by Coach Debbie
I often joke that motherhood is a lot like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Have you seen this flick? The same day repeats over and over and over. It’s this boring monotony that makes you crazy.
Wake up, feed the kids, change diapers, ignore a tantrum, unload the dishwasher, make the kids a snack, put a kid down for a nap, ignore a tantrum, fold laundry, plan dinner, listen to a 3 foot tall person whine about nonsense, ponder showering but forget it because nap time is over, drive to school/soccer/dentist/grocery store, pick up toys, fall into bed like a zombie realizing you never ate lunch.
Day after day after freaking day.
Before reproducing, we never knew it was going to be like THIS. We imagined cuddling clean babies in adorable outfits while still maintaining our identity as we pursued our passions, am I right?
Every day seems so monotonous and exhausting and boring. We feel stuck in a rut. How do we get out of the valley so we can feel fruitful, productive, happy? The answer is not at the bottom of a tequila bottle or at the mall (I checked).
Here are 10 ways to still be a nurturing mom who can delight in each day:
- Get nekkid. Sex is a great way to feel feminine and satisfied. It releases tension and refocuses you on the romance of life with a sweet man. You are a woman with an identity. You matter and you are beautiful.
- Take risks. Beat the doldrums of repetition by taking on an adventure. See what it’s like outside of your comfort zone. Sky dive, attend a Bible Study at a new church, or dress in a whole new way for a day. Live la vida loca.
- Get a hobby. While your mom days are filled with work, chores, meltdowns, and cooking, you only have time to add in 1 single hobby. Make it happen. Pursue photography, just 1 hour a week. Start gardening, just 8 minutes a day. Those creative juices are just waiting to be set free! Pick something you love or something you’ve never even considered and just go for it!
- Shake it. Movement has been proven to improve our moods, so get active, just 20 minutes at the most. Have a family dance party while waiting for water to boil, do push-ups while your son reads you a book, or go for a walk in the fresh air. See if you don’t exude cheer!
- Check yourself. What’s your nutrition like? Eating bad foods makes you feel bad; eating good foods makes you feel good. Have you had your hormones checked by bloodwork? When there’s imbalances with thyroid, adrenals, estrogen, and more you feel in a funk. Are you taking care of yourself or have you become a martyr mom? You don’t have to shower daily, but you do need to shower.
- Just don’t. When life is routine, do not compare yourself to others (“My friend Mary has coffee dates with friends and never has her gray roots showing”). Do not wallow in self-pity (“My life has always been hard and always will be hard because no one appreciates me”). Do not be stagnant (“I’m so down-and-out but there’s nothing I can do about it”). These mental games just make you feel worse so focus on what is good, lovely and true.
- Shut down. You know how your computer/phone/tablet randomly locks up and decides to not function and you yell at it and get your panties in a wad? What do you do after all that? You shut the device down because it’s the only fix. YOU are the device! Go shut down by taking a nap and get sleep at night. You have kids that disrupt sleep, I know. That does not affect your body’s built-in requirement for rest; do what it takes or you will become terrible to your family and won’t even want to be around yourself. Sleep is the perfect reset button.
- Start small. Yes, dreaming of exotic travel is fun and has potential, but you aren’t sipping dacquiris on a deserted island TODAY. So do something that can be fun and rewarding. Rearrange furniture in the house. Make the kids donate 20 toys (without your help). Clean your closet. Straighten the junk drawer in your kitchen. Hire a babysitter and go on a date.
- Pray and journal. When we are stuck inside our head, our thoughts can spiral downward quickly. Our negative perspective can become positive if we vent. Get out all the inner turmoil by writing it down and/or by praying to the Lord. Tell Him something along the lines of, “Jesus, I am struggling. I feel stuck in a cycle of the same ol’ same ol’ and I’m about to flip out. Please help me, change me, strengthen me, and bring me joy. ”
- Be a mental case. If your circumstances aren’t going to change (diapers, dishes, tantrums), then adjust your sails by seeing your tasks with new eyes. Think about your life with a different perspective. I am so thankful we have food to cook. How grateful I am to have clothing options for each member of my family. God chose me to be this little girl’s mom and I know her better than anyone. What I do all day matters because this is my mission field.
The good news is, the rut of motherhood doesn’t have to be a permanent feeling of dread. Often it’s tied to our menstrual cycle and can be a great reminder to give ourselves some grace. Create opportunities for joy to exist even in the mundane. If you’re depressed, get Christian counseling because this list just won’t help much. Motherhood is a wonderful thing that is unbelievably challenging. You are doing a spectacular job and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We’d love to pray, support and encourage you in the daily grind of motherhood.
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