I preach a lot about self-care for moms.
I mean it is one of the main reasons I blog.
We go go go constantly.
Always setting priorities and deadlines for ourselves.
Often set goals and expectations that are unrealistic and definitely unattainable.
We let ourselves down more often than not because we just didn’t get enough done during the day.
This post contains affiliate links. Please view my full disclosure.
And then we end our days frustrated with our kids, for being kids. Frustrated with our husbands for being…well men. And then we lay our heads to rest at night only to start planning in our minds how we are going to get all done again tomorrow.
I encourage self-care for moms so much for this exact reason… But last week no amount of self-care or alone time could have saved me from the overwhelmed unaccomplished feeling I was having.
I was too busy to get anything done. My son is teething and needed me and I was frustrated that it was interrupting my work. My house was loud and chaotic and instead of embracing the fact that I have children, I snapped at them for just being them.
I swore that I needed a break from being a mom just for a couple hours, I told my husband to please just take them so I can wash the dishes without a baby tugging at my pant legs.I may have even accidentally said that our children were terrible… Which they aren’t I am really blessed with great kids, but I was over mommin’ for the day.
So he did. For the whole day on Saturday… And I worked in peace. And it was nice, but my God I missed the noise. I missed the chaos. I missed my babies.
And so it came to me… That sometimes the answer isn’t self-care. Sometimes it has NOTHING to do with alone time or peace.
Sometimes the only answer you need is right there, tugging at your pant legs. Begging you to give them just a little bit of your time.
I often catch myself saying “just one more minute” or “not right now, I am working”… I put the dishes and the laundry and my work in front of my most important job. Being a mother.
And I know I am not alone.
How often do we make our plans for the day and make sure we get a little bit of time for ourselves but leave out some time for our kids?
Yes, we serve them all day long by washing their clothes, and feeding them, and making sure they don’t kill each other but do we ever set out a little bit of time to just get on the ground to play or cuddle?
I will be the first to admit that I forget to do this every single day, and while I may tell them and myself just one more minute, that minute passes and so do many more and before I know it suppers on the table, and teeth are getting brushed, and then I am putting them to bed. Only to find that that minute I promised them passed and I forgot all about what they had even asked for.
I will forever be an advocate for self-care. Without it, my days would be even more of a mess than they are now.
However, now that I have seen things from a slightly different perspective I am also an advocate in embracing life just as it is.
And if you are in the same shoes as I am in… Having days where you feel like you just can’t win and all you want to do is scream, join me in embracing life’s little messes and pick up your baby just to cuddle.
I have thought of a couple ways I am going to show more appreciation to my life as it is, so when not even self care can make me feel better, I have something to turn to flip my day around.
Take the kids outside.
I don’t know what it is about children not really wanting to play outside anymore… I feel like when I was growing up the only thing I came inside to do was sleep, but now if I send my daughter outside to play she sits on the porch until I tell her she can come back in. That isn’t a joke. I realized though that if me and her brother join her she loves to be out there. So on the days where your house is just too loud and you can’t stand it, instead of snapping at your kids to be quiet take them outside and let all of your lungs breath some fresh air. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get some much-needed vitamin D after being cooped up in the house all day, enjoy the sounds of nature, and most importantly watch your kids be kids not in an enclosed environment.
Read your kids a book. Even when it isn’t bedtime.
Reading is so important for not only our kids but ourselves. Sitting down with your kids to read a quick book in the middle of the afternoon creates a calm environment to prepare them for naps or quiet time. It also gives you the chance to cuddle and enjoy each other’s company without the chaos the rest of your day entails.
Just hang out on the couch or on the floor.
The other week I painted my nails and my daughter wanted hers painted too. I told her the only way I was painting them was if she laid on the couch with me and didn’t mess them up. So we laid on the couch together while the baby napped and it was so quiet and peaceful. She looked at me and said “you know I have never just laid on the couch with no TV or no talking. It is really nice.” Believe it or not, she is 5, so that little comment made me laugh, but it was really nice to be with each other without all the noise.
Have a movie day.
One of my favorite ways to unwind is to binge watch my favorite shows… While, How to Get Away with Murder isn’t suitable for children, I do think that staying in our jammies and binge-watching Disney movies all day would still play beneficial for all of us. I am finding that there isn’t anything wrong with including my kids in my self-care rituals, it may even make me feel better some days!
Be A Kid Again.
I suck at this, but I am working on it. I get frustrated so easily for little mishaps that happen because kids are being kids. I get overwhelmed by the noise, and the whining, and the fighting over who had it first (yes my 5-year-old and 9-month-old fight about this…) I just forget that they are kids, and that is what they do. Their minds are still growing and molding, and their attention spans aren’t fully developed and it doesn’t matter how many times I tell my daughter that the hand towel is not for wiping toothpaste on she is gonna do it. Because she is a kid. But even more than that, be a kid with them. Make a mess, sword fight, swing them around, wrestle. Make them laugh show them that you are more than just the lady that washes the dishes and folds their clothes. That you are their mom and their friend.
As I prepare for my weeks in the future I am going to encourage and remind myself to not forget to make time for the most important job that I have.
And I want to encourage you, mama, to do the same.
The dishes can wait, the laundry can pile up and it won’t hurt a thing… But our children will only be little for so long and it is the time that we take a step back and embrace this season in life with a more gentle approach. It may even be exactly what we need on those days that seem like they can’t go much worse.