I use to think that being a good Mom meant doing all the thing, all the time, on my own. In my mind, a good Mom cooks and cleans, does pick up and drop off, gets the laundry done, makes dinner, etc. etc.
I think in ways I wore my service to my family as a badge of honor. ‘Look how much I love you, look how much I would do for you!’ And then I realized, no one gets an award for doing the most, being the best or juggling it all alone nor does this behavior prove your love towards someone. Because let’s be honest Momma’s, sometimes we can do it all the things, with the nastiest attitude and who does that serve well? Not us, not our family.
Over the last couple of years I’ve realized Motherhood is a lot like Management and in order to be a good manager (or leader) you need to be brave, confident and innovative. Just because you’ve always done something one way, doesn’t mean you continue to do it that way. Just because something worked in one season, doesn’t mean it will the next. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you HAVE TO do it. Sometimes management means getting the BEST person for the job and letting them do what they do well! Freeing you up emotionally and physically to do something else that requires your undivided attention.
This can look different for everyone but here’s a few things that helped change the pace of my days.
- If you’re married; BE HONEST and COMMUNICATE with you Spouse. This is huge. Here’s the thing, your spouse doesn’t know what you don’t tell them. As much as we think they can read between the lines, sometimes, they just can’t. I know personally, if things are done, my husband is grateful and will notice, but he doesn’t always have an understanding for ‘what went into it’. I found that in an effort to be a great wife and Mom, I wasn’t disclosing all the ins and outs, leaving him in the dark about the details regarding what was really going on in my own head and heart and in the literal day to day routine. I realized that when I started communicating my needs, wants and desires better, he well, RESPONDED TO THEM BETTER. Rocket science, I know. LOL but this is the truth. My husband became a better support system for me the moment I let him know I needed it. ‘Hey, can you do pick up today?’, ‘Hey, this weekend is going to be crazy, can you drop the laundry off?’ or ‘Hey, I really need a time out today- I’m going to the nail salon!’ The list can go on but communicating my need has opened up lots of opportunity for him to help. Also, I’ve noticed the more I communicate, the more he can anticipate. Meaning this; being honest and open about the day to day, in a kind and sharing way, has helped my husband pick up on the rhythm on his own. This means he might read the ques and bring home pizza one night so I don’t have to cook, or drop the laundry off so I can have an extra day to rest- whatever it might be. My communication develops his anticipation.
- ASK FOR HELP. I can’t stress this enough, asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. Because anyone can go on pretending everything is ok- when secretly you’re dying inside. It take courage to face the facts and then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Outside of asking my spouse for help- this means that sometimes I reach out to my parents, a friend, or family member. When I need something- I say it. And let me be clear- I don’t always get the help I need. Sometimes, the answer is no. Sometimes, there’s no solution besides putting in an extra dose of grit and grace and getting it done myself. But listen, TRY. Ask for help. Last week one of my kids didn’t have school and my rule generally looks something like this- if the majority (2 out of 3) don’t have school, I’ll take the day off but if it’s just one kid, I tend to work and figure out care for the one. So I asked a friend, and unfortunately she was busy that day- so you know what I did? Asked another! LOL Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to get a hard NO, don’t be afraid to try again!! Be brave enough to ask for what you need! I know some of you are thinking ‘I don’t have anyone!’ and to that I would say; YET! You don’t have anyone, YET. Develop relationship. You don’t FIND a community of people to do life with, you create it. So start creating your community. People who can love and support you, and people that YOU can love and support as well!
- ACCEPT HELP. Sometimes this means accepting the offers from people around you, sometimes this means utilizing the services available to you. If you know me personally, you know that I have three small children who have three different locations. Because of our work schedules (my husband and I), I’m the primary drop off/ pick up person. So when school started this year and I began my routine, leaving the house – dropping off one child, going across town to drop off the next, then across the OTHER side of town to drop off the last and then heading BACK to the center of town to get to work (late) every. Single. Morning. This 90 minute commute was slowly eating at me. I mean did we get it done? Yes. Was my job accommodating? Yes. Where any children harmed in the process? No. (Not normally anyways.. LOL – joking) But was there any easier way? Yes! I decided what might be best for our family was to put my oldest on the bus. Now, let me just say- I’ve always been one to say ‘I would never put my kid on the bus!’ I’m not entirely sure where I got this idea from, but, I thought it. Until, I realized the bus could really benefit us! And so we did, and so it has. We have been so blessed by utilizing one of the services available to us. It’s cut my morning commute by 30 minutes and countless frustration simply by utilizing the services available to me. Momma, you don’t have to do it all.
- STOP TRYING TO CONTROL EVERYTHING. I am a firm believer that a healthy culture, whether at home, church, work or anywhere else, is CREATED not controlled. Momma’s stop trying to control everything from what your kids wear to how their bedtime routine goes by the minute. If we’re honest, a lot of our desire to do it all stems from our deep need to control it all. And can I tell you, control is an illusion. You’re never really in control. You’re never really able to control your kids, spouse, family- etc. I mean let’s be honest, you can hardly control YOURSELF on some days! So let go of that need. Trust God that He has assigned you these kids and this household because YOU CAN HANDLE IT. Notice, I didn’t say ‘you can do it’, no, you can HANDLE IT. Whatever it is. You can manage it. You can make it happen. You can do exactly what you need to do. Stop fighting with your spouse because he does bath time differently then you do. I mean who says your way is the right way anyways? Stop nitpicking with your in-laws because ‘they let your kids do whatever they want’ – Are they safe? Are they carried for? Are they loved? Then let them be!!! You’re way isn’t law. It’s your preference but it’s not necessarily the ONLY way to get things done. Say it with me- I will let go of my need to control!
This isn’t an exhaustive list. But these are four things that changed my life drastically when I began to believe them and implement them! Listen on any given week- NOT INCLUDING myself, husband and school teachers- my ‘routine’ includes the help of at least 2-4 people! Sometimes I send my laundry to the cleaner. One day I hope to hire a cleaning service. This week I might consider a food delivery service. The more children I have, the more creative I become. My time is worth it, my sanity is worth it and most of all my family is worth it!! So Momma’s be creative, be innovative, be willing to look at your life and make adjustments! Being a Mom doesn’t have to suck the life out of you! It’s ok to stop surviving and start thriving! You’ve got this, we got this! Let’s do it!!!
What’s one thing you can do this week to help ease your load? I’d love to hear from you! Comment below or message me on social media!