Being a mum is not easy. I don’t think any of us can imagine how full on parenting children can be until we actually experience it for ourselves.
There are times when I look at my three girls and think I didn’t realise how full on being a mum could be. Looking after little people can be busy and draining. And even though I wouldn’t swap my family for the world, there are times when a break is very much needed to create a respite from the monotony of daily routine.
If you’re feeling a bit weighed down by mum life, here are some ideas I’ve used to re-energise my mum-tivation.
Organise a girls night out
A girls night out not only gets you out of dinner and bath duty, it helps you reignite yourself with the person you were before you had children. You get to choose a nice outfit, eat a hot dinner (and not have to share dessert!), all while talking to girlfriends and reminiscing and commiserating over mum life. There are no interruptions during conversation and you feel like an adult, again. My recent girl’s night out had me driving home with a smile and scanning the calendar to book in the next one.
Go to bed early
The moment my girls are in bed, I’m usually working, but when I’ve finished my work for the night, I will find myself scrolling through Facebook and before I know it, it’s nearly midnight! Remember what you were like when you were sleep deprived? (I do… and I don’t want to go back.) So why deprive yourself of precious sleep when you know you need it and you know you will function better when you’ve had it? Stick to a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and those feelings of being overwhelmed won’t feel so strong when the sleep bank is well invested.
Find a hobby
When I became a mum, any hobbies I had before kids were put aside to focus on family life and paid work to make ends meet. I’ve only recently remembered the benefits of having a hobby. It gives me time to relax and freedom to create. It’s my type of play that helps me to focus on something other than what needs to be done for the family or at home. Motherhood can be a great time to discover new hobbies. Some hobbies could be playing a team sport, reading a book, crafting, writing a blog or learning an instrument. Eighteen months after I had my first baby, I went to a resin bangle making workshop and those two hours learning about resin and making my own jewellery went so fast, but I loved it! I felt re-energised when I headed back home to do the dinner and bath routine.
Read the news
Sometimes perspective can give a good reality check. When I’ve read a heartbreaking story of a mum losing a child or experiencing something horrific, I immediately thank God for my girls and for my family. I use a bit of reverse psychology and think that even though I’m feeling drained by motherhood right now, I’m definitely grateful for the life I have with my kids. It doesn’t make life any easier, but my focus becomes more about loving my family.
Help someone in need
When I become aware of someone in need, I spring into action and do something that will help lighten their load. How has this helped me get out of the bitterness of motherhood? Well, it’s simply shifted my focus onto someone else, rather than on myself. And amazingly, when I have gone out to help someone else by cooking them a meal the ‘help’ is sent back to my family. I don’t believe in karma, but I do believe what goes around comes around so giving to others will eventually come back to you.
What do you do to energise yourself as a mum when you’re feeling mum life is getting you down?