Resets in Motherhood
Motherhood is a patchwork quilt of rollercoaster moments. There are the big dips and wheels–like adding a new child to the tribe– that are wild and tumultuous, but you see them coming and are somewhat ready for them. There are those rare moments of calm where you begin to feel like you might have figured something out–but inevitably you’re just perched at that single topmost point on the whole thing before you go flying down a death-defying drop off. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. It’s overwhelming sometimes. Overstimulating other times. But it’s a ride you’re on, in an amusement park you bought the ticket for. There’s a secret though–you can’t get off the ride, but you can hit pause and prepare yourself for the next big drop.
Resets don’t have to be vacations
Here’s the thing: Resting and rejuvenation does not only happen on vacation. There are plenty of ways to refresh and restore that are small enough you can make them happen throughout the day and I’m going to share a few of those ideas for you today. Motherhood is all about both the physical job of it, and your mentality. Your attitude will make or break your days. You know the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s popular because it’s true. If you are unhappy and stressed out, your children will be angsty and your days will be fraught.
Please note: this is not about postpartum depression. Depression is a real, chemical imbalance, and if you think you may be clinically depressed, please seek help. This post is about the normal, day-to-day mood fluctuation and discouragement we all experience. I’m going to share 5 simple, free ways I try to start my days well, and reset when things are going off the rails.
5 Quick Resets
- Step outside, first thing in the morning. You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to do this, or even before the children. There’s no need to stay outside for any great length of time. Just step out on the porch and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself of the world outside your four walls; feel the sun on your face, or listen to rain falling.
- Keep a list or vision board of what you think the elements of a happy home are. Review this in the morning, or any time you’re struggling, and pick one small thing to do. That might look like lighting a candle, or baking something, or turning on your favorite music. It’s all about small things that make you happy.
- Take a few minutes on makeup or your hair. Prepare yourself for the day in the same way that you would if you were going out for the day, even if the most exciting thing on your to-do list is giving kids baths at the end of the day.
- Find a book or free online video course in something that you’re interested in and commit yourself to it for 10-15 minutes at a time instead of scrolling social media. There are so many great, free courses online right now. Coursera and iTunesU have great selections of video courses available for free. Codecademy has courses in different programming languages. Your local library probably has some great resources available too. Mine has subscriptions available for The Great Courses and Lynda.com, all totally free with a library card.
- Last, but not least, when you feel like you’re spiraling into that frenzied, slightly-crazed mother, take a step back. Out of the room, backwards, whatever it takes. Disengage yourself from the situation, but not by scrolling. Find some positive affirmations or bible verses that encourage you and pick one to focus on in those moments. If we’re trying to teach our toddlers and young children to self-regulate, we should be willing to do the work ourselves too. Do we want our children to act the way we do when we lose it?
Reset your mind, refresh your attitude
I hope these ideas have been helpful and at least opened the door to this discussion. Instead of just complaining about the hard aspects of motherhood, I think we should open up the discussion and encourage each other to find different ways to change our own attitudes. What are some ways you reset your mentality when you’re overwhelmed or frustrated? Let me know in the comments.