5 things to help you keep going when everything seems too hard.
Every now and again, when I am completely frazzled by everything that is going on in my life, I wonder how I can possibly keep pushing myself to stay motivated for another day while exhausted and overwhelmed.
But I do. I get out of bed, care for my children and do what feels like the impossible, day after day. I may not keep the house in an Insta-worthy condition, create Pinterest-inspired school lunches or stay on top of Mount Washmore, but I do my best for my girls.
Doing my best for my kids is the thing that keeps me going. There are a few things I do when I feel like Iím not coping all that well with the overwhelming task of motherhood, and keep going when everything feels impossible.
Remember the joy in motherhood
Sometimes, it feels like all I do is nag my children to pick up their toys, stop bickering and eat their dinner. Donít let them watch too much TV. Donít give them sugar. Donít let them sleep in your bed. Donít feed them to sleep. Who came up with all these rules?
So when it all feels too hard, I sit down with my children, give them a cuddle, sing silly songs, make faces, tickle their tummies and forget what I was nagging them about, even if just for a few minutes.
Yes, it can be hard to find a bit of joy when your children are screaming and having a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket, but donít forget that one day, they'll be sullen teenagers who won't want to be seen dead with their mother at the supermarket, so just roll with it, and break the rules once in a while. Bribe them with ice cream sandwiches to be able to finish your grocery shopping. And have one yourself!
Look after yourself too
Never forget: you are still a person too. Just because you are a mother, does not mean you do not matter. You do! You matter very much to so many people, especially your children, so be sure to look after yourself too.
You donít need to take hours on end to pamper yourself (even though you deserve it) but be sure to try and spend at least a few minutes a day doing something YOU enjoy. Eat well so you are fuelling your body with the right type of energy you need to tackle the day, and aim for a bit of exercise. The 7 minute Workout App is great for time-poor mums!
Find your village
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I have family who live relatively close by, and although they have busy lives with work, homes to look after and their own commitments, I can call on them for help if I really need to.
But if your family don't live close by or you don't want to ask them for help, consider joining a motherís group or a playgroup to meet other parents in your area and build relationships.
There are other ways to find your village too. For example, I consider my childrenís day care part of my village because my kids are in safe hands while I keep on top of my work and things at home. If day care isnít an option, you could also try hiring a cleaner, babysitter, nanny or au pair for a few weeks to give you a break from the never-ending housework grind.
Take some time away from the kids
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I love my children, but I love them a little bit more when Iíve had some time away from them. I have a football club membership and actually get to go to a game once in a while without the kids. I spend a few hours yelling at a bunch of grown men kicking a ball around and release some of the tension and frustration that has built up over the week.
Having a weekly activity to look forward to whether it's a hobby, a date night or a just a catch up with friends, can provide a lot of relief during a tough week.
Talk to someone
Having spent some time in counselling while pregnant, I can thoroughly recommend the benefits of talking out your issues, rather than bottling it all up and then exploding when you are finally pushed over the edge by a misplaced piece of LEGO making contact with your foot.
Or you might prefer to pick up the phone, or use FaceTime or Skype to talk to family or friends. Sometimes we just need to to let it all out.
All of these things can help you take a step back, get back to basics and remember that you are doing your best and that's all that matters.