Lost in Motherhood…and how to take time to prioritize yourself!
I wanted to be a teacher, a wife, and a mom my whole life.
When I was a kid I played house with my friends. I wrote essays about becoming a teacher and I doodled “Mrs. Emily Carter” all over my binder. You know you did too, the only question is if you wrote Mrs. Emily Carter or Mrs. Emily Timberlake? (Team BSB for life over here.)
I had this idea that I could be Annie Camden meets Miss Honey. I would be able to teach my elementary students and have them adore me, while still being a full-time stay-at-home mom with freshly baked cookies waiting for her kids when they got home.
Obviously, as a little kid, I did not have a clear grasp on time and reality.
By 23, I had accomplished all of my major life goals (except Nick Carter, but frankly, Eric is a major upgrade).
To most people, I sounded like someone who was on top of the world, but the reality is, motherhood is the first time that I questioned my worth, and honestly, didn’t anticipate it being so hard! I was standing there, with all my dreams coming true, the most important people were right there with me, but I WAS MISSING.
So I turned to mom humor to cope. Relatable moms jokingly complaining about motherhood felt safe. But I found that the more I consumed content like that, the more snarky I felt about my family. And on the other hand, the mom content that showed perfect children and families made me feel like a failure.
For the first time in my life, I was dropping balls and I felt like no matter what I did I was failing in some aspect of my life. And while I anticipated tantrums, I never thought they would come from me.
I’m sure you have had moments like that too. And it can be so defeating. Checking all the boxes that you dreamed of and prayed for and yet, you start to feel like you're failing. I know that God is putting this message in front of me right now on purpose. And you’re reading this for a reason too. If you have felt like motherhood has swallowed you up whole it is important that you know there is a light to that tunnel.
You are a good mom and taking time to pour into you benefits your whole family.
And since I know you’re a lot like me, you want to show up for your family in the best way possible. Do you ever wonder though, just how do you do that? Same, friend, same.
You start by carving out time for your yourself, husband, friends, and hobbies, because doing those things benefit your children.
I wish I had prioritized that sooner. I wish I had looked for a solution sooner.
So how do you make time for you so that you can show up as your best self for your family?
YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT A PRIORITY!
So my challenge to you, is to start by doing 3 things for yourself today!
1. If you are drowning in motherhood, YOU NEED A FRIEND.
A real, in person friend. That is the first step to feeling like yourself again.
Text a friend and set a time to meet (it can be as simple and sitting on their front porch with a diet coke).
Ask a neighbor to go on a walk with you, join Fit4Mom, or MOPS. T
ext a friend from before you had kids to meet for drinks.
It doesn't matter what you do, just spend some time with a friend.
2. What did you do before you became a mom?
One thing I am trying to get better at is taking one night a week to work on my hobbies. I used to bake for fun and cook fancy things. Taking time to do those things instead of catching up with Jim and Pam will make you feel like you again. Reply to this post and tell me what hobby you used to love!
3. Outsource aspects of your life.
You may not be able to afford preschool ($300+ a month), but can you afford activity boxes ($115 a quarter)? You are invaluable to your family. If buying preschool activity boxes, allows you to recharge during nap time, then it is money well spent.
When you outsource any aspect of your life, you are able to show up a little bit more for your kids and love on them in the way you thought you would when you first became a mom.
Pick one thing in your life to outsource. We pay someone to pick up all the dog poop in our yard and it is $25 well spent. And you are able to feel more like you because you have taken one thing off that mental inventory of things to do.
The biggest thing I want you to walk away with today is that our children are so resilient and the pressures that we put on ourselves as moms to check all the boxes is just a bunch of unnecessary pressure (easier said than done, I know). But that laundry list of pressures has nothing to do with our children’s actual well-being and happiness. Your child knows that they are loved and valued. You are doing a great job!
Here’s a reminder I always tell myself “Motherhood has not taken my sense of self or my sense of purpose, it has enhanced it.”
PS: Can we take a minute to talk about the fact that you’re here reading blogs and articles about setting your child up for success, that’s a pretty good indicator that you are a rockstar of a parent and your child is lucky to have you in their corner.