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If you’re anything like me, your Pinterest feed is full of healthy, kid-friendly recipes, organizational checklists, and a bunch of posts on minimalism, mindfulness, and meditation. As much as I want to be the effortlessly zen mom–she is just not me. And I am not her.
Maybe you didn’t grow up with a zen mom. Perhaps motherhood took you by surprise, and you are doing your best to adapt. Maybe, you are not the mom you thought you would be. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. You’re not alone. There are no perfect moms, trust me on this. We all need a little help in one way or another. That is why they say it takes a village to raise a child.
MY IMAGINARY SUPER-MOM
So, you know how some of us had imaginary friends as kids? Well, my imaginary friend eventually moved away when I grew up and started liking boys or whatever. When I became a mom, I created a new imaginary character—the ideal mom—only she wasn’t really my friend. Whenever something would not go right, whenever there was a meltdown (the kids or myself), or disappointment, or a hurt or frustration—I would size myself up against this imaginary super-mom. Did I do enough? Was I patient enough? Was I enough?
Maybe your super-mom is an actual person in your life that you compare yourself to. Whatever the case, focusing on your shortcomings every day does not help you improve. It only weighs you down.
A WORD FOR THE ANXIOUS MOM
Here’s the thing. There is always going to be something more to be done. More cleaning to be done. More healthy meals to make. More friendships to cultivate. More activities to sign up for. More fun vacations to plan. More games to play. But, when is it enough? At what point do we sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor?
REMINDERS FOR WHEN YOU ARE FEELING ANXIOUS OR OVERWHELMED
When you find yourself having a moment, or it’s just been one of those days–here are a few reminders for you:
- At the end of the day, you are doing the best you can–just like most everyone else. Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.
- Your #1 priority is fulfilling your purpose, not the items on your to-do list. God has a plan for your children, so you don’t have to worry about all of the details. As a mom, your investment into your kids is what matters most. More than the housework, the homework, and everything else.
- If you are tired or just in need of a break, take time to fill your cup before trying to fill up everyone else. Taking care of yourself helps reduce stress and anxiety.
RESOURCES FOR THE MOM WHO COULD USE A LITTLE CHILL IN HER LIFE
Here are some of my favorite tools for keeping things in perspective so I can savor the imperfect moments rather than beat myself up over them.
When the kids are driving my crazy, or things seems to be falling apart and my emotions are on the rise, I shut myself into my bedroom. Or bathroom. Or take a moment in the driver’s seat of my minivan—and pray. When I can’t quite form words, I know that God understands. Sometimes I write my prayers out in a journal as letters to God. Meditation is a key part of my bedtime routine (when I follow it and am not up late blogging like a madwoman). Meditation allows me to relax and focus on everything that went right during the day, and on the things I want to manifest in the next day.
Talk it out
A trusted counselor or friend can be a great sounding board when you need to get your worries and fears out in the open. When I hear my thoughts said out loud, it is easier for me to put things into proper perspective. If you’re not in the mood to talk, journaling can be very therapeutic. Or if you haven’t already, you could start a blog and find a community of people who may be struggling with the same fears and worries.
I am a voracious reader. I love to learn new things, and there are several books that have helped me on my journey toward authentically joyful motherhood. I had to change my mindset, which meant letting go of the mom I wanted to be and embracing the woman I was meant to be. These are some of my FAVORITE books.
I hope you find these resources helpful. How do you manage anxiety in motherhood? Let me know in the comments!
Would you like a FREE set of uplifting printables to keep around as encouragement?