Ah yes, that glorious day has finally come as a mom when someone I meet asks me a very simple, seemingly straight-forward question… either because they’re seeking some good ‘ol “local” info (you know, the good stuff) or because they’re honestly just trying to get to know me better.
Suddenly however, I come to the blatant realization that answers that used to roll off my tongue with incredible ease, get stuck in the back of my throat like I just choked on a starburst.
Where do people go for a fun Friday night out around here? Where do I go to shop when I want a cute bathing suit or when I really just need a good pedicure? Shiiiiiit.
“Yeah I don’t really know to be honest” I say, as I embarrassingly chuckle under my breath.
It’s hard not to feel incredibly small and somewhat insignificant in those glistening, awkward moments. It’s hard to feel like you’re still tapped into the “normal world” that you know is out there somewhere.
It can feel really crappy to even attempt to answer these questions as it brings a gruesome reality right to the surface and stings you between the eyes. Your life hasn’t really felt like your life in god knows how long – it’s ass has been kicked to the curb.
You may not even remember the last time you really checked in with yourself, thought of what your needs or wants were for that week, or had time to think “geez, what would I just LOVE to do right now” with the power to actually do anything about it.
(Cue the sad violins.)
BUT THE TRUTH IS, it’s really easy for us to get caught up living our lives this way, not really realizing what affect it’s having on us as people (yes, we moms are still our own people) or on our role as a wife or a mother.
It’s easy for us moms to live as martyrs, sacrificing everything about ourselves to better serve the ones we love. (Sound familiar?)
It’s easy for the years to pass us by… just to look in the mirror one day and not even recognize the woman we see staring back at us.
We have become a culture of moms lost in a forest of self-sacrifice with no map or compass to our own souls.
We wonder, Am I the only one who feels this way? What am I doing wrong? Is this just the way it’s “suppose” to be?
It makes sense how we got here though, doesn’t it? Our lives that used to be an endless supply of energy and time for passionate daily adventures have turned into ones ruled by sleepless nights, 24-hour boob-attachemnet, a train of explosive poops and diaper changes, as well as an endless tug-of-war between household responsibilities, errands and our little one’s constant wants and needs.
An article I randomly came across on the internet the other day titled “Fun Mothering Facts,” pointed out that the average preschooler requires their mom’s attention once every 4 minutes or a crazy 210 times per day! (You can browse more fun-facts here.)
Think about that for one hot minute… Then just multiply that insane reality by the number of kids you have and there you have it. It’s a perfect recipe for a stressed-out life in need of some Prozac-popping. The point is, there’s actually a very good, real excuse for why we feel tired, depleted, and lack the drive to engage in self-care activities or much-needed time for ourselves.
The truth is, this feeling of “loosing yourself’ in motherhood is a very common reality most of us face. I know for me, it’s probably been one of the hardest adjustments I’ve had to make and one of the biggest things I strive to balance in my life. After talking to a lot of other moms about this, I realized that no matter what our life circumstances, we all feel this way at some point in our journey.
Some stay in this space for a few weeks or months and others for years. Sooner or later though, we all have to figure out how to pull ourselves out of it and find a better way.
This doesn’t have to be our story.
I for one, am done being a martyr.
So this is what I’m proposing and I hope you stick with me… that we make a pact together. That we decide right here and now that we will devote the next few months, intentionally devoting time for things that reconnect us with ourselves so that we can create a new habit of showing up for ourselves in our own lives.
Let’s not forget who we are as woman. One thing I know for sure is that when we take care of our own souls with the same intentionality as we give to taking care of everything else in our lives, we are able to live more from a place of fulfillment and empowerment. And when we feel more aligned with ourselves, we are able to be better moms to our children and better partner’s to our spouses.
When we intentionally develop a practice of self-care, when we devote time to the things that speak to our souls, we become more available to our families in ways we just couldn’t before. Period.
Here’s some ideas I’ve been working with that have helped A LOT. I hope they help you get started!
- Find one hobby and devote to practicing it throughout the week, even if you’re tired or “you don’t have the time.” Is it painting? Journaling? Gardening? Reading a really good book? Than put the kids to bed, forget the dishes and the laundry and all the “need to get done’s” and take 30 minutes to an hour to connect to something your passionate about – and watch how it makes you feel!
- Book a Massage or Pedicure. Find someone to watch your kids for that small time frame. Don’t have the cash for childcare too? Ask another momma tribe member if they will do it for free. Maybe you could take turns so that you both get in some self-care that week.
- Make your Favorite Meal. Even if your kids are home. Plop them in front of cartoons if you need to, turn on some good music in the kitchen and have a field day. And don’t forget the vino!
- Mediate. Light a candle, find a quite space in your house and just turn it all off. Some great apps on your phone you can use to get you started are “Headspace,” “Calm,” “The Mindfulness App” and “Buddhify.”
- Connect with your Body. Take a yoga class, find a gym that has childcare, go for a run, lay on your floor and just stretch. Do something everyday to connect with your body and help release serotonin.
- Get out in Nature. Regardless if your kids are with you or not, take some time to breathe in the beauty that surrounds a place that you love. Say a thank you and find gratitude wherever you are.
- Develop a Daily Gratitude Practice. You have all heard it. Practice gratitude to have the best attitude. Throughout the day, even when things smell like shit, find something that you are grateful for and focus on that. Even if it’s one thing. Write it down or journal on this if you have to. Find what you are grateful for in your life and I promise you, your mindset will change.
Lets do this together my friends…
LETS KICK OUR ASSES BACK INTO THE GAME.
What have you been doing lately to help connect with who YOU are? I would love to hear your comments mommas!