Throughout the year it is easy to take yourself for granted when you are juggling kids, work, and household chores. Caring for a family is a full-time job and although it can be extremely rewarding, it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
Mother’s day is the perfect time to focus on your mental health and the activities that bring you joy. Although moms deserve to feel special every day of the year, this day gives you the license to have a guilt-free day that’s all about you.
Be Patient with Yourself
Being a parent is hard. You can read all the books in the world and still feel lost. Many women are pressured to maintain a facade of perfection because of the stereotypes of womanhood that they have grown up with. There is no such thing as perfection, so be kind to yourself and never compare yourself to others.
Mistakes are inevitable, but they help us learn and grow. When you are feeling defeated, take a moment to look back at all you have accomplished. It is in those moments you realize the value of your mistakes. Give yourself permission to feel proud of how far you have come and be grateful for each stepping stone it took to get there.
It is easy to get caught up in the chaos of motherhood. Your mind is clouded with to-do lists, chores, errands, and appointments that never seem to ease up. Everything and everyone demands your attention and you can get buried under the pressures and expectations. Amidst the storm of responsibility, however, try to take a step back and remember what really matters.
Your loved ones need you present with them more than they need a clean house. Take some time to play with your kids, or set up a family fun day! Take off that fire pit cover and gather around to roast marshmallows, or have a movie marathon. The joys of parenthood should outway the burdens and it is important to treasure the little moments before they disappear.
Your Dreams Matter
Your dreams matter. Before you ask, no we don’t mean pulling down your roller shades for an afternoon nap. When you are taking care of a family it becomes instinctual to put everyone else’s needs as a priority over your own. Allow yourself some time to focus on your goals and aspirations as well. Start outlining that novel you’ve had in your head for years, or fill out an application for an online class.
Trust that the people around you will survive without your undivided attention for a moment and give yourself permission to make your own dreams come true.
It’s Okay to Say No
Doing a favor for a friend, or helping out a family member can be fulfilling for the most part, but if you are constantly overwhelmed with tasks that others have asked of you, it is time to learn the word “no”. When you have grown accustomed to constantly serving the people around you, refusing a favor can feel like you are letting them down, but in reality, it probably hurts you more than it hurts them.
If they care about you, they should understand that you have a busy schedule and need a break once in a while. Take care of your mental health first and allow yourself the freedom to decline the favors you do not have the capacity to fulfill.
Your Energy is Sacred
From the moment moms open their eyes, their mind is going a million miles a minute checking off all the items of their to-do list. Clean the bathroom, pick up groceries, put the chair covers on before the rain, dust the dining room. Moms are zipping around accomplishing tasks, running errands, finishing work, and so on. Rarely do they give themselves a moment of relaxation because they are too busy taking care of others.
It is time to hold yourself to a higher standard and give yourself the same attention you give to your loved ones. Everyone needs a moment of rest, so find time in the day dedicated to replenishing your energy like reading your favorite book or taking a relaxing bath. You will feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of the day!
Mental Health Matters
Moms are superheroes, but even Wonder Woman has her bad days. There is so much pressure to be perfect and that is especially true of mothers, so often it is hard to admit when their mental health is suffering. Do not be afraid to reach out to loved ones for the support you always give them.
Sometimes it just takes a few days of rest to recharge and focus on priorities, but other times the world can feel too overwhelming to handle. In these cases, it may be best to seek professional help. No one expects you to do it all alone because even superheroes need a hand sometimes.
Find What Brings You Joy
So you finally have a moment to yourself but after years of prioritizing others, you have forgotten the activities you used to enjoy. Take this as an opportunity to get to know yourself again by trying different things and discovering new hobbies!
Maybe you want to explore fresh methods of making your favorite dish or finally learn that language you’ve always loved. You might instead prefer something more laid back like going for a walk or painting. Even spending quality time with your family and planning a trip could be the fun you’ve been looking for. Whatever reignites a spark of joy is worth exploring in order to find balance.
Probably one of the most important things to remember is to just breathe. There is no joy like motherhood and it is often taken for granted because of the stresses and pressures of the day-to-day, but remember to pause, look around, and appreciate the world you’ve built.
Life moves fast, so taking days like Mother’s Day to remind yourself to appreciate all of the love and dedication that comes with being a mother have given us and remind moms to value and appreciate themselves. If you happen to be a mom overwhelmed, don’t worry. Take time to breathe, enjoy the view, and, if you have the means to do so, pull off your hot tub cover, open a bottle of your favorite wine, and enjoy some YOU time!