I have no clue who said this quote but I’ve heard it said so many times: “The days are long but the years are short.” Now, while I do believe this is true, I also know one thing. Motherhood is hard, mommas. It’s super hard some days. Now it does have its good days, and some days are even magical. But, some days are just plain hard. So how do we survive? While I don’t have the magical answer, I do have some ideas.
Shift Your Focus.
So often we tend to focus on ourselves. We look at our own small bubble of a life and see the mess, the crazy, and the disorder. On days when your kids won’t listen and the madness is never ending, let’s try to shift our focus. Use these days to do good for others. When I’m having a rough day as a mom, I try to think of something nice I could do for another mom to brighten her day. For me, this is usually a kind word via text, writing a card to a friend, or even grabbing a Sonic drink or Starbucks card for a mom I know needs it. Spend these days worrying less about yourself and taking the time to teach your kids to serve. Do a project together. Bake cookies for a neighbor, make a craft for someone who doesn’t have kids, or just make something to give Daddy when he gets home. I truly believe shifting our focus off ourselves can teach us and our kids valuable lessons.
Find Your Support.
Motherhood is not a solo journey. This has been a struggle for me lately. I have a baby who won’t sleep at night, a toddler who won’t use the potty, and another toddler who is constantly needing to be entertained. I need support. Use your family to help you if you are lucky enough to be close by. My husband is an amazing support when he is home, but he does work long hours. Mom groups like MOPS or groups at your local library or church can connect you with other women in the same crazy season as you. I have made some of the best friends because of motherhood. Swap babysitting, share coffee, survive play dates together. Find people who can help you through the journey on the good and bad days.
Create an Escape.
What hobbies or interests do you have? I have an amazing Bath bomb from DaBomb waiting on me in my bathroom. This will be used when I need a relaxing bath after the kids are actually asleep. Maybe you like nature? Find the time to go for a run, or a hike, or just sit outside. It always helps me to sit outside and take in the beauty of my world.
Don’t Forget that You Matter.
Take the time to put you first some days. Now of course, we can’t neglect our kids and not take care of them, but find time for you. This is not easy. Maybe use a trusted babysitter for a few hours a week to go get your hair done or get a massage. If you can’t do this, at least take the time to take a long shower or drink a good cup of coffee. It’s okay to turn on the tv so you can do this. Without you, this small tribe of little people would not survive, so take care of you.
So, mommas, we can survive. Put on some war paint, well maybe face paint, and get to work. We have little ones to raise and dinners to fix. We have books to read and piggies to play with. We have so much to do, but together, we can do this and not just survive. We can thrive.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves her kids but she also loves sleep on the hard days.