It was after the birth of my third baby that I first felt "the crazy" within me. I had three girls, ages 3, 2, and a newborn. They each had completely different needs and I felt like I couldn't meet them all. Between sleep-deprivation and trying to keep everyone alive day after day, I really hit a wall. I wasn't the mom I wanted to be. I wasn't taking care of myself at all. As a result, my world felt like it was falling apart.
Fast-forward a couple of years, I now have a 5, 3, and one-year-old. Things are still crazy but I've managed to figure out how to stay sane and not lose my mind. By now, it's pretty obvious that I have three kinds of needs—the mental, the physical, and the spiritual. When my mind, body, and soul are well taken care of, I am able to be the best version of myself. Aside from obvious things like getting a good night's sleep and eating a well-balanced diet, I've figured out a little trifecta, of sorts, for maintaining my sanity as a stay-at-home mom of three.
1. Time for me. I realize that this is one of the hardest things for moms (especially sahms!) to do. But it is essential. For me, it's not even always about doing something for me. It's more about having a small break from my tiny army. Even grocery shopping alone is good for my mental sanity. Being able to focus on a task without 3 tiny interrupters is totally necessary from time to time. Whether it's working out, taking a hot bath each night, grocery shopping alone, or taking 10 minutes to read or journal, doing something solo a few times a week can be a life changer.
I will be the first to admit that motherhood is a hard gig. I could not do it without my tribe of people and, on occasion, professionals.
2. Time with my husband. For a couple of years, my husband and I went on like two dates a year. And that just wasn't cutting it. We now do a monthly date night swap, which has completely changed our marriage. Along with that, we make sure to hang out each night after our kids are asleep and we go to bed at the same time as often as we can. Making a small effort in this way has had such a HUGE impact on my mental state! When I know I have a solid foundation in my spouse, everything else seems much easier. Best of all, I know we're on the same page.
3. Professional help. I will be the first to admit that motherhood is a hard gig. I could not do it without my tribe of people and, on occasion, professionals. When things were really bad, medication and professional counseling made a huge difference. You should never be ashamed for seeking professional help to maintain your sanity. Your children and family deserve it. And most importantly, you deserve to get help when you need it. No shame in that, mama.