Even shopping alone is a treat—no one asking if they can have something or pestering you to go home already. Relax by meditating, journaling, knitting, enjoying a cup of coffee, movie, or a good book. So many options! I believe that nap is calling my name now…
- DRINK IN THE MOMENT – I used to have a quote on my wall that said, “Relax, Reflect, Drink in the moment.” It seems so cliché, but if the only way you remember things is by looking at old pictures and videos then you’re missing out. Taking time to purposely stop tasks or put my phone down just to watch & hear my kids laughing really makes me appreciate what I have. It’s not life altering but it does bring a sense of peace and happiness.
- PRIORITIZE – Or at least reconsider your priorities. Trying to structure your day so that you do more things you enjoy is kind of the goal. So maybe cleaning the house is not something you enjoy, but it does need to get done. Is this something you can afford to pay out? If you have any flexibility in your finances now would be the time to use it. Or maybe you just decide organized chaos is ok to live with. Same goes for the kid’s activities. If having a family dinner together at least one night a week is more important than chauffeuring everyone around and eating in the car, maybe it’s time to simplify the schedules.
- GO ON A DATE – Not every waking hour has to be about the kids. In fact, a night out with your spouse is the perfect way for both of you to unwind, reconnect, and regather your strength for battle with the little people. Go remember what it is that made you fall in love!
- HANG OUT WITH THE GIRLS – Oh yes it’s ladies night! While a night with the hubby is special, it just can’t replace your squad of women who know exactly what you’re going through. The ladies who can sympathize with your frustration over picky eaters, weigh in over the latest Bachelor cast off, and cry with you during a serious crisis. Grab your heels, besties, and some margaritas! You ladies earned it!
- LET’S GET PHYSICAL – Ok, I’m going to let you decide what this means. We all saw the Olivia Newton John’s music video but we also know the lyrics. Whether you’re exercising at the gym or in bed both activities release endorphins, which give you feelings of pleasure. Really, it’s true! I will say that I do work out on a daily basis. Um, just to be clear, I’m talking about weights and treadmills here. Somedays I do NOT want to move, but because health is important to me, I do it. Every time I have made it a priority I always feel better afterwards. Just my two cents.
Hopefully you’ve gained a few tips to bring some sunshine to your life. Obviously, even if you did all these things, you are still going to have bad days. Overall trying to remain positive is the key. Happiness really is a choice and something you create. I used to think happiness was a feeling that someone made you or something we had to wait for. Many people search for things outside themselves to make them happy. But really you control what you’re happy about or not. Like, I can be mad about the fender bender that has suddenly appeared on the back of my car. Yes, that will cost money to fix, and I don’t even know who did it. Or I can just be lucky that this dent is not the whole side of my car or that no one was hurt. Perspective.