It may seem like I write a lot about the negatives of motherhood, and maybe that’s true; using words like “monotony,” “anxiety,” and “isolation.” But for good reason! There are some mornings I find myself scrolling through Instagram feeling totally defeated just because everyone else seems to have it together. I know it’s not true–even I put my best foot forward on social media–but somehow I still let myself believe I’m the only one struggling.
So why am I being a downer highlighting the negatives? Well, I’m not. Do you really need one more voice telling you how well I’m getting along while you struggle? I just want to be real with you and avoid adding to the illusion that you are the only one who can’t get it together. So, here’t goes.
I’m currently wearing a sweatshirt and my hair looks like a rats nest. I drink too much coffee because I’m so tired and, in turn, it makes me nauseous in the afternoon from caffeine overload. I could really use a shower. The kitchen table is piled with paperwork I’ve been ignoring for a week or more. And I’m pretty sure there are still some chunks of last night’s dinner sitting in the sink because I was too lazy to throw them in the trash (life without a garbage disposal.. sigh…). Sometimes, I look at a mess and I straight up walk away. I write a lot of these posts for myself.
This is motherhood. I don’t need to tell you about the good parts–an open discourse on the joys of raising kids is easy. But a mother can always use a word of encouragement. Or even just an acknowledgment that this child-rearing thing? It’s hard.
I write mostly for the SAHM, but I know being a working mom has it’s unique challenges just the same. Here’s a nod to you: If you aren’t already so busy that your head is spinning, you probably wrestle with a different sort of monotony. Get up, dress the youngins, chauffeur, work, chauffeur, dinner, bath time, bedtime, repeat. I don’t pretend to know what that’s like. With that in mind, today I want to address some ways you can fight the rut–whether you’re a working mom or SAHM!
1. Try new things
Okay, moms. You’ve got to keep your spirit of adventure. I’m so guilty of pouting about how everyone else is doing cool things while I sit at home and wish for a spontaneous road trip. If you are a mother, especially of small children, this is just a season. You have to make your own adventure–even if you can’t get out spur of the moment.
One of my favorite ways to make my own adventure is to try new things. Every Sunday night I like to sit down and pick out 5-7 Pinterest projects to work on in the coming week. I save them to my board The Weekly Features and plan for any supplies or time I will need to work on them. I love the new feature where you can keep track of pins you’ve tried!
If you feel like you are getting stuck in a rut, start trying new things! Make a Pinterest board reserved just for ideas you want to work on this week and when you have some down time, you will already have your personal Pinterest adventure planned!
2. Schedule regular playdates or activities
Recently, I’ve tried to start getting out and seeing other humans more. I’ve always been an introvert and a homebody, but when I started having trouble with postpartum anxiety and depression, I recognized the need for more social activity; it just wasn’t healthy to be alone ALL the time.
Don’t let yourself be “stuck” in the house feeling sorry for yourself. Try to plan at least one playdate or outing a week for your sanity.
On the other hand, if you are a working mom, this could mean scheduling time to just enjoy your kids or making time for you to take a break from your busy life.
3. Get outside
Likewise, time outside whenever possible will help broaden your scope on things. Whenever I get outside–even if it’s just for 10 minutes–I don’t feel so cooped up.
Get some sun and take a walk. Sometimes, I find, taking walks with my son is one of the few times I can just think and be at ease. He’s content in his wagon or stroller, so I’m not having to chase him around or wrangle him (yet again) off the stairs.
Better yet, do the stereo typical thing and kill two birds with one stone: make your playdates at the park! Once Jonas can walk, I know we will be making a lot of trips to our local park.
4. Get the dull stuff over with
If you are a working mom this might not be as much of a problem for you. You probably have become a prowess of time-management as you juggle the kids, housework, and your job. And when you leave work hopefully work stays at work. You go girl!
But for us SAHMs, sometimes it’s a struggle getting motivated. We aren’t as bound to deadlines, so our work can drag on and on. And. On.
SAHM, do yourself a favor and get it over with. Try to segregate your work to the earlier part of the day and knock it out. If you let your chores drag on past dinnertime, you will most assuredly begin to feel bogged down with your job as homemaker. Get moving with your chores and projects so that you can enjoy your evening with your family instead of feeling guilty about everything yet to be done.
5. Reward yourself daily
Guess what, mom? You work really hard and you deserve a little something for yourself at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or cost money, but make a habit of rewarding yourself for doing your best. (Here’s a post to help you out! 42 Ways To Reward Yourself.)
We respond to incentives. My biggest incentive for continuing to get up before my family (the benefits of which you can read about on my post 4 Reasons To Wake Up Earlier Than Your Family) is my morning cup of coffee with a hug dose of hazelnut creamer. It’s my little reward for getting up at the crack of dawn. Just the same, after a productive day, even if I didn’t get everything done, I love to sit down with my knitting or catch up on my Youtube subscriptions as a way of patting myself on the back.
We ALL need this. Don’t let your mental health suffer. Your kids will appreciate a happy mom more than they will remember a chore you left undone.
How do you fight getting into the monotonous mom rut? Try new things. See people and go places. Get some fresh air. Don’t drag out your work. And reward yourself for giving it your best.