We hear about her all the time. She’s the mom who puts us all to shame with everything she is able to accomplish – SOBER! She looks amazing, works full time, has 3 kids in car seats, does carpool, and has a freshly made dinner on the table every evening, AND, of course, she does it all on her own without help from anyone.
But, this is reality – Super Mom doesn’t exist. And, anyone who tries to convince you she does, is lying. The truth is that we can’t do it all. We can work full time and drive carpool, but we’re probably not getting a fresh dinner on the table. Or, we can look amazing, have clean toilets, but the kitchen is probably a mess. There’s just no way possible to do everything BY OURSELVES! And, you know what? No one expects us to. We are solely responsible for maintaining these kinds of expectations. There are no rules that say everything must be done everyday! These unrealistic and irrational expectations only cause us stress, anxiety, and make us unhappy. You know what happens when dishes are left in the sink? They’re still there tomorrow! And, you know what happens to that load of laundry you forgot in the dryer 6 days ago? It’ll still be there, maybe waiting for an extra tumble to get some wrinkles out. The world will not end if you don’t do it today. Your kids will not love you less if things don’t get done today. YOU WILL SURVIVE if your to-do list is not completed!
I have 5 tricks to keep you sane and they all require you to stop caring. Period.
Breathing from the diaphragm instead of your chest is better for you for a bunch of reasons. Diaphragmatic breathing helps with oxygenation – it’s more efficient and lowers heart rate. Diaphragmatic breathing helps your body go from a fight or flight stance (sympathetic nervous system breathing) to calm (parasympathetic nervous system breathing). It helps with less tension and tightness in the shoulders and neck; aids digestion and lymphatic drainage; and contributes to core muscle strength and good posture.
- Take a time out.
Remove yourself from the stressful/overwhelming situation for 5 minutes. Breathe, count to 10, close your eyes, and just be.
- Zone out on your favorite 30 minute tv show. The kids will survive.
Plop the kids in front of Elmo, Dora, or PacMan and veg out on a 30 minute episode of a mindless TV show. Nothing riveting where you’ll be tempted to binge; nothing intense – something that you don’t care too much about so that, if need be, you can stop watching to tend to your minions.
- Dance party!
Blast some music and make everyone dance! The movement releases serotonin and encourages a good mood, and smiles, from all!
Play the game they want to play, build Legos, get outside. Do what they want to do and be with your children in the moment. Everything you are stressed and overwhelmed about will still be there after your playtime. Nothing will suffer tremendously in the amount of time your children want your attention.
At the end of the day, ask yourself this question: Are your kids happy?
You probably answered “yes.” And, at the end of that very, very long day, that’s all that matters. Remember, your kids won’t be this little for long. Cherish the moments of crazy you have with them. Focus on one thing at a time and stay present, in the moment, enjoying the here and now.