Is motherhood kickin your butt? Do you spend your days second-guessing your decisions and feeling like you’ll never get this mom thing right?
Let me ask you another question – How do we as moms decide what was a good “mom day” versus a bad one? Is it when everything goes as planned? Is it when we stayed calm all day? Is it when no major catastrophes happened that day? What about when your to-do list actually gets done? What about if we “feel” like a good mom? Hmmm.
Or if all your kids listened and obeyed the first time all day? Oops sorry, that last one was part of a fairy tale. My apologies. 😉
The point is, how do we know if we’re doing a good job at this mom thing? I believe the answer is we need to learn how to set realistic expectations for motherhood.
This is especially true in our massively social media-driven world where all moms seem to want to share is their highlight reel. I’m guilty of this too. I mean who wants to air their dirty laundry or dishes for the world to see?
But, I’ve got news for you. ALL moms have messy floors, dirty dishes, kids that talk back and disobey, and a to-do list a mile long that never seems to get done. Oh, and are plagued by this nagging feeling that you’re screwing up your kids. YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
As moms, we’re a lot more alike than we think. Sure, we may have majorly different parenting styles and world-views but we love our children and work really hard to make sure they get their best chance in life.
That’s why we need to cut ourselves a little slack and begin to see motherhood from a different, better angle. I’m not necessarily proud to say this but most of the time when I’m struggling with anything in my life 9 times out of 10 I’m looking at it the wrong way.
Pessimism runs in my blood. I have to fight against seeing the negative side of things on a daily basis. And my motherhood struggles are no exception. And just so you know, I didn’t just write that to say that your struggles are all in your head and you just need to think more positively and everything will get better.
I merely want to point out that even when problems and struggles are so very real, having a healthy perspective and practicing emotional self-care go such a long way in helping us heal our way through those issues.
I used to suffer for months on end with depression and never told anyone. I just listened to my self-condemning thoughts and never did any of the things I’m sharing with you on this list. Instead, I allowed those thoughts to permeate my heart and make me feel hopeless.
I want you to know that simply by reading this, you’re an amazing mom. You care about your kids and your own wellness. And I want to encourage you, from the mom who always thought the worst of herself, that you don’t have to live in that place!
Keep reading and find your freedom.
Motherhood is Hard but So Worth it!
1 – Think Like Your Kids
Kids naturally think of themselves first, and their number one priority 99% of the time is doing something that brings them joy. In other words, a kid’s gotta have fun, right!
So why not take on that same philosophy yourself? Especially, when #momlife is kicking your butt! Take time to drop all the mom stuff, responsibilities, and burdens. And just do what makes you happy and brings you joy. That could be reading a great book. This book is a must-read when you’re feeling the mom-blues. It helped me work out some major issues I was feeling in my mom life. If reading isn’t your thing, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you feel filled while doing it.
I would also highly recommend spending fun time with your kids. I know at first glance this may seem a little counter-intuitive because we’re talking about motherhood kicking your butt. However, if the kids are driving you crazy it may be because they’re actually craving your attention. Not just your shared space in the room attention but your all-eyes-on-me, doing total fun stuff attention.
And you need this fun kid time too. The reason we struggle to sometimes enjoy just hanging out with our kids is we feel the pressure of #AllTheThings that need to be done and are piling up. I totally get it! But making real connections with your family is one of the best things you can do to reset your mom rut and start enjoying motherhood again. Need some ideas? I’ve got you covered here!
Here’s my favorite subscription service that my kids are obsessed with and makes fun time super interactive and educational. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!
2 – Drop Perfection
No mom is perfect and we all have good stuff and not so good stuff, but we were made for our kids and they’re made for us. I believe birth is a divine appointment, and we’re all created by a loving God. With this in mind, I firmly believe that we don’t just have random kids. Sometimes it can feel like we do, though. Lol
Our children are given to us. Children that we’re already equipped to raise and understand even if it doesn’t seem that way. Trying to be perfect and making no mistakes is a total setup for epic failure.
In fact, perfection is really an illusion like a mirage in the desert. It tempts us to keep chasing it, but the truth is, it’s not real. We were created to simply be us. That’s it. Learn to be OK with your unique personality and parenting style. And stop comparing yourself to other moms. Your kiddos need YOU!
3 – Say No to Mom-guilt
Another powerful way to set realistic expectations as a mom is to say no to mom-guilt. Yes, you can get rid of mom-guilt. Well, mostly, because having that guilty feeling is just par for the course for moms because the real source of mom-guilt is the love you have for your child. If you didn’t have that, why would you ever feel guilty?
The thing we must remember is we have grace. God’s grace causes things to work out well even if we’ve messed up big time. That same grace is there to help us move beyond our mistakes so we can move forward without heavy guilt baggage.
And guilt is a toxic emotion meant to stop you in your tracks and have you #InYourFeelings for far too long.
4 – Get Refocused on Your Why
After you’ve had a few kids, it becomes harder to remember why you wanted to have a family in the first place. To remember those visions you had of becoming a mother and what you wanted to accomplish.
My husband and I struggled with infertility issues so it took us almost 5 years before we got pregnant with our first child. The last few years before I got pregnant were agony. Every single month, 12 of them to be exact, brought extreme heartache.
It also was a season of vision, as I could see nothing but my baby for years before she came. We longed to finally meet her. In that time of waiting, I never thought of the mistakes I’d make or the frustrations I’d later feel raising a pre-teen daughter.
I only focused on loving her with all my heart and providing her with her absolute best chance in this life.
So, when motherhood feels hard and is really kicking my butt, I can simply refocus and remember that I’m doing just fine as long as I’m loving my kids with all my heart and still working to give them the best I can give.
You Are Doing the Best Work
Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a moment. When was the last time you ended the day with a positive thought about yourself as a mom? Do you even know your true value as a mom?
Motherhood is hands-down the hardest and yet most purposeful and fulfilling job anyone could ever ask for! We have a powerful and impactful assignment to raise those little ones into who they were called to be. That’s a very big job and that’s partly why it’s so hard. That and the fact that those little ones are super messy, bossy, and generally all about themselves most days. 😉
I know that wiping running snotty noses, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning, driving kids EVERYWHERE, and breaking up sibling wrestling matches doesn’t feel very purposeful or fulfilling all the time. Just know, that all moms struggle with that stuff.
And whether you feel like it or not, motherhood is a calling. And all the biggest callings come with the biggest sacrifices. But I also firmly believe we ALL have the grace to do what we’re called to. You have the grace to be a wonderful mother… oh and a joyful mom too!
Go ahead and lift up another mom and share this post to all the moms you know. And together we can lay down perfection or guilt and embrace US.
Leave a comment below and bravely share how you’re going to embrace YOU.