Awhile back I got an email from a reader suggesting a post on finding balance in motherhood, which to me is like finding the Holy Grail.
Balance is something most every mom wants to find, but the truth is most times something has to give.
But finding your Mommy Mojo, that’s another thing. Those are the times when you think, “Hey! Things are cruising along! I got this! I feel good!” Love those times.
The secret to finding your Mommy Mojo starts with you. When you take time to make sure you are taking care of yourself in addition to the gazillion roles in your family, you will be on your way to finding your Mommy Mojo. I promise.
But here’s the thing, the journey is cyclical because life with kids is ever-changing.
Just when you get in a groove and are rocking your Mommy Mojo, the school year will end (or start), the baby will drop a nap, or something will happen to throw you off.
But that just means you have to step off the hamster wheel of day to day life and figure out how to make changes to get your Mommy Mojo back.
It took me a LONG time to get there and I have learned a lot of things in the journey; things I wish my first time new mom self would have known seven years ago.
Here are some things I have learned along the way:
1. Say “Yes” to Help
We were not meant to do this parenting thing alone.
Say it with me,“We were not meant to do this parenting thing alone!”
It is way too much for one person. It doesn’t matter if you are a full time stay at home mom, part time working mom or full time working mom, whatever your situation, parenting is too much to do alone.
Letting go of the guilt of accepting help made me feel more balanced. It’s OKAY to get help. It doesn’t make you any less of a mom.
For me, sometimes it means the help of a college babysitter so I can get some work done, and quite honestly, get a much-needed break to recharge. The help she gives me for a few hours makes me feel more in balance. Worth every penny.
Even if the budget doesn’t permit a few hours of babysitting, you can still find ways to say “yes” when friends offer to take your child for an afternoon play date, or pick up your child from preschool, etc.
Basically, anytime someone offers to do something that would help you or make your life easier say “yes.”
On the flip side, if you are having a frazzled week, ask for help.
Many times I think moms don’t want to “put anyone out.” What I have learned is moms like to help each other – let THEM.
Then do the same for them!
2. Say “No” More and Ask “At What Cost?”
I have a tendency to overextend myself, and then do things 200%. Not good.
Now when I am asked to do something or presented with an opportunity to take something on, before I jump and answer “Yes”, I ask myself, “At what cost?”
Meaning, YES, you could probably handle the job of room mom, or plan that party, or join that committee, or sign the kiddo up for another activity, but at what cost?
Will you sacrifice time with your own family? Will you take time away other things you personally want to do? Will you make your husband’s ears bleed by venting about how stressed out you are about it?
If the cost to do something outweighs the benefit or takes time away from something else valuable to you, say “no.”
Figuring out your limits is a huge part of this equation.
3. Find an Exercise Routine You Like & Do it Regularly
Three years ago post baby, I made a life change. Probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself – I made regular exercise a priority.
If you can find a form of exercise you love (even kind of like), and can stick to a schedule where you can commit to doing it X number of days a week, I promise you, it will make a difference.
If you can make it through the first month, it will become addicting. You will want to keep going.
Feeling good about yourself is a big part of finding your Mommy Mojo.
4. Give Yourself Permission to Take Time for Yourself
There is an epidemic of guilt with moms. We all say “mommy guilt” and everyone knows what we are talking about. Anything that requires time away from kids just for yourself can sometimes leave moms wracked with guilt.
But there is also positive side of modeling to your kids what it looks like to take care of yourself.
Taking time for yourself is not selfish. Time for yourself means a happier mom. Happier mom = happier kids = happier family.
So worth it.
5. Survey Your Life and Determine What’s Not Working
When I start to lose my Mommy Mojo, it usually means I am overextended in some way.
This means I have to again, step off my hamster wheel, look at what is on my plate and have a Come to Jesus meeting with myself.
Maybe you have to drop an afternoon activity, find a friend to carpool with for a day, do a babysitting trade one afternoon so you can run errands without kids, figure out a way your husband could take over one of your duties, whatever it is, find a way to make a few small changes to make your life a little easier.
Realizing you have the power to change things is empowering.
You have to advocate for your own sanity!
Hard times are impetus for change.
Every time I go through a difficult period or stressful time, I realize it will force me once again, to evaluate my life and make a change, which typically results in a positive result.
For every dark period, I have come out and into a lighter one, and I owe it to the dark for showing me the light, often in ways I might not have expected.
I love you, Moms.
You are talented, beautiful, important. Treat yourself accordingly. XO
Your turn! How do you find your Mommy Mojo? What have you learned in this adventure you could share with other moms?