dealing with mental health in motherhood
Baby,  Health and Wellness,  Motherhood,  Toddler

How to Cope with the Difficulties of Motherhood

It’s no secret that being a mom is hard.

You love your kids and would do anything in the world for them. You do a lot for them every day, from the obvious cooking and cleaning, to dealing with tantrums and bedtime routines.

There are so many amazing things about motherhood:

  • The little ‘I love yous’
  • The hugs and kisses
  • How proud you are when you teach them things
  • The fact that sometimes it’s only mama who can make the booboos better
  • The undeniable, inexplainable love you have for these little beings you created

All that being said, it can be overwhelming:

  • The mental load of motherhood is so big
  • It gets lonely, even though you’re never alone
  • The loss of freedom can be difficult to cope with
  • It can get mundane – you do the same things every day, cooking, cleaning, carting the kids around to wherever you need to go, handling tantrums, bedtime, bath time…. it can feel like it never ends some days

None of this means you don’t love your kids or love being a mom! It just means you are human.

There are often days I personally feel bored, stuck, and alone in the tasks of motherhood. The days are long. The mom guilt is real. I feel like I should be enjoying every moment because even though the days feel like they never end, the years go by so fast and my little baby is growing up right before my eyes.

But I remind myself, and I’m here to remind you, you’re not alone and your feelings are valid. I am most likely writing this partly to remind myself, as well as you, mama, that you don’t need to stay stuck in the rut to the point of mental illness.

If you feel all these things and more, to the point of anxiety and depression, please seek help for you and your kids!

Here are some tips to find happiness in your day as a mom, especially on those particularly difficult days.

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Being a Mom is The Most Important Job There Is

Your job as mom is so important. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that. It can feel like you’re not really contributing much and like you’re doing too much all at the same time.

It really is a thankless job.

However, your kids aren’t going to remind you, so you need to remind yourself (and hopefully get reminders from your partner/family/friends) that you are doing an amazing job! You are raising little beings among the constant mess clean ups, dishes, tantrums, snack demands and toy pick ups.

Being a mom is the hardest job there is and it’s important to look for the little things that bring you joy about being a mother, and show you you’re doing a great job.

When your little one learns to share with their siblings, you did that! When they say thank you to the grocery store clerk, or they give a smile to a stranger on the street, you taught them that kindness!

You clean them, cook for them, you teach them, you clean their clothes and their home so they have a safe, clean place to be kids. You rock!

Remember There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Mother

In today’s day and age it is so easy to compare.

That perfect-looking Instagram mom who seems like she has it all together, does her makeup every day, has a spotless house and perfect children is just as lost as you are.

We’re all just trying to make it day to day and playing the comparison game is a dangerous trap to fall into. Social media shows teeny tiny snippets of people’s lives, and you only see what people let you see.

Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual and different things work for different families and situations. So do your best not to compare and stick to whatever is working for your family and helping you keep your sanity!

Set Yourself Up for Success

This might mean waking up a little earlier than the kids, or making sure everything is clean before you go to bed yourself.

It might mean making lists to keep yourself organized, and get tasks out of your head and onto paper.

It might mean meal planning and/or prepping, or planning activities for your kids during the day or week. It could be scheduling your own self-care to make sure you get time for yourself.

It could also just mean letting things go a little more than you usually do!

Whatever you have to do to organize your life, to take the stress out of the every day duties, do it. It might take some trial and error, and some motivation and determination, but in the end it will help a ton.

For me, that usually means making lists and using a planner to plan out my week. If I don’t meal plan I not only spend too much money on groceries, but I stress out about what to make every night. For me, meals are a stressor so I plan accordingly.

Do Something For Yourself Every Day

We all know we need to take time for some self-care and we also know some days it feels like that is an impossible task, even another chore to be added to our growing list.

But, forcing yourself to take the time to rest or do something you want to do has too many benefits to the rest of your day and your job as a mother not to.

Ever heard the saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup?

Yea it’s engrained into my brain. It seems a bit cliché, but it’s true. The time I invest into myself is translated into time and energy for my family. So, how can I not when it’s benefiting everyone?

Doing something for yourself looks different for everyone of course. Sometimes all you need is a bath, a nap, or a moment for a coffee and a book.

Sometimes you have the time and funds for a spa day. Maybe you just want to eat your favorite snack and watch your favorite show, or take some time to journal.

Whatever ‘me-time’ looks like for you, take a few minutes (or more) everyday to do that, whether it means leaving the kids with your partner or a family member, or waiting until nap time or bedtime.

Be Intentional in Your Tasks as Mom

I came across Pinecones and Pacifiers’ post about the mundaneness of motherhood, and one of her tips is to envision the mom you want to be.

Don’t look at other moms and try to be them, but think about the type of mom you want to be for your children specifically.

If you want to be a mom who does activities with her kids, then set aside time everyday and plan out your activities. If you want to be the mom who bakes with her kids, then go for it (and if you’re like me, mentally prepare yourself for the mess and make sure you’re feeling extra patient).

It might even be something a little deeper, like being the mom who works on her mental health so she can be at her best and fully present with her kids.

If that’s the type of mom you want to be, then figure out what calms you, try therapy, exercise (with or without the kids) – whatever it is you need to do to work on your own mental health.

Write it Out

Write out why you are grateful to be a mother and why you are grateful for your kids. Remind yourself of the joy that being a mom brings you.

It is totally valid to have bad days and not enjoy every moment. But, it’s not good for you to dwell in it for too long. Change the way you’re thinking and get yourself out of the negativity.

Write about how you’re thankful you have a home to clean, food in the fridge to cook, kids to raise, toys for your kids to put away, and a roof over everyone’s head.

It’s not easy to think this way when you have been picking up the same toys all day and making food only for your kids to refuse it.

But I try and remember everything is a phase, and it goes by faster than we realize.

Writing out how grateful you are for the mess and chaos is a simple way to rewire your brain and practice positivity.

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There are so many other things you can do and it’s important for us mamas to find the parts of motherhood that make us happy and grateful, and hold onto them in the loneliness and boredom.

These are just a few simple tips to cope with the difficulties of motherhood. You got this mama!

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I am a military wife, a university graduate, and a new mama living in Nova Scotia. Follow me on this journey to learn about pregnancy, motherhood, staying healthy, and taking care of you and your family!

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