At some point motherhood may start to feel like a job, and it’s not supposed to be a job. Being a Mom is wonderful but it’s hard. So hard. Stress and obligations begin to rob you of the joy of motherhood and oftentimes without noticing, a big chunk of your happiness as a parent and mother may go missing. What are all the things stealing joy from you and how can you reclaim the joy of motherhood? 25 Habits to help you stop feeling like an unhappy Mom.
This is my comeback year. If you can call it a comeback.
Really, it’s me getting my Mom groove back.
I’m on a journey to be a happier parent, and to reclaim the joy of motherhood I lost in the jumble of stress, of obligations and trying to keep too many balls in the air last year.
I spent too long being bone tired, emotionally worn out, impatient and irritable. Last year I was a person I didn’t even recognize, or like.
That person won’t be missed. Like, at all.
Believe me, I never thought this would be me. I never thought I would be an unhappy Mom.
The first few years of parenthood were blissful. I fondly look at pictures and remember the moments with pure love – and although, there were still daily battles with tantrums and teething, picky eaters and nights I lay in bed racked with Mom guilt – I adored the first few years because being a Mom made me incredibly happy.
I would put my kids to bed and they were finally asleep, I would actually ache missing them. The moment I heard them wake on the monitor, I’d jump out of bed and run into their room to swoop them up in my arms.
But I stopped feeling like that…
I started throwing the covers over my head instead of throwing them off. I’d snap “Mommy is still sleeping!” and roll the other direction like a hibernating bear.
In time, the kids started going to my husband’s side of the bed instead of mine. If they had a nightmare in the middle of the night, they’d crawl in bed with him and not me. They brought him toys and showered him with foot tickles in the morning.
I noticed the change and at first, I was hurt. But really, I couldn’t blame them.
When their Dad greeted them with love and sincere happiness at seeing them, the alternative was the ice queen.
Who would you choose?
I was a grouch. A sleep-deprived, short-fused mom no one liked. Least of all, me.
I am grateful to Stay at Home with my kids but for the past several months, the change in my energy and attitude has been on a declining slope.
And if I’m being completely honest, recently it turned into a nosedive.
My capacity for patience, to handle sleep deprivation, dealing with the constant noise and ability to negotiate with my kids or redirecting them when they squabbled… was gone.
I caught myself in the mirror after I scolded my daughter for squirting an entire bottle of lotion in her hands and I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me.
She didn’t have warm eyes or a kind face, she was sharp and cold.
I knew I needed to grab the throttle and make changes not only for myself, but for my family. During my tailspin, I didn’t have any self-care practices, and admittedly wasted the time I had alone while the kids slept.
My gas tank was humming on empty for months now.
I can look back now and say that I said Yes to too many things I didn’t want to do, but felt obligated to.
The sad reality is that my children, family requests, friends, our home, and even our dog’s needs all took priority over my own.
The snowball effect of a year worth of sleep deprivation, overworking and unhealthy habits made me an bone tired, irritable, unhealthy shell of a Mom my kids didn’t like. And I didn’t like either.
Who Is Taking Care of ME?
The phrase, self-care is plastered all over social media and the internet. I’ve always avoided clicking on the articles because I didn’t think I had the time to create my own self-care practices and didn’t want to feel guilty reading an article with fact after fact why it was essential.
And then one day, I clicked on an article with suggestions for simple five-minute self-care practices because that was about the only amount of time I could spare in my busy schedule. In fact, the article was the rude wake-up call I needed to decide right then and there, I needed to make changes.
Wide, sweeping changes.
The truth is, I cannot be the Mom my kids want and need, and the person I want to be for them, unless I take care of myself.
How Did You Lose The Joy of Motherhood?
You don’t lose yourself overnight, you lose yourself with every “no” you put out in the universe. Every excuse, every white lie, every denial.
No, I don’t feel like working out today.
No, I’m too tired to go out with friends.
No, I don’t have time to relax because I have so much to do.
No, I would love to get a pedicure but I just can’t swing it.
No, no, no…
It happen time and time again… when something tragic happens to a parent or child in the news, or worse to a friend, it gives us a renewed sense of our priorities.
It’s awful it takes a catalyst of terrible magnitude to redirect our attention to the real priorities, but it does.
What is important in my life isn’t the extra stuff I feel obligated to do, or the work assignment I’m too busy to take on but still say yes to… it’s my family.
Those four people which make up my family are my entire world. Taking care of them and building a healthy and happy environment for us to grow together in will be my main priority.
However, I can’t take care of them when I’m operating at half full.
This is why creating self-care practices and learning to make time for the things I love, are important.
When I finally sat down to write down everything I wanted to eliminate and change in order to create less chaos and more happiness, the list was pretty long.
It turns out, I made a mess of living a joyless life this past year.
So, one by one, I stared working through the list and making changes to live more joyously as a woman, a wife and a Mom.
Saying “No” began to feel good and powerful, and not as hard.
Saying “Yes” to my family felt even better.
Slowly, the changes have given me a renewed sense of what’s important in my life and I’m becoming a happier, more patient and loving person each day.
I’m becoming the old me.
If you’re a tired, overworked, “Yes Mom,” or in a Mom funk with feelings of being burnt out, you should make a top 5 list of the areas that you can make changes and start your Rejuvenated Mom Journey with me today.
Reclaim the Joy in Motherhood
Change 1 or 5 or all of these 25 things to be happier, more patient and more present in your own life.
- Stop Multitasking
- Create Simple 5-Minutes a Day Self-Care Practices
- Say No To Obligations and Requests You Don’t Want to Do or Have Time to Do
- Stop Binge Eating and Overeating (especially carbs and sweets!)
- Rest and Take an Afternoon Nap (even if it’s a 15-minute power nap)
- Aim for 30 Minutes Daily Activity
- Stop the Negative Self-Talk
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- No More TV Binging
- Cut the Processed Food and Sweets
- Get Off your Phone – Stop Social Media Binging
- Let It Go – Don’t Always Try to Make Everything Perfect
- Don’t Check Email Every Time Your Phone Pings
- Go to Bed at Decent Time to Get 7-8 Hours a Night
- Stop Overscheduling Yourself & Your Family
- Schedule Time for Yourself
- Set Your Priorities – Don’t Just Rush Through Things Joylessly to “Just Get Them Done”
- Create a Gratitude Practice – Journal or Say 3 Things You’re Thankful For Every Night Before You Go to Bed
- Stop Worrying About Things You Cannot Control
- Sometimes a Messy House is OK if It Means You Keep Your Sanity
- Limit Caffeine
- Ask for Help When You Start Feeling Overwhelmed
- Have Adult Conversations (of the Non-Parenting Kind)
- Don’t Isolate Yourself from Friends
- Schedule Kid-Free Time to Reenergize Yourself
Where are you going to start your journey? It’s time to be a happy Mom again.
You Might Like…
- Shop The Pragmatic Parent Store for Positive Parenting Tools
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- What You Should Be Doing If You Want to Raise Confident Kids
- The Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
- Stop Feeling Like You Have Mom Burnout
- What are the Triggers That Cause You to Yell and Lose It With Your Kids?