We’ve all been there as mothers. You desperately, desperately need a break from your kids. Just a little you-time to recharge.
Your mind wanders to a spa weekend away, a romantic dinner out with your partner, even a couple extra hours in the morning to sleep in. A beautiful dream, right? But you recognize that you-time is just not in the cards right now... ☹☹☹☹
As a counsellor I talk to moms a lot about the importance of prioritizing self-care… and it is SO important!
But the reality of motherhood is that sometimes you find yourself having precious little time to take care of yourself (or none at all).
And this often happens when you oh-so-desperately need it. Mama burnout is setting in and you’re ready to crawl into bed and put the covers over your head (and let the little gremlins destroy the house if they must).
If you can find help and support to take a break, do it (what are you waiting for- GO!) If you just can’t right now, here are a few tricks to get you through.
1. Involve your children in activities that YOU love.
Do what brings YOU joy while you’re with your little ones. Include your children in what you love to do- if you’re musical, play an instrument for them. If you’re artistic, draw, colour or paint with them. If you love to get out in nature, do it bring the kids with you.
It might not look exactly the same as it would if you were on your own and you might not be able to do it for as long, but you can still do what you love AND be with your kids. This is a great way to boost your spirits and genuinely enjoy being with your kids if you’re at the I-Just- Can’t-Anymore stage. ★
My favourite is the family dance party in the living room. I love dancing and it lifts my spirits. My children love it too, and before I know it everyone is smiling AND I’m feeling re-energized.
2. Connect with your heart when you’re with your children.
Be present, enjoy the little moments. If this feels hard, take a few deep breaths and really connect with your heart. Take in and RECEIVE their sweetness, their hugs, their snuggles. Let your love for them and their love for you fill you up and re-energize you. ❤
What if your baby is crying or your 3 year old is in the middle of a tantrum? Connect to that loving energy anyway and focus on what might be underneath their upset (rather than the behaviour itself). It just may help both them and you to move through to calmer times.
3. Let out your exhaustion and frustration.
It’s amazing how much exhaustion and burnout can be related to heavy emotions you carry around. Once you release those emotions, chances are you’ll feel lighter and re-energized. This doesn’t take long.
When your kids are occupied for a few minutes, respond to whatever your body needs to release. If you’re feeling angry or frustrated, do a silent release (shake those fists! punch a pillow!) Cry a few tears in the bathroom if you need to.
If your children happen to notice while you’re doing all this, it’s a good opportunity to model to them healthy expression of emotions. You can say something like “mommy is feeling sad/angry/upset right now and I’m allowing myself to feel it. I’m ok.” The key is to let them know you’re alright while you’re doing this so they don’t worry about you.
And then, at the end of the day if the tears want to flow, just let it all out. Share how you're feeling with your partner, a good friend, or your journal. Allow yourself to feel and then let it all go.
After letting go of some of those big feelings, notice how you feel. Is there a sense of lightness, freedom, is it easier to enjoy being with your children?
Of course when you can, take a REAL break and go have that massage or spa weekend (even if that happens when Junior turns 20 ;) ｯ
If exhaustion and burnout is really getting in the way of your enjoyment of motherhood, I can help. Check out my services here.
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