It's a well-known fact that moms can feel lost, stressed, and joyful all at the same time. If you're a mom, you also know that it's easy to question whether you're doing a good job at all. Well, I have something to tell you: You’re a great mom. You are the sun and the moon to your little ones.
We have a few tricks to help being a great mom more manageable. When you feel like you're too lost and stressed to be joyful, here are some simple ways to change that.
Being a mom can be stressful. If you're prone to stress, parenthood only magnifies this inclination. Picture this: The house is a mess. Your little one(s) won't nap. You have raw chicken on your hands in an attempt to make dinner. It happens to us all. If reading that scenario makes your hairs stand on end, consider stealing moments for meditation. Meditating doesn't need to involve a quiet room sitting in a position that shows off your lack of flexibility. It can look that way, and if you have the time, space, and body moves to do it, go for it!
But in reality, personal time is limited for most moms. Research shows that a quick meditation break twice a week improves perceived stress and negative mood. Set your timer for five minutes, close your eyes, and relax. Take a few deep breaths and release the tension in your body. Focus on three things you're thankful for. You could even create a personal mantra, like “I am blessed, I am loved, I am doing my best.” Taking a step back from the chaos will help lower your stress and also create a more joyful environment for your little ones. Try this meditation regularly or other natural relaxation methods for moms, and you should feel less stressed overall.
Take it one task at a time.
Making lists can actually help you feel accomplished as you check items off. This is especially helpful if you are balancing work and home life, where tasks may seem endless. As a new mom, I realized that I got so overwhelmed that I would shut down and avoid them altogether! By making a list and tackling one thing at a time, I have learned to etch away at my (seemingly) never ending to-do list.
If you get overwhelmed by the fact that you won't be able to finish everything on your list, you may be engaging in catastrophic thinking--a tendency to ruminate on worst-case scenarios. It increases anxiety, and studies have shown that patients who exhibited catastrophic thinking actually felt more pain and needed more time to recuperate from an illness. This was due to patients believing themselves to be more disabled due to their pain. If you find yourself thinking the worst of your situation, simplify your thoughts instead. Focus on doing only the task at hand as best as you can. For a repetitive task like changing diapers or folding laundry, focus on doing it better than you did it the last time. You'll find joy in knowing that you gave your all, even in the little things.
Make you a priority.
As a mom, you give everything of yourself. Between waking up in the middle of the night, making sure you have food ready, or rushing to work and home, you’re in a constant state of frenzy. The key to being a better mom is giving yourself some down time. This all depends on what you enjoy doing. Perhaps you'd like ten minutes at night to write in a gratitude journal, a trip to the salon, an hour at the gym, a date night or a happy hour meet up with your girlfriends. A good habit to get into is setting aside a certain time weekly to have “you” time. This will refresh and energize you, making daily challenges more manageable.
These years with your children are the hardest and also the most rewarding. In the throngs of motherhood, it's easy to get overworked and not like yourself. Above all, remember this: you’re doing great!