This Post Is Sponsored By Responsibility.org! As Always, All Opinions Are My Own! Thank You For Supporting CityGirlGoneMom!
I will be the first to admit that this past year has done a number on my family and me. The pandemic hit everyone hard and in different ways, but as a mom of four, I feel like I’ve had so many things fall onto my shoulders this past year that I just wasn’t prepared for. My kids have been at home for a year now, learning through their computers and trying to entertain themselves at home. My days are focused entirely on my kids, making sure they’re learning in class, helping them with schoolwork, finding fun activities for us to do, and focusing on their mental and physical wellbeing during this insane time. And honestly, I’m feeling a little burnt out.
April is Alcohol Responsibility Month.
Motherhood Is Hard
And I know I’m not the only one. Motherhood is exhausting even when there isn’t a global pandemic going on! And with so much of my time and energy dedicated to making sure that my kids are happy, healthy, and focused during all of this insanity, I feel like taking care of myself has completely taken a backseat.
This is why I partnered with Responsibility.org, an organization that empowers parents to cultivate a lifetime of conversations with their kids, including discussions about alcohol responsibility. And since April is Alcohol Responsibility Month, there’s probably no better time to talk about it. During this time of stress, I can show my kids through my actions how I cope with difficulty in a positive way.
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Being Manager Instead of Mom
But it’s not easy! I’m exhausted, stressed, and completely overwhelmed at this point. This past year I’ve felt less like a mom and more like a manager, making sure everything is taken care of, and nothing falls by the wayside. All while still trying to run my blog and business.
I want to feel like I’m spending quality time with my family when we go outside to play or bake cookies together. Instead, I’m constantly running through a mental checklist in my head. I have to make sure everything is done, everyone is getting their tasks completed, and everyone is taken care of. I’ve forgotten about myself.
Since Responsibility.org was founded in 1991, drunk driving fatalities are down 36 percent. And youth binge drinking has been cut nearly in half.
Coping With Burnout In a Healthy Way
And my kids can see that I’m stressed sometimes, but I do my best to show them how I cope with it in a healthy way. Instead of avoiding my feelings with faux optimism and a nightly glass of wine, I try to address my feelings, accept them, then find things that make me happy and take a moment for myself.
But all the bubble baths in the world aren’t going to make me feel better if I’m still worried about all the things I have to get done. Instead, it just feels like one more thing to add to my to-do list. In the end, this “faux self-care” doesn’t help me at all. It just makes me feel more guilty for spending time away from my kids!
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Learning How to Understand Your Feelings
To find out how to best cope with this stress, I spoke with Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a psychiatrist, writer, speaker, and women’s mental health advocate who understands the burden placed on moms during this pandemic. And to positively cope during this insane time, she recommended ACT: acceptance and commitment therapy.
She explained that we all struggle with difficult thoughts and those feeling of guilt. Whether we’re sure we made the right decision about returning to school or saying no to a family dinner, there will always be something we feel guilty about—we’re moms! But through cognitive diffusion, we can accept those feelings and let them go without them defining us or controlling us.
Since 1991, teens reporting having consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime dropped from 80 percent to 44 percent.
You’re Doing the Best for Your Family
Understand that sometimes there’s no “right” choice. We have so many decisions to make during this pandemic and so much to take care of. And as vaccines start to come out, we have even more worries and decisions to make. Should we send our kids back to school? Is it safe to go out? Can we visit family?
Know that the decisions you make don’t have to be perfect! During all of this, it’s important to remind yourself that the goal is to be flexible. Take care of your home, your family, and yourself first and foremost. And trust that you’re doing the right thing for your family. Not only will you make it through this, but you’ll be showing your kids how to cope and deal with their feelings in a positive and healthy manner.