By Guest Mama: Zara Lewis
If you’ve ever met a successful mom who hasn’t struggled, she’s either not actually a mom or she’s in absolute denial that she, in fact, isn’t holding it together. And that’s okay – we’ve all got our coping mechanisms.
Taught that failure is the ultimate embarrassment and asking for help a sign of weakness, we tend to stumble and fall. Sometimes we fall so hard that our whole bodies and mind hurt when we try to get up. But once we do – the rise is as sweet as a Magnolia cupcake. But it’s hard, it’s so darn hard.
For all of you amazing moms out there, we get it – I get it. It sometimes feels like you are continuously failing, despite doing all in your power to make things happen. But, you are not failing. There’s no such thing as smooth operating – not when it comes to a family.
You are not alone; we mothers are in this whole jam together. To help you and your journey, we are giving you a few useful tips that will definitely have an impact on your family life.
Remember to Love Yourself
While you may think that you are doing just fine, you are probably not. If you spend more time convincing yourself that “I’ll be okay” than you spend actually being okay – it’s time you change something.
Remembering to love yourself is crucial. If you don’t, you won’t be fit for a functional life and your family will be affected.
Go back to what you used to love doing – writing, painting, DIY, drawing, singing, yoga, etc. – whatever has been relaxing. Go back to reviving your business, and do it from home. Renovate your home office, move from a standstill. You’ll be happy that you have.
What I did was buy one of those electric cargo bikes to blow off some steam and channel stress while working out. I’ve also reached out to my freelance employer and asked for my job back. I’m now 10 pounds fitter and much happier. On my way from work I can do all the shopping, while exercising and contributing to our family budget (again). It’s been only three months.
Yes, you are a wife and mother and, somehow, it goes by default and without saying that you will be the one taking care of everything. Nobody’s denying your strength and capacity, but that’s not the point. The point isn’t to break – the point is to be fulfilled and happy about things that you do.
Don’t let anyone intervene with your “me” time. Ban the kids from your office, have a set workout time, or make a regular coffee date with friends. Let your husband take over while you go “away,” and do the same for him. If you set the rules early on, you’ll actually manage to have some time for yourself.
Know Your Family’s Rhythms
The key to properly designing your day is going with your family’s rhythms. Consider your children’s needs, your peak work hours, your husband’s meetings for the week, etc.
For instance, as I usually take a nap after lunch, I schedule all the work that doesn’t require too much focus for the afternoon and do everything that requires the most mental energy before lunch. If your kids are little, try to get them to sync with you to make your life easier. If, however, they’re already grown, consider all their habits and yours and make a schedule for the upcoming week.
These are not the ‘60s and there’s no rule that says spouses, children or hired hands can’t help a mom out.
If you can’t go to your parents or in-laws for help, hire a student, or arrange a babysitting swap with neighbors. Use this time to get focused on your work, your leisure time, or fitness. Ask your spouse and the kids to help with housework or hire someone to come in and clean. You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Embrace Routine but Stay Creative
Staying on a routine is very important for both kids and parents. A healthy morning routine is crucial in starting everyone’s day right while other daily routines contribute to an efficient day. Nap time, leisure, self-improvement, work, hobbies, bedtime, dinner, after school, homework – they all benefit from routine.
However, don’t get too attached to routines, otherwise your life will start looking dull and suffocating. Be flexible. Routines change, naps go away, meetings get cancelled, kids become more proficient at chores. Shuffle things around so they benefit your personal, inner routine of, finally, loving yourself.
Dear fellow moms everywhere, your power is grand – don’t ever doubt it for a second. Your kids already believe in you, so it’s time you start believing in yourself. We’re in it together!
Zara Lewis (Twitter: @ZaraELewis) is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because for her parenthood is like going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking.