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?