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I have six kids who I love more than anything else on this planet. I don’t always like them, but I love them so much it hurts. The problem is they drive me crazy! There have been days where ripping out huge chunks of my hair sounded like way more fun than spending another minute listening to my kids fight and whine and complain about everything. That’s not even saying anything about the messes they make. Oh, geez, don’t get me started on the messes! I don’t know if kids are slipped some kind of instruction manual at the hospital when they’re born or if they really do have a little devil sitting on their shoulder instructing them on how to destroy the entire house in five minutes or less, but they sure are experts at it!
I used to think I was the only mom who dealt with these problems. I used to think, why are my kids the only kids alive who can go from sweet angels to hellions on wheels in 2.5 seconds? That is, that’s what I thought until I started talking with other moms. They’d start talking about things their kids had done, and for a minute I’d think they were talking about my kids. I’d almost do a double take. Wait, what? You mean your kids do that too? Your kids fight 23 hours of every day too? I cannot express how extremely relieved I was to find out that I’m not alone in this.
Being a mom truly is a never-ending job. It can be so unbelievably rewarding at times, but then there are the times when we wonder what the hell we were thinking when we decided to have kids. I’ve come to learn, through self-discovery and through sharing experiences with other moms, that sometimes we moms just need to take some time kid-free to re-energize and get back in our game. Here are five things moms can do to keep their sanity a little bit longer.
- Take some alone time. I know, easier said than done, right? But this is a crucial one that we have to find a way to make time for if we want to have any semblance of sanity in our lives. If you have someone that can watch the kids for a little bit, call them. If you’re like me and you don’t have anyone that can watch them, then you need to get creative and find other ways to get at least 30 minutes every single day for the alone time. If you have to get up 30 minutes earlier and get that alone time in before the kids wake up, do it. If you have to wait until the kids are in bed, that’s fine. You can spend this alone time doing whatever you want as long as it’s something for you. You can read a book, soak in a bubble bath, get your hair or your nails done, take a walk, workout, watch TV, etc.
- Talk to other moms. I didn’t realize how important this one was until I found a couple of mom groups on Facebook. I’ve been so focused on raising my kids and taking care of the house and all that comes with that, that I don’t have any real-life mom friends. I know that’s the case with a lot of other moms, too. That’s where these online groups become so useful and so important. Through talking to these other women, you’ll discover that you’re not alone in any of the circumstances that arise as a mom. There are so many other moms going through exactly what you’re going through, and they will listen to you and give you their advice and help you through whatever you need help with.
- Write in a journal. Journaling is a very therapeutic way of dealing with life and the stuff life throws at you, good and bad. The journal can be for your eyes only so that you can share all of your thoughts in a safe space. You don’t even have to limit it to just writing. Feel free to get creative with your journal. Draw pictures. Use different colored pens or markers. Make it something fun to do so that you’ll stick with it and it won’t seem like another chore you have to do every day.
- Learn to say no and delegate. As moms, we run ourselves ragged making sure everyone has everything they need and everyone gets to where they need to go. When you have multiple kids, it gets even harder because most of the time more than one of them wants or needs something at the same time as someone else. And because we want our kids to experience everything they possibly can and we want them to be active in sports and extracurricular activities and we want them to have friendships with other kids, sometimes it can be hard to just say no to them. But we need to. For the things that it’s just not reasonable to say no to, those are the things that we need to try to delegate to others. See if you can share some of the driving responsibilities with other parents. For instance, arrange carpools and take turns driving the kids to soccer practice twice a week. Talk with your spouse and see if he/she can help out a little more at home to take some of the load off of your plate. Figure out ways to make your life a little easier and a lot less hectic.
- Schedule regular date nights. I don’t know how many moms I’ve talked to that have told me they couldn’t even remember the last time they went on a date with their spouse. In fact, my husband and I went years without ever going on a date because we didn’t have anyone to watch our kids. Now that our three older kids are teens, it’s a lot easier for us to schedule date nights. That one night a that you and your spouse spend together, away from the kids, away from daily responsibilities, cannot only refresh and re-energize you to take on the rest of the week, but it helps to give your relationship with your spouse a nice boost, too.
Okay, that’s it. I do hope you’ll take some of these suggestions and apply them to your own life. There’s no doubt that you deserve it!