I have a full time job, a husband, 2 teenagers and 4 pets. After waking up at 3 am with my mind racing, I wanted to know how to give Mom a break. At my age, I blamed it on hormones, but I decided that it was probably stress. I had lost control of my life and it was taking a toll on my family. I am figuring out how to give Mom a break and take back my life.
As I lost sleep, I started to get sick more often and I got grouchy. My family got grouchy too because we all know that “When Mom is not happy, nobody is happy”. I wanted to go back to those days when life seemed less hectic, so I started working on my mindset and my schedule.
LIFE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT
The first step was to decide that everything did not need to be perfect! I am by no means perfect, but we all strive to do our best for those around us. As a Type A personality, I usually think that if I want it done, I must do it myself. I decided that my family would still be as wonderful, even if we did not have a “perfect” day everyday. We love each other just as much, whether or not the laundry is done, the house is messy or we all stay in our pjs all day.
WE CANNOT ALL BE PINTEREST PERFECT
Pinterest is one of my favorite places and I use it for almost everything. I will try some things and they will never come out as beautiful as those Pinterest pictures. After I started blogging, I learned that in order to get that perfect Pinterest image, it takes a lot of time, effort and patience. I will not be the perfect Pinterest picture, but I will keep trying new things and stop comparing myself to others. There is a lot going on behind the scenes in everyone’s life that you do not see, like the Pinterest picture. That family that appears to be perfect, may be just as crazy as your family and going through the same sort of things, but you do not know about it.
Join the newsletter
Sign up to get this Give Mom a Break printable for your bathroom mirror and get weekly emails to help make your day better!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
After looking at my schedule, I found the things that I could get someone else to do. I did not want to appear weak or I thought it was expected of me, so I took on too many tasks. I would look around at all of the things that my friends were doing and be amazed and wonder how they handled it so well.
A lot of you will say that you cannot afford to get help, but there are places where you can barter for services or even trade with your friends. If you have a friend that great at baking, you could offer to watch her kids for a couple of hours in exchange for her making a birthday cake. It is a win-win for everyone. You can cut back on some things and use the extra money to pay for the help or sell some extra stuff that you are not using. There are lots of places online to help, like http://www.fiverr.com, http://www.letgo.com, http://www.craigslist.com, http://www.ebay.com or even http://www.facebook.com.
INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY
As my kids got older, I handed daily tasks over to them. Later, I started doing some of the tasks again, because I did not want to pester them to do it. Hold your ground and make them keep up with their chores, so that you will have less on your plate. As the Mom, I handle everything, so I would not ask my family to help. After an extremely stressful day and collapse on my part, they took a more active role in helping out. You need to sit down as a family, delegate the chores, so that no one is overwhelmed and the house runs better.
TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS
Let’s not be ashamed about how we are feeling, but let’s talk to our friends about it. After I started down this path, I found out that most of my friends felt the same or similar stress as I did and we just did not want to talk about it. It takes a village to raise kids this day and age. If you can help divide driving carpool for soccer practice with a friend, then you will both get some free time. When you talk about it, you can get ideas about how others are resolving the same sorts of problems.
WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU NEED TO REMEMBER
I am a big fan of getting things out of my head and somewhere else to analyze and handle. As we age, which I can say at this stage in my life, we tend to forget things. Then these stray thoughts show back up at 3 am to wake us up from a restful night. As I fill my brain with too many things, something else is pushed out. I freely admit that I am the worst about not writing things down, but I am trying to get better.
All of this goes back to the things whirling around in my head at 3 am. We all need to work on taking care of ourselves, so that we can take care of everyone else. I have to keep reminding myself that:
1. life does not need to be perfect to be happy;
2. I should not compare myself to anyone else;
3. it is OK to ask for help;
4. my friends are probably in the same boat and we can help each other; and
5. if I get the things out of my head, I should sleep better tonight.
I have to remind myself of these things daily and some days, I am better than others. I am learning how to give Mom a break and would love to help you too!
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get a weekly email to help you make your life better!