am as guilty as any other mother to falling prey to the, "No, I'm fine," martyr
mode of motherhood.
many of us have done it? Scoffed, protested, pushed away offered help,
declaring that we were fine, just fine,
with our duties as mothers? This is the life we have chosen, especially those of us who
are stay-at-home moms, and the last thing we can do is complain, right?
probably keep complaining with the best of them, but what I've also learned is
that if I'm falling into a motherhood funk (and we all have been there), it's
also more than likely that it's because I'm not being honest with myself about
what I need to do to function properly.
when I'm not being 100 percent honest with myself about what I need to feel about
myself, I'm not giving 100 percent as a mother either. I'm not saying that it's always
possible to live a perfect, balanced life, especially as a mother of babies and
toddlers, but for me, the first step to getting what I need is to actually
admit what I need to be a happier mom. So, (deep breath), here goes nothing:
Period. The end. I need to sweat (and
not over how to scrub crayons off of the wall) in a good way every day. It's
just not feasible for me to get out of the house on a regular basis or afford a
gym membership, so lately, I've been big into free Jillian
Michaels videos on YouTube that I can do in 30 minutes or less. The baby weight really
isn't budging, but moving my body helps me clear the mom cobwebs in my brain.
When you're on
call 24/7 it can be hard to relax. Even when I tuck into bed at night, I'm
never really relaxed. One ear is open, just waiting for kids to wake up
(because they usually do). But if I can escape even for 10 minutes and do
absolutely nothing and not feel guilty about it, it's like I've just emerged
from a rejuvenating spa visit. OK, maybe not that extreme, but you get the
It's going to be freshly-ground and in my cup each and every morning, no matter how crazy the kids are being.
There's a lot
of things in my life that I know aren't good for me, but coffee is the one
thing that I consistently look forward to each and every morning. I have
made special mid-week trips with all kids in tow just for a bag of coffee beans, and I make no exceptions about my love for the stuff. It's going to be
freshly-ground and in my cup each and every morning, no matter how crazy the
kids are being.
4. A tidy house
stay-at-home mom, I fight the long and hard battle against my kids' crap each
and every day. And for a long time when I had my first two children, I felt
guilty over the amount of cleaning I did every day. Wouldn't a good mom play trains instead of washing the dishes? I
would think. Maybe—but this mom would get so anxious that the house was a
disaster and she would be staying up all night cleaning it that she finally
said screw it, the kids can learn some
independent play. I'm not saying I spend every minute cleaning, but I've
let go of my guilt of telling my kids every now and then that I need to pick up
a bit before I play with them.
5. One day a
week without an agenda
I'm a pretty introverted person, so I've found that carving
out at least one day of week for the kids and me to just be home with no
schedule and no agenda has made a big difference in my stress level. On
the flip side, I also need some kind of structure to my week so I don't spend
days without ever talking to another grown-up either.
always thought of myself as a stay-at-home mom first, I've also always
contributed to my family financially in some way too—first as a nurse and now
as a writer. I have to say, working outside of the home (or inside of it) makes me a better mom. I love exercising my brain in different ways, I enjoy
being on equal footing with my husband financially, and more often than not, I
can dive back into mothering duties with more energy if I'm recharged from a
good, productive work session.
What are some of
the things you need to do to be a happier mom?