Before having my children, I had a very clear idea of how my life would be. I would be one of those moms who simply loved being a mom. I pictured myself with four babies and being how I wanted to be a teacher, I would do a lot of schooling with them before sending them off into the school system. I grew up with a mom who yelled, so of course naturally, I wouldn’t be that way.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I do love being a mom. But, sometimes the chaos of it all makes me feel overwhelmed and unsure.
My husband works long, odd hours. Just when we get used to one schedule, the hours change again. While it was lonely pre-children, I prided myself on being able to handle my independence and strength to handle whatever life threw at me. When we decided to have children, I figured not much would change. Wrong again. I didn’t realize my husband’s hours would leave me with little “me” time or how difficult finding a babysitter would be. I didn’t realize my independence meant I would have to take care of the bulk of the household duties, on top of my new found role of motherhood.
I yell too much. My home is too messy for my standards. My anxiety is often off the charts worrying about things very much out of my control.
Quite simple, I find motherhood to be chaotic and messy. So how do you find happiness in motherhood amidst the chaos?
While I am no where near an expert, I feel much more confident now with almost seven years under my motherhood belt than I did even just two or three years ago.
Let it go!
I let go of the fact that my messy home does not measure my worth or my lack of productivity. In fact, it proves we were busy playing and learning. It is extremely difficult as a Type-A, OCD mother to let this go. But, you simply must. The rat race of trailing behind your children picking things up only confines you and them. What your child wants is your time and attention. Don’t worry about the mess, it will be there later, promise.
Ask for help
Having a picture of how things “should be” often skews my thinking in asking for help. Ask for help!. My children at 4 and 6 are now more than capable of chores and receiving directions to help around the house. Enlist their help! They want to help believe it or not! They are usually eager to please you and it is rewarding for them to see you happy after they have completed their tasks. Call a friend or relative and ask them to watch the kids for an hour or two. You just need to ask.
Having a cleaning schedule
I use the time on Tuesdays and Thursdays when my youngest is at preschool to really clean up. She is like a tornado. Even though as soon as she walks back into the house at 3pm, it seems things are back to messy, I still had 3 hours of cleanliness to enjoy.
Do something for you!
Regardless of what is on your to-do list, if the day is coming to a close and you still have not had a few minutes to yourself, take time for YOU! Read a book, browse a magazine, go for a walk, do some yoga, do a craft, whatever it is you love, do it! A happy mom equals a happy family!
Laugh it off!
Don’t take life so seriously. Some of the worst moments of motherhood can be so gross or ridiculous that it becomes hysterical!
Stop comparing yourself!
Appearances can often be deceiving. I can assure you – that mom who appears to have it all together? Doesn’t. We are all doing the best we can though, I can assure you of that!
Now that my kids are older, we seem to have more commitments. They all seem to need some sort of volunteering commitment. Sometimes adding one more thing to the schedule can really throw you off. Saying no was a life changer for me. I learned that I didn’t like making commitments. I want to do what I want, when I want and not have to worry about what I HAVE to do. Don’t feel you have to say yes to every invite or opportunity that comes your way.
Be present in your life.
Stop wishing away your life. Stop saying “Life will be better when….”. Enjoy your babies at whatever age or stage they are in. Trust me, it goes by quick enough.
Know your limits!
Know what you can and cannot do with your children. If they don’t like the ocean, going to the beach is not for you. If someone doesn’t like crowds or loud noises, the mall or amusement parks will have to wait. Forcing things you know will not work only leads to disappointment and more chaos.
Be kinds to yourself.
It’s OK that today was not a good day. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. Here are some more ways to deal with the mommy anger and frustration.
What would you add to the list?
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