If you’ve read my last few posts, you would probably figure out that I’ve been in some kind of funk lately. I can’t quite pinpoint its origin, but I do know that I am overwhelmed with a lot of projects all needing to be done a month ago, if you know what I mean. Between ripping down wallpaper, unpacking boxes that have decorated every room of our home for the last eight months, daily to-do lists to keep the family running, and an 18 month old toddler that recently made it obvious her mind is a sponge and I need to pour into that…I’m tired. Unmotivated. Where do I even start in the morning?
This last weekend, I found myself sitting on Pinterest, finally going through several of the posts I had pinned to read someday, looking for any kind of quick fixes, revelations, or just a little encouragement! Sometimes, we need a little inspiration, and let’s be honest…most of us don’t ever get around to reading the two thousand pinned posts in their Family board (but who’s counting??).
Through my adventure, I found some really great pieces, offering all sorts of encouragement and advice. I knew the blogosphere wouldn’t let me down. This is especially helpful because I am a fairly recent transplant to the town we live in, so I don’t have much of a support system, let alone other mom friends to bounce ideas and concerns off of. Blog pieces like these help me to remember that how I feel is normal, and that there is absolutely a way out.
I hope you are able to find some truth nuggets in here like I did. Read on!
Katie writes while personally being in the thick of the “busy season” with two kids. She details how, while the outside world may have expectations of how put together she and her family should be, it’s her children that matter. I love her quote, “busy with a life that matters to me and the people who matter to me.” She writes that her children’s wonder that already exists about her holds much more weight than what anyone else could expect of her. I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately…the to do list, or the kid? Since when should it ever be a scale, trying desperately to give equal attention to both sides? Katie ends by saying that when her days slow down, she will hold these toy-filled and noisy days close to her heart. I think she’s probably right. There will always be dishes and laundry to wash.
Chelsea opens by asking, “why are we anxious to become martyrs? Why are we so cautious to take care of ourselves?” She’s right…we as mothers do tend to try to become martyrs, I do anyway. I pour everything I have into my family until I either become so exhausted or foster resentment toward others who “have it easier”. She reminds us that unless we fill our own cup once in awhile, we eventually leave nothing to pour into our family. Additionally, she addresses the self-doubt I know every mother feels, and assures us that we are exactly who our children were designed to have as a mother, and that we are capable and worthy. We worry about how much we lack only because we love our kids so much we could burst. I don’t think many of us have anything in our own cup, let alone have a consistent full cup. How can we expect our families to flourish if we, the powerhouse, is dead on her feet?
Alessandra calls us out on the fact that the person who is placing so much pressure on how we mother is ourselves! To remove some of the pressures she puts on herself, she allows herself grace, by allowing herself to have good, as well as bad days, in the productive days and the rest-filled days. To be honest, I hadn’t given much thought to where I was feeling all this pressure from, but I knew it existed. My husband shouldn’t come home to a disaster, my family should have nutritious meals, my daughter should be excited to learn every day…but it’s not my husband our daughter that’s constantly telling me I have to do all of these things, it’s only my own expectation.
Allison opens up with a personal story that got her blood boiling, and then proceeds to share the statistics of how much monetarily mothers (likely any stay at home parent) are worth, according to recent studies. By repeatedly bouncing back to her opening story, she lays out the monetary and absolute worth of the stay at home parent in answering the question “just what do you do all day?!” We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes, I’ve questioned it myself. She doesn’t leave working parents out of this either, she describes how they are expected to work and then come home to do many of the tasks their stay at home counterparts do. Parenting is hard, and it is worthwhile…no matter what someone looking from the outside might say.
Diane shares a story of a friend who was about to return to work after maternity leave and was having a very difficult time at the realization. She was dealing with mom guilt at leaving her new child all day while also doubting her mom choices. Diane recalls when she went back to work after having her daughter, and the comments and panic attacks that pursued her. I loved how she normalizes the feelings of moms returning to work, through the struggle, the guilt, and the doubt. Although I’m now a stay at home mom, I will never forget the panic of the first day I was without my baby girl when I returned to work after my leave. Know that you are far from the only one who shares those feelings…they are actually pretty universal, and don’t let your still hormonal mind tell you otherwise. I know moms of toddlers that still feel guilty! They don’t have the panic attacks, but they still often wonder if their kids are alright or doubt their choice to go back to work. Hang in there.
Heather has five simple, but I believe effective ways to remain productive, on those days you need to get things done but simply lack the motivation to know where to even start. My favorite is her first idea, having a realistic morning routine. Realistic being the main word there. Actually for me, I just need to have something I need to get done in the morning, in order to get motivated. I deliver papers overnight as a side hustle, and I know my weakness is coming home at 6am and sitting on the couch to scroll through a social media. Before I know it, I want a nap, and then the little is awake. By simply making myself feel like I NEED to get the dishes done otherwise all hope is lost, I end up finding myself moving from the dishes to some other task until the rest of my family wakes up. She describes many other options, I’m going to pick one a week and see which works best for me on those days that I’m done before I’ve even started.
Sarah Ann writes a pretty awesome piece, following feedback she received from a poll regarding what kinds of things moms have done and keep secret, in hopes of not looking like a bad mom. She included ten statements, and I find myself nodding along to most of them, and I bet you would too! Sometimes, it’s just great to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? She concludes by saying that on the days our kids seem to have gotten the best of us, to remember that “no family is perfect and no mom really has it all together.” You’re right Sarah Ann, we’re all just trying to do the best we can.
Diane starts by telling a personal story about how she was out running after she had gotten angry with her daughter. She got lost in her thoughts about the situation and fell to the ground-hard. This forced her to take a weekend full of her to-do list and instead ice her very swollen knee and reflecting on how much the forced break ended up being a blessing. Then, an instance happened with her daughter in school, which made her daughter need a lot of emotional support-further pushing her plans to later the next week. However, she realized she really needed that bonding time with her, as there had not been many days to just be with each other amongst the chores and errands to be done. She reminds us to find the way we recharge, and to remember the reason we do what we do. In my busy-ness I tend to forget to remember, and I have forgotten my “why” several times. Talk about having an empty cup.
Corinne had a very different vision of what parenthood would look like – park trips, cuddling for hours reading stories, ice cream cones…not cleaning puke off the car seat. As her kids grew out of the snuggly baby, she found herself losing her patience and yelling over the silliest of things. She didn’t even want to leave the house, feeling like it would add to the hardness of life. Sound familiar? It does to me! She offers six really great ideas to help get out of the joyless mom burnout rut. We all go there, many of us are there now. Corinne’s ideas are a great starting point, even if you just pick out one of them.
To see where my head has been at before going on my Pinterest blog adventure, you can check out my other recent posts: