Are you the ideal mom?
You’re in the kitchen cleaning while the baby is playing and husband walks in from work–starving!
So you get him something to eat, feed the baby, and sit and enjoy your family for a few minutes. At this point you’re feeling like supermom. The laundry is being done, kitchen clean and the baby has had minimal meltdowns that day.
This is on a “good” day especially if you suffer from chronic pain (like me).
You think to yourself, “I got this. I guess I was made for this.”
Look at you…being the ideal mom.
You continue your day. Get the baby ready for bed, feed him, pump, give him a tubby, feed him again, read him a book and “shhhh” him to sleep.
You check on your husband to make sure everything is OK while he’s working hard to provide. Now you think, “I got this superwife thing down too.”
Once everyone is to bed, you shower, pump, clean up and get into bed. A mom’s job is never done.
All of a sudden…panic flashes through your mind. You’re exhausted and know the baby will be up in a few hours for one of his nighttime feedings.
Don’t you love it when it’s 3am and they look at you and smile while you are barely able to keep your eyes open.
Besides already stressing that you’ll be up in a few hours, when you just want 5 hours, or a day, of sleep, the thoughts rush in: Did you finish the wash? I need to _______ (fill in one or all of the millions of things you still need to do). What about me? I don’t feel well. I’m tired. I forgot we need groceries. How can I forget to eat today? Will it effect my milk supply? When will I get to go to the store? I can’t, not eat! I should research sleep training…annnd swaddle weaning…and teething…RIGHT NOW. Did I leave a blanket in the baby’s crib? He’s crying. Pacifier. I hope he sleeps through the night. I’m so tired. If I fall asleep now, I could get 3 hours before his next feeding. Make that 2…I just spent an hour researching.
A FLOOD of thoughts. You were so busy being proud of your supermom and superwife status today that you forgot to ground yourself, step back and see if there was anything you needed to do for yourself.
Nothing fills your heart like those gummy smiles and uncontrollable laughter from your little one. You’re cultivating every aspect of your child, developing them, researching their next step, wondering if you’re doing all you could for their well-being.
And when they snuggle up to you- it melts your heart. Time literally stops. In that moment you feel like you were made to be a mom. You just want to be the ideal mom…
But is there such a thing?
We scramble for minutes or hours to ourselves. We long for time to think without distraction. We tend to forget about our needs, neglecting food, exercise, sleep and doing what we love.
We just want some quiet time…alone.
‘Maybe it’s just me’ you say to yourself.
The guilt slowly seeps in simply because you want to leave the house without lugging a child and extra bags around. You want to drive without hearing crying, shower without rushing and do something that fulfills your own desires (or SLEEP)! You feel like you’re going crazy…
If I was the ideal mom, would I feel this way?
My answer to you is, YES!
So what do you do? Where do you go from here? I wish I could tell you a flawless plan of action but I’m still learning myself.
But I could tell you what helps me and other moms I’ve come in contact with along this journey:
- Knowing I am not alone in how I feel.
- Yoga …without a baby staring at you.
- Go take an exercise class.
- Meditation and deep breathing.
- A walk or sitting outside
- Having someone to talk to whether a friend or a therapist (No shame in getting postpartum help)
- Painting while listening to music of your choice. (I prefer R&B)
- Date night with hubby
- A glass of wine or tea and quiet time
- Whatever it is that your heart and soul desires that brings you peace.
So…next time you find yourself striving to be the ideal mom and/or wife (or losing your sanity), don’t forget about you!
Try one or some of these tips and let me know if it helped you stay sane another day.