We all want to be “that” mom. You know, the one with the Pinterest perfect birthday parties, or the one who looks like a rock star every morning at school dropoff. How about the one who always seems to have it together no matter what the circumstances?
After four kids of my own, the only logical theory is that these supermoms have been granted some kind of supercharged cape by a god(dess) I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting. These days, my life can best be described as drowning in diapers and deadlines.
With a brain that’s always in mommy-mode, making time for you can be a lofty endeavor. It’s challenging to prioritize ourselves while parenting, mothering, and running the machinery of our homes. Never-ending to-do lists keep growing, and sometimes it feels like we can’t catch a break. And on that rare occasion when we do, the mom guilt hits us HARD.
Let’s face it, we want nothing more than to give our families the whole world – but sometimes we just need a nap first! This, my friends, is NOT being selfish. That nap (or whatever it takes to reset and rejuvenate) is a crucial piece of being a good mom. Maintaining sanity when feeling spread too thin is a challenge I face every day. Here’s a list of ways I practice self-care, enlist help and validate the saying “happy wife = happy life”.
- Hire A Babysitter
Get someone to watch the kids and check into a spa! Don’t tell me you don’t have the money, just charge it on your credit card and treat yourself. One day of intense relaxation does wonders for the mind and body. After coming home refreshed, your kids will not only thank you, they’ll likely encourage regular visits.
- Get A Housecleaner
I know you probably feel as though you can handle the cleaning responsibilities yourself, and I’m sure you can. We all can. But, who’s got time for that? There’s no better feeling than walking into sparkling bathrooms and clean floors after a long day of shuffling kids and running errands – especially when you didn’t have to do it.
- Enroll In A Meal Plan Delivery Service
Just knowing I can reach into the fridge and throw something together that is already prepared takes a huge weight off my shoulders. Plus, there are so many healthy and delicious options out there! Give yourself a break a couple evenings a week, and use that time for other family activities that you’re actually looking forward to!
Food nourishes the mind, body, and soul, and when we skip a meal, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. As much as you think there’s no time to eat – there are plenty of options like pre-roasted veggies or deli-sliced meat/cheese rollups that can be thrown together with minimal effort. Even if it’s just a PB&J, eat it! I promise not to tell!
- Auto-Ship The Necessities
Using services like Amazon Prime for auto-shipping is extremely helpful. Toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, formula, or whatever else you need can be delivered to your door like clockwork. This is my ultimate time-saving hack.
- Enroll Your Toddler In Classes
It can be any kind of class. Brody hasn’t yet started preschool, but I’ve enrolled him in yoga and hip-hop dance classes. If you work from home, getting some extra time for yourself can make a huge difference. Plus, exposing your children to new activities and interests is one of the best things to observe as a parent. The joy they experience when discovering something new is priceless. This also helps your child socialize with peers, listen to teachers, and develop self-esteem.
- Give Yourself A Mommy Time-Out
Find a place in your home, and make it your sanctuary. It sounds silly, but for me, it’s my pantry. I talk in my pantry, I drink in my pantry, I record live stories for my audience on Instagram in my pantry. It’s my little haven, because sometimes you just need a mommy time-out, away from the rest of the family. If you haven’t checked out my podcast, you can do that here.
- Make Time To Sweat
Your sanity needs it! Physical Health is so important and directly resonates with how we feel mentally. Find the time that works best for you, and make it consistent – my get fit zone is right after the kids go to school. I still have a baby on my hip, but I’ve chosen a gym that offers child care. There are no excuses.
- Do Laundry Daily
Do laundry on the daily and start teaching your kids to put their clothes away. I started that early with my four year old, and trust me it works! Running the laundry everyday becomes habitual, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. It never piles up that way and you’ll feel a lot better staring at one mid-sized pile as opposed to three Mount Everest sized piles.
- Schedule Your Healthcare Appointments
You wouldn’t let your kids miss their annual checkup, so don’t let your own health take a backseat. In fact, make all of your annual exams (mammograms, pap smears, flu shots, vision screenings, dental appointments, etc). during the same time of month/year if you can – so they are not forgotten about. Don’t ignore your body’s signals or avoid seeking medical attention. I’m all too familiar with brushing off a medical concern and claiming it’s not a big deal. Your body is a temple and it’s yours to keep forever.
- Get Some Sleep
This one can’t be stressed enough. After the kids go to bed, I bet you try to go back and finish all the work you didn’t finish earlier. Well, don’t do that. And don’t even think about binge-watching that new show until 3 AM. Sleep deprivation takes a toll on the mind and the body in so many ways. It affects all aspects of your life negatively, so for the benefit of you and your children, try and get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night..
- Don’t Lose Your Identity
As you may recall, you were quite interesting and even sometimes funny and charming before you took on your new mom role. Let those around you get to know that version of you, too. Make time to pursue your favorite (or new) hobbies. Take time to read a book. Go on a date. Hang out with your friends and make it about you. Do yourself and those around you a favor and don’t be the mom whose every conversation revolves around busy school days and play dates.
In today’s tech-driven day and age, I’ve come to realize that many people feature just their ‘highlight reel’ – a mere part of their everyday life. But just because someone seems to have it all figured out on Instagram (or at the school dropoff), it doesn’t mean they actually do. We all have our struggles, and it’s our duty to not let the wicked side of comparison get the best of us. Mothering is hard for everyone, no matter how picture perfect the highlight reel may seem. At the end of the day, the only thing that she’s got (compared to you) is a good camera and lighting. And that mom at the school dropoff? She’s getting those 8 hours that you should be. Go get em, Mama. Tonight’s the night!