Have you ever hit a point where an empty roll of toilet paper or a lone crayon on the table will send you right over the edge? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like I was losing my mind. Going off the reservation. Cukoo for Cocoa Puffs.
<Insert other witty metaphor for…ooohh…crazy cakes. I like that one.>
When I’m headed towards a meltdown I get snippy, snarky, and am not fun to be around. Thank goodness Homeskillet has the good sense to not engage me.
He is kind enough to nicely (and quietly) inform me that I am “in a mood” and, if I’m lucky, I have the presence of mind to agree with him rather than to snap back at him in all out total war.
Which is totally something I would do.
I don’t know about you, but when I go all out, I love the smell of napalm in the morning. (Have I told you all how much I love that man? I do. He gets me. Well, he gets me like 95% of the time. Still an A.)
Once I calm myself down, I can begin to see that I’m running on fumes.
Like the gas light was on and I was praying I’d make it to my destination.
I’d hit the point of mom burn out. And that is never a good place for a mom to be.
10 Ways To Put Mom First
It’s always a great time for you to find little ways you can put yourself first to sustain your mental and emotional well-being and prevent mom burn out.
1. Work Out
If you belong to gym, great! If you don’t, that’s okay, too! Walk. Run. Bike. Dance it out. Whatever tickles your pickle. Once you find the thing you
love can tolerate, do it every day. I know it sounds easier said than done, but building physical activity into your day will boost your energy and relieve stress.
If you’re a military spouse, check to see if your installation has a ‘Mommy and Me’ workout room. Not a military spouse? There’s a place, called the YMCA, they can start you back on your way (sorry, corny and totally self-indulgent disco moment)…even though I’m a military spouse, I prefer the YMCA because of the childcare membership perks.
I don’t know how I do it, but it never fails that there are a couple of days here and there where dinner is my only meal of the day. Unacceptable. Totally unacceptable.
Did you know that skipping meals leads to low-blood sugar? According to LiveStrong a mild case of low blood sugar can make you to feel nervous or anxious, and more severe cases can lead to feeling irritable or tired?
3. Take a breather
Every now and again, Moms get the RARE day where there’s not a whole lot to do! I remember when I first became a stay at home mom and found myself staring at a wide open day. I felt compelled to fill that day with items from my never ending to-do list. I wish I could slap my past-self! What was I thinking? As a seasoned mom, I say CARPE DIEM! Grab your bonbons (read: book, dvr, whatever) and sit on your bumbum. You deserve it. Don’t feel guilty. There’s always the day from hell on the horizon.
4. Learn to love leftovers
Build leftovers into your weekly menu. I used to cook EVERYDAY and I just don’t have it in me to do it any more! Nobody should. Simplify your life. They’ll survive, or they can cook. If you’re looking for more ideas about how to simplify your dinner rush, check out my post about menu planning: 3 Easy Steps to Solve the Dinner Dilemma.
5. Phone a friend
Oh yes, it happens. Your child does something and you have no idea how to address it. This one is dedicated to my bff. We created this system to help us gain perspective and suggestions when one of us is at our wits end. Send your kiddo to time out, or to sit on the bed, or just out of ear shot, and call your “phone a friend.” Recap the situation, provide your possible courses of action, and ask for some non-judgement feedback. Who says you have to have all the answers?
6. Do your grocery shopping alone
Do you have any idea how much more efficient my grocery shopping is when I go all by myself? I can get in and out without forgetting things. I can concentrate on my list. I can take the time to shop carefully (and save money). And the best part? I don’t have to use one of those insanely difficult to drive parent-torture tools in the form of a race car/truck/space shuttle shaped shopping cart that I am convinced was invented by a non-parent because there are always more children than there are those stupid shopping carts. And if they’re available, and I just don’t feel like navigating the aisles with a cart that has the turning radius of the Titanic, I have to be the ogre mom that hates fun. And I’m done.
7. Tap Out
When 6:30pm rolls around, and hubs is home, I am officially tapped out. I am not the primary parent for the next 1-1.5 hours. He tackles the bed and bath routine, and I happily do the dishes. Alone. ALONE. ALL ALONE! Granted, this only works when he gets home on time, but I take what I can get! Need more reasons why you deserve to tap out? Read 17 Reasons My Husband Has It Easier.
8. Turn off the TV
Turn it off. TV doesn’t really soothe the soul. It numbs the mind. Engage yourself in something more peaceful. Go sit outdoors or sit quietly and listen to music while doing something that you like to do. We are all guilty of vegging out and tuning out. With summer approaching, and tv line ups going dormant, try something new.
9. Girl’s Night
Leave the kids with Dad or a sitter, and run!!! Take some time together with your girlfriend(s) and enjoy being you. Just you. Oh, hi! There you are! Not so-and-so’s Mom, which has its own charm, don’t get me wrong. But, remember, you do have name despite how little you hear it.
10. Date Night
Not to be confused with Girl’s Night, date night is the time for you to shed your workout clothes and mom-ness, and get all sexy-fied. Just you and hubby. No bibs. No diapers. No questions. Just the two of you. Worried that your sizzle is a fizzle? Read my post about how important it is to Make Date Night a Priority.
What are your best tips for preventing you from possible burn-out? Tell me so I can put them on my list too!