Today I am thrilled to have a guest post from Emily at Queen of the Household.
For the last two years I've been a mom to a little boy. It has been hands-down the hardest job I've ever had, but it has also been the best job I could ever have. Motherhood is full of highs and lows, and as I talk to other moms, there seems to be common needs that we all have.
1. A Break
Moms give their time, energy, and love constantly, and it is easy to get burned out. That's why it is so important to take a break and plan time for yourself.
When my son was a baby and took his naps, instead of sitting down to rest, I would clean or work on a project. It wore me out! I said something about it to my husband whose response was, "No one is telling you to do that." He was right. I was putting the pressure on myself! That is when I started deliberately setting time aside to do something for myself each day.
Taking breaks doesn't mean you have to have a babysitter or spend money. In fact you can plan breaks at home throughout the day.
- Plan to have a little treat when your child takes a nap or has afternoon quiet time.
- Create a comfortable corner in your home to enjoy a good book or catch up on blogs.
- If possible, get up 10-15 minutes earlier than your kids and have some quiet time.
- Give your children something to entertain themselves even if just for a few minutes. My 2 year old loves "new" objects to explore. Sometimes I'll give him an empty box or a few random (and safe) objects to play with, and he stays entertained for a while.
- Go outside and let your children play while you sit on the porch and drink a cup of coffee.
- Give them a snack and let them watch a show or movie while you make a wreath or do some creative project.
2. Some Grace
Social media and the online world are great tools for building relationships and sharing encouragement, but they also create a tendency to compare ourselves with others. I used to beat myself up when I would read blog posts about moms who save a ton of money at the grocery store, do yoga with their kids, or throw beautiful birthday parties.
But I finally decided to start changing my mindset and give myself grace. Now, I acknowledge the accomplishment in the other mom without comparing myself to her. When I see a mom online who does yoga every morning, I say, "Good for her!" and move on. If I find myself comparing, I think about the healthy choices that I make and commit to continuing those habits.
This way I'm giving myself grace and kindness. Instead of beating myself up over what I'm not. I shared a little about that when I talked about being the perfect mom. I also loved when Lydia shared about not feeling guilty for not liking to play. It is important to remember all of the things that we do with our kids instead of focusing on all of the things that we don't do.
3. A Little Understanding
One of the best things a mom can give to another mom is a nodding of the head and saying "I Feel You!" Isn't it great to know that you aren't the only one who struggles with nursing or can't stand hearing "The Wheels on the Bus" on repeat all day?!
Shortly after I had my son, I confided in a friend that I was SO tired from getting up multiple times during the night. My friend's unsympathetic response was, "Oh, just wait until he's a toddler. Then you'll be really tired." My heart sank. All I wanted was a little understanding.
Right then I decided that I would never tell another mom, " Oh just wait..." If you have a mom friend who is going through something difficult sometimes all they need is a head nod and some understanding.
Find a way to give yourself a break today, show yourself some grace, and give understanding to the other moms in your life!