Now more than ever we are seeing so many of us come together and drop the titles of “working mom”, “stay at home mom”, “boss mom” etc. However, there is one title – that we all hold- that is being put to the test now more than ever in our role as mothers.
We are mothers leading our families through unchartered territories.
From having to work at home while maintaining your children’s education to welcoming babies into the world throwing every maternity leave plan out the window, we all have additional obstacles that are coming our way.
What is the amazing thing about being a mother though?
That when times get tough, we truly shine. While there are many times we may hide in the pantry for a good cry or have a glass of wine in our closet while we FaceTime our best friend, we all have this natural inner strength that comes out in times of need. Today more than ever our strength and mental sanity is being put to the test. Days seem like weeks and if we get through the day with only 5-time outs instead of 10 we are calling that a win.
While we will get through this by leaning into our natural motherhood strengths, there are a few tips I have found that makes my groundhog type days seem a little easier:
Daily Fresh Start
The second your alarm goes off you have the power to decide how you want to start your day.
Trust me being 37 weeks pregnant I want to start my day moaning and groaning. However, if you start your day with a negative thought it can become a downward spiral that zaps you and your energy all before 7:00 am – and no there isn’t enough coffee in the world to bring it back.
Instead, start your day doing something YOU want to do. The majority of your day is focused on taking care of everything but you, so starting your day with a little you time is the best way to keep your mood and energy levels up.
Here is what a typical morning has looked like for me the past week after realizing I needed to shift my mindset after starting each day going down a coronavirus rabbit hole:
- 6:00 AM– Get ready for the day. I get out of the pj’s, wash my face, throw on my most comfortable pregnancy attire, and get myself somewhat put together. No this does not mean I am putting on makeup and doing my hair every day, but it does mean I get out of my sleeping slumber.
- 6:15 AM– Have an uninterrupted sit-down breakfast with my husband. This never happened pre coronavirus as my husband typically is on the road Monday-Thursday so I am learning to cherish our coffee and breakfast moments together – while my toddler is still fast asleep- without the worry of having to rush off somewhere. During this time we also review our work calendars for the day so we can divide and conquer who will be on parent duty at what time and who will be in work mode.
- 6:40 AM – No News: Read something I want to learn more about. I have stopped starting my day with panic or worry by reading all things Covid 19 and instead took this time back to read something for me. Right now it is re-reading Babywise to prep for my little one that is about to be here.
- 7:00 AM – Day Starts. I’m Ready. – I have had my time to get myself together physically, emotionally, and mentally so when my toddler springs out of bed like the Tasmanian devil I don’t feel like someone else is in control of my day, but rather I know I am as I took the time to make it that way.
This one hour of planned time for me gives me the mental strength needed to put my parent hat on when I am the “on parent” and then switch to my career hat when it is my time in the day to focus on work.
Tag in Reinforcements
We all are superheroes, but even Batman had a sidekick he could count on for help.
It’s totally normal to have moments during the day where you feel like you need to give yourself a “time out”. When the patience is wearing thin or when you feel like you are one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode away from losing it.
Remember its ok to tag in your partner and take a step back.
During a time we want to control things more than ever – because we can’t control so many things right now – we need to remember that we are not in this alone and to lean on the help we have under our roof.
Throw Away The “I would never do that” Mentality
Mamas we are in a place none of us have been in before. There are parenting philosophies we individually put together deciding on what’s best for our little ones. Right now though if you find something that makes things easier yet it goes against one of your philosophies that’s ok.
For example, say you have a rule of no screen time in the house, but you’re home and your 3-year-old is not the best at self-play yet you need to buy some time to get a project done. If in your mind you think “ok let me put on on Daniel Tiger so I can knock out a few emails or this project” then that is totally acceptable.
Don’t beat yourself up if you are going against some of your philosophies or doing something “you said you would never do”. Right now you are doing all that you can to get your daily tasks taken care of while surviving this unknown time.
This is not your normal forever, but this is your normal for now so give yourself the grace you deserve to do what you need to do during this time.
Trust me there are no perfect days, but each day I am finding some great moments.
This time is allowing me to reconnect with my son in a meaningful way. What’s not on the schedule is rushing hin off to school and me to the office.
And while my upcoming maternity leave didn’t include having my 3-year-old at home full time, plus my parents, my husband, and cat all under the same roof for 24 hours a day, we are learning our new normal.
I am though counting down the days until I can have a stiff drink to cheers to getting through this.