It sounds simple. A title worn by those that mother a child whether they gave birth to that child, foster that child, adopted that child, etc.
But it is by far one of the most complex titles that can be worn.
Not only is a mother the caretaker of the children, but usually of the house and everything inside of it. That is a huge responsiblity.
With a responsibility this big comes a lot of stress. You literally feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and that is because the weight of your world (your family) really is.
I found a few simple ways to help myself cope with the stress, hopefully they will also be of help to some of you.
- I wake up early. I know, you’re provably thinking “but I like to sleep in” and I get it, I do. For me, waking up early means that I get to drink coffee, prepare lunches, get clothes out for the day, and make breakfast. If I have plans for the day – I shower and start getting ready while waiting for the kids to get up. On the days that I do sleep in, I find myself so scattered. I forget to pack Cams lunch, scramble to get any sort of breakfast on the table, and often – forget to brush the kids teeth.
- I try to get at least one “mom time” thing scheduled for myself a month. This does often include getting a sitter, but it is oh so worth it. This month I went to a girlfriends in home birthday wine tasting. I had never been to a wine tasting, so getting to experience it in her house, with other women I was acquainted with, while just hanging out was such a great time.
- Shopping is a true mood lifter, sometimes I treat myself to something I wouldn’t normally buy. It makes me feel good and cheers me up a little. I am not saying you have to spend money on yourself to feel good – but a little treat never hurt.
- I get dressed. I often find that after a few days of being in leggings and t-shirts, hair in a messy bun, and no makeup – I start to get into a funk. Once I realize this is happening, I will skip whatever chores I am supposed to do and use nap time to shower, get dressed, dry my hair, and put on some makeup. I might not even be leaving the house except to pickup Cam from preschool, but it makes me feel better to be a clean and functioning member of the world.
- I drink coffee. I know, that sounds cliche. Every morning I get up early (like I said) and run to Dunkin Donuts. We live 4.5 miles away from one and I sneak away while everyone is asleep and grab myself a large caramel iced coffee to start the day. I love the taste of that combination so much that sometimes, a bad afternoon turns into a trip through the drive thru for a decaffeinated version just so I can get that sweet guilty pleasure taste. I am not at all ashamed to say that I just love their coffee enough to drink it even when the caffeine isn’t necessary (which is hardly ever who are we kidding).
- Communication. I made a commitment to myself to stop holding things in. Now when something starts to bother me or I start to feel resentment towards my husband (you know, since he gets to be in his car, in silence, for two hours a day or since he showers everyday, alone) – I tell him. I get it off my chest before it begins to build and fester. I make sure to just tell him. Sometimes my text literally looks like this:
“hey, I’m feeling some resentment about _________, we don’t have to talk about it – I just needed to get it off my chest. love you”
and no, I’m not kidding. I sent that exact text to him two days ago.
I hope that you take this and use some of these in your life. It is important that we, as the mothers, take the best care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally in order to take the best care of our family.