When your motivation to be a good mom is gone
Posted October 10, 2016
I officially reached my breaking point and I never thought I would. When I was 19 years old, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and was told that having children would be difficult for me. Years later when I married my husband, we knew getting pregnant would be difficult, but we prayed hard and had the faith that God would bless us. He did. In fact, he has given me two of my greatest blessings – two healthy but energetic and strong-spirited sons.
My two sons, both under the age of three, love snuggles and are as cute as can be. But they have a lot more energy and determination than I’ll ever have. They are both so persistent that I feel like I’m in a losing battle, every single day. Plus, my sweet husband is in his final year of law school so his daily schedule is intense.
The other day, I lost it. I lost the motivation to be the best mom I could be. To be honest, I didn’t even want to be a mom. I wanted to put on my pajamas, grab a carton of ice cream and get lost in a Netflix binge. I was tired of the fighting over toys, the bins of dumped out toys, tripping over toys. I was tired of having an audience while I used the bathroom. I was tired and I didn’t have the motivation to do anything. I gave up, made my husband come home and I went to bed.
But that was then. This is now. My motivation to be the best mom I can is back. Here are a few things I did to snatch that motivation and avoid another breakdown.
You can’t do everything on your own. I was too proud to ask for help, but I knew I should have stopped and asked a long time ago when the tears kept coming and I couldn’t make them stop. Let your spouse know when you are having a rough time, and tell him specifically what you need him to do. If your spouse can’t help, ask a close friend. Send your kids off to a playdate while you regroup. Have someone else take over before you let things get as far as I did.
Grab your favorite things
When my husband came home to help, I put on my favorite pajamas, grabbed my favorite blanket and cookie and turned on my favorite show. I even diffused my favorite scent to help calm me down. Just being surrounded with a few of the things I loved, without any responsibility, helped calm my mind and my heart.
Write it out
Journaling can sound like such a boring thing to do, but it is so therapeutic. On those really hard days, I just pour out my heart in my journal. I keep a digital journal because I type much faster than I write. This allows me to just throw a bunch of words on the paper, and I always feel so much lighter. Plus, when more rough days come, those journal entries can help you make it through them.
Make a list
Sometimes when you are really mad, you need a little time to collect yourself. But once you feel better, take the time to focus on yourself. Sit down and make a list of everything you had accomplished that day. Did you eat breakfast? Put that on the list. Did you make your bed? Put that on the list. Did you get a load of laundry into the washer (even though it may still be there)? Put that on the list. Focus on your accomplishments and what you are doing instead of what you are not.
Go to bed
Sometimes sleep is the best answer. You may just need to take a quick nap to rejuvenate your spirits or go to bed and get a full night’s rest. When you don’t have enough sleep, your body, both physically and mentally, suffers. Make sure you are taking care of yourself if you want to take care of your kids the best way you can.
In addition, think about the last time you ate. Was it a long time ago? Was it something of nutritional value? If not, grab something healthy and delicious, and then go to bed.
I love being a mom more than anything, and I love my boys. But I’ve learned that it’s OK when you lose all motivation to keep going. It is OK when there are days you just want to give up. That means you have been trying and putting everything you have into raising your family. Because, mom, you are doing great. Just remember to take care of you and take a much deserved break. You can’t fill others up when you are empty.
Courtnie is graduate from Utah State University with a degree in journalism. She lives in Idaho with her husband, energetic toddler and baby on the way.