5 Reasons Moms Lose Their Sanity and How You Can Keep Yours

BY: - 12 Jun '14 | Parenting

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This past weekend, I got to do something I rarely get to do but love to do…go out dancing. I went out to celebrate a good friend’s birthday, and it was so fun to get dressed up to hang out with some great friends. Usually when I take time to hang out with my girlfriends, it’s set around food and usually low key. But I love dancing and was so grateful that my hubby made sure he found babysitting for me since he had to work.

But it’s funny how any time I’m seen without my kids, people inquire almost as if it’s a crime. Like, how dare I leave them at home or with family so I can enjoy some free time to myself? What kind of mother would do that? I’ll tell you the kind…The kind that wants to keep her sanity!

Many moms become a victim of identity theft once they become a mother. And after experiencing this myself early on, I promised myself that I would not allow that to happen again. But it’s forced me to make some decisions that a lot of moms view as selfish or unpopular.

What I can tell you is when I’m happy, my kids are happy. I don’t know anyone who is happy and stressed at the same time. It just doesn’t work that way. But what does work, is eliminating the stress, which will help you keep your sanity in the process.

1. Moms try to live up to unrealistic expectations.

Thanks to our wonderful society, we’ve been brainwashed to think there is a particular standard of motherhood that we must meet. We’re so busy trying to keep up with the mom next door, that we don’t realize what works for them, may not work for us. Whether you choose to stay at home or work outside of the home full-time, do what works for you and your family. There is absolutely no formula for perfecting motherhood no matter how hard you try…or how much you drive yourself insane.

2. Moms don’t put themselves in timeout.

Moms need timeouts too and it should be a requirement. Time to disconnect, to breathe and to just think without the tugging of our clothes or the constant yelling of “mommy, ma, MOM!” When was the last time you heard yourself think clearly? I make it a point to give myself regular timeouts.  Because if I don’t, my kids don’t get to experience the super cool mommy they know they already have.

3. Moms refuse to take off the SuperMom cape.

Things got so much easier for me when I simply started learning how to say no (yes, even to my mama). I can’t possibly be everywhere, for everyone all the time. But I am able to do it all only because I’ve learned to ask for help. I won’t even try to pretend that I’m mastering this thing called motherhood without the support of my own village. I don’t believe in balance (because you can’t give 100% to everything at the same time), but I do believe in juggling a lot of things well. I’m learning to get better at this every day but only because I lost my SuperMom cape a long time ago.

4. Moms don’t make themselves a priority.

I read an article recently that talked about the health reasons and benefits for moms to start taking better care of themselves. The comments in the post were so disheartening because most moms saw “self-care” as a joke. How could anyone even have the audacity to suggest taking time out to take care of themselves when they have 2, 4, 6 children to raise? My answer to that is, how can you not? Many moms view self-care as selfish. But I view a lack of self-care as selfish. Don’t your children deserve the best version of you they can possibly get?

5. Moms live, breath, sleep their children.

The problem with this is that is all you know. You can’t remember what you liked to do before you became a mom because you don’t make time to do anything but be a mom. You can’t possibly make time for anything or anyone else because you don’t allow yourself a mental or physical break away from your kids. Your kids need to see their mom have healthy relationships and joys outside of the home. It’s okay to pick up your old hobbies again. That just might be the key to maintaining your sanity.

We, moms have the toughest yet most rewarding job in the world. But being a mom doesn’t mean you have to let go of all of your joys, or give up hanging out with your girlfriends. Your children will learn from what they see. As much as possible, I want my kids to see their mom having fun and doing the things I love…and not feeling guilty in the process

Moms, how do you keep your sanity when it comes to this journey of motherhood?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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4 Parenting Lessons I’ve Learned from Having a Teen and a Newborn

BY: - 13 Jun '14 | Parenting

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Within the last month, I gave birth to my third child and watched my eldest graduate from middle school. Although I have moments of feeling all the way crazy for starting over again, parenting a baby with the perspective of having a child who’s all the way at the other end of childhood is a bit of a gift.

As a brand new mother, having an issue and hearing someone say “someday you won’t care about this” was a little like hearing “someday you won’t care that you got dumped by your 7th grade boyfriend” when you’re in middle school. Now that I’m usually the veteran momma in the new mommies group, I often end up thinking to myself, “wait, is that really a thing?” when it comes to issues like…

Reaching Milestones Early

It’s equally as exciting to be the parent who can say “my baby is only two and can write all his letters” as it is stressful to be the parent whose two-year-old isn’t doing anything but trying to drink out of the toilet. By the time they reach high school, barring any actual developmental delays, they can all talk, read, walk and pee on the toilet and no one in the world will know when they started doing it. Just because your child was the last one to learn to tie his shoes doesn’t mean he won’t be valedictorian, and just because he was the first one to count to 20 doesn’t mean he won’t struggle in algebra. And all of it will still be okay.

Stressing Over What Food They Should Eat

I breastfed and I made it a point to feed my daughter healthy foods.  I even made ants on a log so that she would eat her celery. I still think it is very important to give your kids a good healthy start, but I’m not going to stress about the new little one eating the occasional sugary snack. At age 14, the number of things that my daughter eats that I actually want her to eat hovers somewhere around 0 percent. Once she and her friends started buying their own lunches I realized that whether they were raised on Pop-Tarts or organic apples, every last one of them was eating pizza and fries.

Mom Judgment

When your kids are little, you’re either side-eyeing those parents whose kids are acting up in public, or you’re embarrassed that you are that parent whose kid is trying to run around the restaurant. Now that my daughter is a teen, even though I think I have one of the sweetest teens around, she will at least once a week make me question her sanity. Teens come with their own special brand of crazy. Instead of judgment, you learn to have more sympathy for parents whose kids are less than perfect, and at the same time to give yourself a break. I’ve learned to embrace that my kids are more than a product, they’re people who, even with all the right tools, will sometimes make the wrong decisions.

Creating Childhood Memories

I planned this fun-filled trip with my daughter when she was about five years old that I knew she would always remember. Guess what she remembers from that whole trip? That I complained to the manager at a restaurant that there was a hair in my mashed potatoes. That’s all. If we didn’t have pictures she wouldn’t know that she had ever been there.

I’m not saying not to take trips. I’m saying to take the trip, not to plant the memory, but to enjoy the ride. Which is the main lesson I’m taking from having both a teen and a new baby: enjoy the ride, because of how quickly it speeds by.  As soon as I closed my eyes it seems that I went from choosing between baby food brands to being almost face to face with boyfriends and driving and college, and knowing that one day I’ll have a 30-year-old and will be able to look back at those challenges and say “someday you won’t be worried about this.”

So for now, while I’m in the trenches with sleepless nights and diaper changes and moments that I want to cry from sheer exhaustion, I’m also learning to cherish the time that I’m holding my baby close to my chest and kissing his toes. I’m learning to treasure the moments when my new baby feels heavy in my arms, because soon enough they’ll have to again learn the process of letting go. And I’ve already learned that is a much heavier weight.

About the author

Aja Dorsey Jackson wrote 206 articles on this blog.

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and marriage educator in Baltimore, Maryland and author of the blog and book, Making Love in the Microwave.

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