Motherhood is heavy. The sooner you admit that to yourself the better. It’s difficult sometimes and we all are experiencing it together in different ways with different ways of handling it. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the kids need something or your toddler asks for something and your first thought is, “uhhhhh”? Kids aren’t complicated, they’re really not. You feed them, clothe them, bathe them, love them, talk to them, and make sure their healthy. That’s really all to parenting, but with everything else; mortgage, running business, unemployment, break-ups, lack of support, parenting feels impossible, like you’re never going to get it done and you’re never going to be good at it. But guess what? You will. Parenting is never a done job so you don’t have to rush to handle it. Nobody is born a great parent and some of us don’t get great at it until 5 or 7 years in.
So today we are going to discuss some of the ways we start to feel overwhelmed and may not notice it. A lot of times things that happen in life cause us to take it out on our children if we aren’t careful enough to redirect those frustrations back into the things that actually caused it.
- Do you find yourself having self talks before your kids wake on the weekend?
- Do you ever feel exhausted when your child asks for something to snack on or for anything in general?
- Do you feel exhausted before your day even starts?
- Do you ever feel like Monday morning and school can’t come soon enough? We all do, but does the weekend with your kids feel like a heavy load?
- Does forgetting something your child needs or needed make you mad?
These are all signs of feeling depleted or defeated and overwhelmed. Sometimes we let these emotions or feelings build up til we don’t know any other way to express them so what happens is we thrush them on to our children in a less than positive way. They don’t deserve it. We have to learn how to recognize exhaustion and channel it accordingly. When/ if you start to feel any of the above way try these exercises to get you back to breathing again.
- Start a mommy journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings out allows you to see where your frustration is coming from and provides you with different ways to handle it. It also relaxes you so that you can think clearly and more rationally.
- What’s your favorite thing to do? Do it. Cooking is a fave of mines so whenever Im feeling frustrated and all over the place upset, I cook. It relaxes me and gives me space to think about whats really bothering me.
- Take a time out. From everything. You don’t ever want to do anything with anger in your mood.
- Talk to your mother or a mother figure about it. I didn’t grow up being able to talk to my mama, but since having kids she has been a constant representation of how to handle small kids in frustrating situations.
- Spend some time away. It’s okay to take a weekend or a night for you without the kids. They’ll still eat and bathe and be alive when you get back.
- You can’t do them if you don’t do you. Do you.
- Create a system for the kids that builds independence at their age level and watch your load lighten up. Depending on the age of your kids, they should be doing somethings for themselves so that you don’t always have to be doing it for them. An 11 year old can take a shower or run a bath and get dressed for school. A 2 year old can hand feed themselves most snacks. An 8 year old can use a toaster.
- Create a separate to-do list for the kids’ activities. Parenting is inevitable so their list won’t seem so heavy aside from your to-do list for work and yourself.
Remember to always step back and take a breathe when you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with your kids. They don’t do any of it on purpose.