Balance in Motherhood

When you become a Mother something changes in your soul.

For me, it was taking the word “I” out of my vocabulary and revolving around the word “we.”  Was it the same for some of you?

I had an interesting conversation with another Mother this week.  A woman that inspires great conversation and is an amazing Mom!  She said how she sometimes worries that she relies too much on her son for her own happiness and completion.  Wow, did this ever hit home!

The minute you deliver your baby the doctor hands you this tiny little person and instantly it is expected that you know how to nurture and love them!  Well folks, sometimes I barely know how to love and nurture myself…how on earth do you do that 24-7 for someone else on top of yourself?!  As most Mother’s would say, it comes naturally.  This is so true.  However, for me as my love grew and grew for this tiny little person my love and devotion to myself hit a wall.  Somehow it didn’t seem like there was enough time in the day to accomplish both.  I mean come on…I eat leftover graham crackers from a carseat for breakfast so my expectations are quite low at this point.

Our society burdens Mothers with guilt.  Our kids packaged muffins vs. the Pinterest worthy homemade oat bran apple crumble muffins the homeroom Mom made.  Our family pictures in which have at least one child crying or picking his nose at all times vs. the poster boards of pristine children in matching holiday attire posing by a Christmas Tree.  P.s. how do people get their kids to dress in designated clothes for photo shoots?!  I barely am able to get my kids to wear underwear so how the heck do I get them to put on the rockin’ outfits I so carefully coordinated?

When it comes to taking personal time for ourselves why do we feel like this is not an option?  For me, it’s the fact that I already feel like I don’t spend enough time with my kids.  I am constantly working and trying to organize the household and I let so many moments slip by because I am trying to do it all.  I feel like any extra time I may take for myself will take away even more time from my kids.  So, the first thing to go are those self-care activities.  Working out, reading that book, gardening.  All those activities that feed your soul.

So true are the words of self-care.  Without caring for our own emotional and physical needs it is going to be hard to stay motivated and have the energy to be a “present” parent.  I use the word “present” because it literally stings my soul every time I think about it.  So often I parent…but am I truly “present” while I am doing it?  Between working full-time, extracurricular activities, remembering what day is “wear orange to school day,” and just trying to create a functioning household it is easy for us to get so far removed.  I am 100% guilty of this.  This is usually how it starts for me.  I get so busy trying to create that “wowzer” dinner that the kids are going to love but then I get side tracked with cleaning the kitchen, folding the laundry, oh and why don’t I go ahead and do a deep clean on the stove while I am at it….that I lose all track of time and realize an hour has gone by and I just missed 4 games of Candyland.

Being a Mother is a blessing but it is not the only thing that defines us.  We can love our kids soulfully and intentionally while loving ourselves as well.  Find time to reflect on yourself and your needs.  What motivates you?  What makes you empowered?

I am surrounded daily with so many BEAUTIFUL and amazing Mommas.  Take time for yourself today and know that you are not alone!  We all struggle to find a healthy balance in life and Motherhood.

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12 responses to “Balance in Motherhood”

  1. albi95blog says:

    So true! If we aren’t filled up, there isn’t much to give out. So important to care for ourselves!

  2. I love this! Taking time for myself is how I stay sane, and hopefully I’m teaching my girls that being a wife and a mother does NOT mean being a martyr. You can still be yourself and part of family as well.

    • jenniferelaine says:

      So well said! It is always hard for me to remember that there will still be a “me” after my kids are grown and that it isn’t “selfish” of me to take time for myself!

  3. Sarah says:

    Preach!

    I struggle with being present. I often feel like I just went through the motions and then feel so much guilt at the end of the day. It’s a constant struggle. I’m so glad you took the time to address this and shed some light on it.

    • jenniferelaine says:

      Yes girl yes! Somedays I literally find myself eating stale cheerios from the table at 9 at night thinking…where did the day go and what did I really accomplish?

  4. parentalspace123 says:

    Yes! This is so true and something I struggle with is making that time for myself, but I am getting better as the kids get older. Great article!

    • jenniferelaine says:

      I keep telling myself that as my kids get older they will be more independent. Then I worry I will miss them needing me more!

  5. Mayra says:

    Great article! I am also learning to love myself and do things that feed my soul. It can be overwhelming sometime to find the time but I make it a priority to take care of myself so I can take care of my family.

    • jenniferelaine says:

      Love “feed the soul.” Our kids and partner need a wife and a Mother that has a fulfilled soul.

  6. true and helpful reminder.

  7. monicalorelle says:

    Everything you wrote is so true! As a mom you are always looking for perfection, especially with your first born but it extremely important to let yourself loose and know that everything will not be perfect and that whatever decision you have to make will be the best for you and your family.

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