It’s no secret that this past year hasn’t been the easiest for me. In fact, it has been one of the hardest years of my life. The birth of my second child only 19 months after my first has been a challenge to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my family and staying home with my children has been a life-long dream of mine, but somewhere along the way, I lost something: myself. Between the night wakings, dirty diapers, toddler tantrums and potty training, I forgot about my needs.
My children took first seat and I was not so comfortably seated somewhere in the back.
When my first child was born, I was able to do it all: full fridge, clean house, laundry done, and kiddo looking perfect. As time went on, however, things started to slip. I found myself getting frustrated at the smallest things. I’d get mad at myself over a missed item on the grocery list or laundry that I forgot to change. The little things became big things and I was frustrated all the time. Luckily, my husband saw this and realized that I was drowning in the day-to-day. He took a big chance and made a recommendation: asking for help with the kids during the week. At first, I was offended. I am a SAHM! Why would I ever need help?! Aren’t I doing a good job?! The self-doubt was awful. I was skeptical, but I realized something needed to change. The first few times I called my mom asking for help I felt selfish and embarrassed, but then something clicked. I realized that these breaks allow me to be something other than mom and I have more to give my kids when I am with them.
I have realized that although I CAN do it all, I don’t have to.
I need to ask for help. I need to take time for myself, even if it is a solo grocery trip or Target excursion. I need to do things that bring me joy outside of being a mom. I sat down and wrote out a list of things that make me happy and although plans don’t always work out, I try to do a few of these things every week. A simple coffee date with a friend or trip to the gym really do make me a better mom.
As moms, we spend so much time judging ourselves. There are so many to do lists and tiny people that rely on us day in and day out. It is easy to forget that we need to take care of ourselves in order to successfully take care of everyone else. It is hard to ask for help but we need to! I still struggle with taking time for myself, but like everything else in life, it is an ongoing process.