Another day has come to an end.
As the kids are asleep down the hallway (hopefully for the whole night), you find yourself tiptoeing to the bathroom to take that much needed and anticipated shower. Not only to clean off all of the drool and messes from mouths and noses that have been wiped on you all day, but to also have a moment to yourself. You need a moment of peace and quiet, a moment to gather your thoughts, and a moment to unwind. However like always, as much as you try not to, you start to replay the day in your head again.
You start to replay the meltdowns that happened during every single meal because you have the world’s pickiest eaters. You reminisce on how you were so bothered that you had to clean up the same exact mess ten times today. You ponder on how this was another long day but felt like the same day that you live every day just with minor changes added to it. You think of how you have to wake up tomorrow morning only to do it all over again. As much as you are truly grateful for the life that you get to live, you find yourself feeling so worn out and exhausted that the blessed life that you are living starts to lose its luster. It starts to feel mundane and ordinary. It begins to feel overwhelming and chaotic, and sometimes you find yourself not wanting to step out of that shower because you don’t feel like you will have the energy to tackle one more potty break, one more meltdown, or one more task before you.
Sometimes you find yourself looking back at your day and wishing you were years down the road from the stage of motherhood you are in now because you think the future will miraculously somehow be brighter and easier.
People always say how one day we’ll look back and miss “these days”. They say to soak up all of the moments we have with our young children because time goes by so fast. However, I sometimes think that those people forget what life was like with young children. I think they focus on all of the sweet things they say and all of the cuddles and kisses we get throughout the day, but they forget potty training, temper tantrums, and kids that never stop needing you for every single thing.
Most of the time, I can’t stand when people say to soak up these moments right now, because these moments are HARD. These moments are so exhausting and draining in every way possible. If I am being honest, I am excited for my children to get a little older and more independent, and that’s okay to feel that way! It’s okay to anticipate when you are not changing 20 diapers a day, planning every single meal, and being at their beck and call every second. It’s okay to be excited to have some more “you time”, and to look forward to the day when you can start working on some of your passions or goals again. It’s okay to not completely love the stage of motherhood you are in. That doesn’t mean that you are a bad mother! It just means that you are human, exhausted, and deep in the trenches of motherhood. No one said it would be easy, but I think none of us had any idea just how challenging it would be.
But here’s the thing mama:
As we are knee-deep in dirty laundry, diapers, and cracker crumbs we sometimes just need a little boost of encouragement; that little nudge to keep pushing forward and to refocus our priorities. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have to stop wishing for the grass to be greener, and instead just water the grass in this season as best as we can, and to embrace what is before us.
Here are 5 ways to help you embrace “these days” now instead of reminiscing about them years down the road:
- Breathe and relax. Yes, sometimes it’s truly that simple and easy. Motherhood can be so overwhelming, especially with young children, and I think we forget how to take a deep breath and just “be”. We forget that amid the many roles and tasks within motherhood that we also should be enjoying it. With social media constantly telling us we should be planning special outings weekly with our kids or working on Pinterest crafts with our kids, it’s no wonder we don’t get to soak up the sweet special moments with our children. At times, we are too busy planning and prepping for memories instead of living in the moment and making genuine memories. Of course, planning special days with our children is a wonderful thing to do. However, when we start to feel like we HAVE to do this to be a “good mother,” then we need to take a step back, breathe, and reset.
- Take a look at our to-do lists and start eliminating some of the unnecessary tasks we think we HAVE to do. I deeply believe that half of our stress in motherhood is us trying to hold everything together to the best of our ability and to do it perfectly. Well, guess what mama? We were never meant to be perfect for our children, for our family and friends, or even for ourselves. Our children want us to be present over perfect. I believe that when we accept that idea, that is when truly start to enjoy the season of motherhood we are in.
- Stop trying to have constant order and control. From experience, I have always felt like if I could try and control a situation then that would bring me some sort of peace. Then I had my two children and I realized that idea had to get thrown out of the window very quickly. We have to learn as mothers to be flexible. We can’t think that our joy or sanity will come from a tidy house or a well-executed planned outing with our children because we will be let down every single time. Our toddlers and newborns have different plans for the day than we do and we have to learn to go with the flow, or we will just be frazzled and frustrated every day.
- Make sure you are a part of a community and have some mom friends to do life with. I know firsthand how difficult and isolating it is to navigate motherhood alone. We need to have other mothers to talk to and to share our problems and our concerns with, but to also share our tips and triumphs with as well! We need to have a social life other than our toddlers and babies. Not only is it good for your sanity, but I truly know firsthand how it also benefited my children because it made me so much more joyful as a person, and then in-turn a better mother. I am a firm believer that when we take the time for self-care and to still have outings with our friends, then our whole family truly reaps the benefits.
- Are you laughing throughout the day? That might sound like a silly question to you, but at one point in my journey of motherhood, I found myself asking when was the last time I remember laughing with my children. Sadly, I couldn’t remember. Mamas, we HAVE to remember to laugh and to have fun with our children. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously, or motherhood too seriously, and we don’t remember what it’s like to be silly and to get on our children’s level, and to play with them and laugh with them. Ever since the day that I asked myself that question, I have now made it a point to make sure I am hearing my children laughing WITH me as we play together. When you start to look at your day through that perspective, you will start to feel more lighthearted, and truly feel like you made the most of embracing your day with your children.
Mama, yes I know motherhood is so unbelievably hard and challenging; it’s draining in every way possible. Even so, somehow every single morning we find the strength for another day. We find the strength to take care of the needs of our children. We find the strength to tackle all of the demands and tasks that come our way. Why? How? Because we love our children so much that we can’t imagine not showing up for them and being the best that we can be. Although I know this encouragement is hard to remember during the challenges, if anything, take away the reminder to not wait to soak up and love these little moments before us each day. Today will be a day we will look back on and not see the struggle, the mess, and the exhaustion. Instead, today will be a day we will look back on and miss and wish that we could relive again. Don’t miss today’s moments as you are looking forward to a new chapter within your journey of motherhood. So often we find ourselves anticipating a new season or chapter in our lives, but so often once we reach that new season, we often wish for the simplicity and beauty of what we once had. Don’t wish it away mama. Embrace the now.