While being a mommy is and always will be the best job you could ever have, it also can be the most overwhelming at times. How do you balance taking care of your family and taking care of yourself? All too often we put our family’s needs above our own and ultimately we end up burned out. Even stay-at-home moms can find it challenging to accomplish all their daily tasks but throw a career in the mix and things can seem downright impossible. Guess what? You aren’t alone. Seriously!! Even clinical psychologist Edward Christophersen agrees in this post over at babycenter.com. It’s not only normal but it’s perfectly alright to feel overwhelmed with your job as Mommy sometimes. There’s no reason for guilt. I’m am going to share some of my tips on how I accomplish my daily chores, spend time playing with and caring for my children, working, spending time with my husband, and still find time to take care of ME once in a while. Does that seem a little selfish? It did to me at first too. While my children will always come first, before I was Mommy I was Sammie and sometimes Sammie needs a little attention too.
Here are the tips….
Say you’ve had a very long day at home with the kids or at your job and all you want to do at the end of the day is take a hot shower, put on comfy PJ’s, and plop in front of the TV and catch up on the latest housewives drama. While that would be great you can’t do any of that though because you have a hungry family who not only needs dinner but may also need help with homework, baths, bedtime stories, etc. If you’re married you also have a husband who naturally (and rightfully so) would like some of your attention as well.
To make dinner time go a little faster and smoother you can do a few things. Make the crockpot your new best friend. Prep everything the night before, throw it in in the morning, turn it on and dinner will be ready and waiting for you when it’s supper time. If you have older children have them cook dinner! There are many great kid’s cook books available today and they have fun helping! If you have extra time on the weekend prepare several meals ahead of time and freeze them. Then all you have to do is warm stuff up and VOILA! Dinner is served. Want to talk to your husband about your day and his without having to shout over your children? Make the kids fun movie theater type treats for dinner, put on a movie, and allow them to eat in front of the TV once every couple of weeks. While they are enjoying their movie you and your husband can have a quiet dinner for two at the table. Throw in some flowers and candles and you can even make it a date night in.
Feeling a little tired of your look and feel to guilty about spending all the money at the salon? I know I do. I intentionally opt for a pony tail 9 times out of 10 because I can’t stop thinking how many things I could have done for my family with that money that I spent on my new do. Silly, I know, but it’s true. So I decided to give myself spa days at home. It’s so easy to find time for this and you will feel so much better for it! Do your nails, color your hair, give yourself a pedicure, etc. You will feel better for it.
Delegate the household responsibilities. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with them ask for help. Older kids can have chores. I know I used to have to do chores and I turned out alright. Have them fold laundry or wash the dishes. My son really loves to clean the windows so I let him so all the ones he can do safely. Giving my big kids the responsibility of keeping their rooms clean, doing their laundry, and occasionally helping with other things has helped a TON.
Last but not least, never be too hard on yourself. Having a family is a hard job that requires you to wear many hats at once. Just remember to take a little bit of time for yourself occasionally and don’t try to do everything yourself. You are only one person after all!