It's one of the toughest jobs in the whole world. Between keeping your kids alive and meeting their basic needs, you're also likely managing a household, possibly juggling a career while trying to be present and supportive in your adult relationships.
On top of all that, you're dodging societal expectations that trigger the infamous "mom-guilt", which is problematic on its own. I mean seriously, I've never heard anyone reference "dad-guilt", so what do we have to feel guilty about?
Maybe that's a post for another day, but my point is, that's a lot to deal with on a daily basis. I think I read somewhere that a recent study concluded that being a mom is equivalent to working not one, not two, but THREE full-time jobs.
What. The. Actual. F.
It blows my mind. Some days, I don't know how I'm going to keep going when I'm perpetually exhausted, emotionally drained and mentally spent.
But I do it. We do it. We somehow push through the drag so that we can be the best possible mothers to our favourite little human beings.
We all know it's 100% worth it, that should go without saying, but we still need to look after ourselves and find ways to cope with the stress, anxiety and sometimes even rage, that motherhood brings.
I find this is easier said than done.
So this week, I sought out some inspiration from other Mom's on Instagram. I asked "how do you cope with motherhood?".
Here are their answers:
Connecting With Other Moms
This one is a big one for me. Meeting another mom for coffee every week or even just messaging back and forth on social media, can help to relieve a lot of the stress and pressure that I sometimes put on myself. When I talk to other moms, I know that they feel and understand what I'm going through and it allows me to feel completely seen, heard and above all else, helps me to not feel alone.
Scheduling Non-negotiable ME-Time
When I notice myself getting really sensitive, snappy and cranky, it's usually because I've neglected myself for too long. Most of the time, I schedule in a time, once a week where I can go and do something, out of the house, by myself for a couple of hours.
This is sometimes a yoga class, a walk, shopping, journalling at the beach, etc.
I also make sure that my husband also gets some time by himself too. When we both get that time for ourselves, we find that our stress and resentment levels go way down and because we are taking the time to fill our own cups up, it helps make the home a relaxed and enjoyable place to be.
I knew this one was going to come up! And though I fully partake in this coping strategy, I have done some reading on "Wine Mom Culture" and more recently "Microdosing Mom Culture" and how our society has put so much on our plates that we feel that we NEED an external substance to help us cope.
This is by no means a judgement, I am the first to admit that after a tough day of meltdowns and frustration, that I love nothing more than to unwind with a glass (or two) of wine.
With that said, when I am wanting to drink wine to help "take the edge off", it usually is a sign that I am lacking in my self-care and I probably need to schedule some of that non-negotiable me-time.
Asking for Help
I know this is a difficult one for many of us, but it's probably the MOST important. Sometimes, we just need a break. It doesn't mean we're bad mothers or can't handle it (which is what my inner-critic says when I need a break, I have a fear of people thinking that I "can't handle" it), it just means we're TIRED and we need to re-charge.
Reach out to your support system.
Call in the grand-parents.
Get a sitter.
Tell your partner/spouse how they can support you.
Whoever your people are, seriously, reach out to them. People LOVE to help.
If you have any other strategies that you use to help you cope with motherhood, please share them in the comments below!
Thank you for reading!