You are not a bad mom! How many times do you have to stop and remind yourself of this daily? If you’re like most, I would say at least 50 times or you should say it to yourself this often.
Having young ones in the house can be very stressful and hard. I wish we were told this in the beginning. Maybe you grew up having visions of perfectly dress, well mannered cherubs. That was a great dream and highly unlikely at all times. If you are blessed with perfect kids, stop reading now. If you are one of us who have to face reality, read on and know the struggle is REAL!
What can you do when you feel Satan himself has entered your innocent child’s body and you are about to lose control? Or maybe you know the pain of losing control when the neighbors can hear your screams- and I mean those neighbors that live 2 miles away! First, take a deep breath and keep reading.
- TIME OUT! And not for your littles, but for you. It is okay to take a few minutes away. If you’re lucky, you may have a spouse or an older child who can watch over your spitfire. If not, make sure he is safe physically and hide! Hide in a closet, locked bathroom or maybe under your bed. Any place you can get away for a few minutes to regain your composure. Take time to breathe, pray, meditate or just find silence.
- Get involved with other moms. Many churches offer MOPS groups, Bible Studies, Meet-ups or just search social media sites for other overwhelmed and exhausted moms. Oftentimes we feel we are alone in these challenges and it is great to know you and your child are normal and so many others are out there like you. This is also a great way to build lasting relationships. Many gals I was in a Moms Group with 10 years ago are still my close friends as we are now going through the tween and teen years together miles apart.
- Pick your battles. Not every issue has to be a power struggle. So your 4 year old daughter wants to go to the store in a plaid shirt and striped pants with mismatched shoes. It is OK! Other parents will understand that you are a great mom who allows choices and your daughter will survive- and so will you. You say your house is a mess and you’re embarrassed to invite guests inside? That’s ok, so are other homes with good parents out there. It means you’ve probably used your time playing with your kiddos rather than cleaning. Let it GO! One day you will miss the handprints on the windows and toys all over the place. For now, let you expectations down a little or a lot.
- Self care is important and I cannot emphasize this enough! Yes, it is a luxury to get your nails and hair done, buy new clothes for you, take vacations but are those things possible now? Maybe so, but maybe not and likely not as often as before kids. To a mom of wee ones at home, self care can be a shower and washing your hair at times. It is really nice when you can eat a meal that does not consist of macaroni and cheese or tater tots too. Take a walk, go to the park and bonus if you meet other struggling moms wearing leggings and a hat. It is also important to talk to your spouse or a good friend about your feelings. Ask for 20 minutes a day of peace and quiet where he can keep the kids so you can bathe, read a book, journal or do some mindless activity that does not involve Disney or Nick.
As a busy mom, it is easy to put your needs aside and you are not able to do that and survive. You have to put on your oxygen mask first before you can help your kids and family. Know your limits and stick to them. In the end, your mental wellness is key. If you’ve tried these tips and are still struggling with these overwhelming feelings, reach out to your doctor or therapist for professional help.