I can’t be the only one who feels like making it through the day with my kids fed and breathing is considered highly successful. And if I got a shower in…well, I have struck it rich.
The days can be so, so long. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love being a mom. If you know my story, you know I don’t take being a mama to my two miracles for granted. But this season of motherhood (raising a three-year-old girl and a six-month-old boy) is hard, if I am being honest. And as of late, I feel like I am just surviving the day.
There are days when I am pretty sure my daughter hasn’t eaten one thing that actually grew from the earth because I chose convenience over fighting fatigue to cut and chop and stand and cook.
There are days when the baby is screaming, there is laundry everywhere, my cat is throwing up, and my toddler is giving her stuffed animals a bath in the toilet (true story!). An extra half hour of “Curious George” it is then, so I can just try to clear my head.
Ultimately, I want to LIVE as opposed to just merely survive. I want to be present in each moment with my family, taking everything in. But that is just not reality. Reality is having days where you pretty much “white knuckle it” until the kids have finally gone to bed.
As moms, we all need a survival kit. And yours may look different than mine. So, for the days where you find yourself in survival mode, may I encourage you to have some tools handy?
Here are some things that help push me through survival mode:
- Breathe. Depending on the day and on the moment, this looks different each time. Sometimes it is stepping away and going into a different room for a short time to regain my thoughts. Sometimes it is prayer. Sometimes it is crying.
- Exercise. I love how exercise clears my head and ultimately can boost my outlook. These days, I can’t get to the gym, but I am loving my 30 minute workout DVDs that I can pop into my computer and do right in my living room. Other days when I need to just get us all out of the house, I strap the kids into the stroller and take a long walk. Point is, just get up and get moving!
- Phone a friend. Or, if you are like me, text. I have my girls who I know who are in my corner and I can check in with them throughout the day. It is a lifesaver! I honestly don’t know what I would do without these lovely ladies in my life.
Dear Mom Who Is Just Surviving, please take heart. You are stronger than you think and you can plow through those hard days. You are not alone. Take a deep breath and know that this feeling of survival is just temporary, but the love you show your kids by just being YOU lasts a lifetime. So get your toolbox handy and face these hard days. We are all in it together.