Being a mom is tough stuff, I tell ya (this applies to parenthood in general, whatever your role may be). And, unfortunately, sometimes we as moms make it much harder on ourselves by trying to achieve this picture of “perfection” or of the ability to “do it all.” (Don’t even get me started on the whole “mommy wars” thing either—all I have to say about that is, let’s try to lift each other up rather than bring one another down.)
In my almost three years as a mom, I’ve learned some tricks of the trade, as I like to call them, that have helped me be the best mom I can be. I’m sharing these today, and I’d love to hear what you’ve found helps you “make it work.” Because as moms, we’ve gotta be there for each other.
1. Hire it out. One of my favorite bloggers in the world is Alison of The Alison Show (follow her on Instagram – I promise you won’t regret it!) has shared this tip many times. We can’t be amazing at everything, and for those things that we don’t have time for – hire it out. Whether it’s cleaning, laundry, dry cleaning (I loathe ironing my husband’s dress shirt), etc., hire it out and save yourself the unnecessary stress, headaches and frustration. We’re in the process of moving, and I was a total stress case about cleaning our old home—where would I find the time, who would watch the kids while I did it, etc. I ended up hiring the best cleaning service and let me tell you—they got more done in three hours than I could have gotten done in three days. Absolutely worth the money!
2. Ask for help. Accept help when it’s offered. This one is really hard for me, and I’m still working on “being OK” with asking for help. It’s not that I think I’m Superwoman, it’s that I always, always, always feel really badly asking for help, even when it’s offered! But, I’ve started putting myself in the shoes of the offerors. They really want to help. That’s why they’ve made the offer. Let yourself be OK with accepting help. You’re not any less of a mom, woman or person. It makes life so much easier.
3. Know that failures or mistakes will happen. Move on. My list of “oops” or so-called failures is pretty long and I’ve spent far too much time beating myself up about these. Lately, I’ve been reminding myself to learn the lesson and move on. Missed a friend’s birthday because I totally flaked? Send her belated birthday flowers and move on. I could continue to share example… after example… after example of my many mistakes, but that would be the opposite of what I’m trying to do. Don’t dwell. Time to move on! Speaking of which…
4. Be realistic. I love to sew. I taught myself to sew in my early 20s, and I’m no expert seamstress, but I enjoy sewing and crafting a bit. However, I’ve never made my children’s Halloween costumes. Lack of time, not planning far enough in advance, sheer exhaustion, etc. are my “reasons” but you know what? It’s OK. I am being more realistic about what I can do, and what I can realistically get accomplished in the 24 hours we have each day. The Halloween costumes are just one example. It may seem like a silly thing to point out, but it goes to show we need to be realists about what is reasonable. Gymboree totally pulled through on some adorable costumes, by the way :).
5. Take “me” time. I am really bad about this, but am desperately working at getting better it—and I’m improving! I recently started saying “no” to taking on too many extra tasks. I found I was booked solid between work, family, kids, other responsibilities, etc., and I was spreading myself way too thin. I got everything done that I committed to and was responsible for—but one REALLY big thing was left out: ME. Even if it’s taking a bubble bath or running to the gas station solo for a Diet Coke, I need those little “me” moments. You do too. It does a body, and especially a mind, good.