By Jackie White
Hey, what the heck is going on? The kids are insane, you just burnt dinner, the dishes are piled up in the sink, your living room looks like a bomb went off and for God’s sake, you haven’t even brushed your hair...sound familiar? Welcome to motherhood!
Days Gone By:
You catch a glimpse of that woman in the mirror and wonder how this small army of children have taken you down so badly. Remember the days when order was a primary descriptor of your home? Remember when your nails were painted and you had it so together? You know like you showered, had clean clothes on that matched and you had time to apply some make up. Ahh, the good old days of calm.
Having children isn’t a walk in the park. Well, I mean like literally it could be, but figuratively, those little buggers bring chaos wherever they go! You thought you were prepared, but sleepless nights with crying babies can really wreak havoc with your functionality. You try to keep it together, but it feels like all hell has broken loose. The Titanic is going down and you are still fiddling on the bow! You wonder what the heck are you doing
Those Sweet Little Faces:
But, would you trade those sweet little faces in? Never. They are your heart and your soul. Yes, you are insane, but you are their mom and they are your beautiful babies. They might even be teens and those sweet little, often confrontational darlings, still hold your heart. So, what are you going to do? How can you calm the chaos and begin to find yourself again?
It all begins with giving yourself a break! You are not going to get an engraved invitation to partake in a break, so you need to do this for yourself. Speak up and ask for help! Get a sitter and take some time to catch your breath. One great way to think about this, is how would you celebrate your friend? Would they like a bouquet of flowers or a nice cup of hot tea? Maybe a walk or that time to read that book they have been dying to dive into? Do they need a hug or just some quiet time? Ok, so now pretend that friend is you… :)
No Excuses Needed:
You do not need an excuse to care for yourself! But, if you really need an excuse, try this on: your kids, your family needs you to be cared for. It’s likely your babies, no matter the age, will not recognize mom needs a break, too. If you are lucky, your spouse may see you need time to yourself, but don’t drop it on him or the kids that you don’t ever get a break. That’s on you. You have to do it for yourself.
Stop being the Martyr:
Many women fall into the trap that they just have to do everything for everyone because the world will stop turning if they don’t. On one hand it’s a great feeling to be the “glue” that holds everything together. It’s a feeling of being needed and that can feel so good, but you can’t do it all. I think that bears repeating: You can’t do it all, nor are you expected to. You may have set some crazy high bar for yourself that makes all things kid and family related fall under the heading of “Mom’s Responsibilities”. Maybe it’s not even that. What if you are a single mom and it does all seem to fall under your responsibility? Well, then the name of the game is scaling back. We all have terrifically high pinterest-worthy expectations for what constitutes a good childhood. You know darn well, we rode bikes without helmets, we didn’t do every craft known to man,we drank out of the hose and we aren’t that bad off. So, come off it and cut yourself a break.
Time to Have a Talk to Yourself:
“Self, let me break it to you. You need a damn break!”
And then you say back to yourself
“YES! Dude, that’s what I am talking about! I really should do that!”
And then you say back to you
“First of all don’t call me, Dude, and secondly, stop should-ing yourself and get to it! Schedule that time for yourself, like right now!
And then YOU do!
So, what are you waiting for? A list of things you can do for yourself? Ok, we got that for you. Feast your eyes on this, choose something and please give yourself a break:
10 Ways to Show Yourself Self-Kindness:
Get out of the house
Find time to relax
Quiet your mind
Do something just for you...don’t worry about anyone else. (Even though I know you will be saying “Oh, the kids would love this”)
Read a book that you like
See a friend
Have a date with your husband (no talking about kids, ok, so, minimal talking about the kids)
Get your hair done
Get a massage
Remember who you are without kids
Do whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed! Then here’s the next tricky part to all of this. Schedule the next time you will have to yourself. Ideally, once a week would be awesome!
This is the beginning of calming the chaos. This month we will be providing more ideas for you. This is important stuff - you know why? Moms are integral to their families, but outside being a mom, YOU are important to the world, so look at doing everyone a favor by giving yourself some self-kindness!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.