It seems that some moms are able to find that balance of taking care of their own needs, husband's needs, and children's needs ... If that is you, please share your secrets with us! But, if you ever feel like you're in a rut or just can never keep up ... THERE IS HOPE for us mothers... or at least the knowledge that you are not alone!
Ok, onto some brilliant ideas... Get your hands on anything and everything written by Linda Eyre. That woman is an absolute genius - hilariously down-to-earth and full of motherly wisdom! Here are some of her ideas that I desperately needed to hear:
- One of my favorite books is Linda Eyre's "I Didn't Plan on Being a Witch" (which I completely recommend reading). She explains how "some days it's hard to tell if you're a mother or a martyr." A martyr is someone who endures great suffering for a belief or cause. She says, "If we are not careful, we can convince ourselves that life is only a series of unappreciated sacrifices, tribulations, vexations, adversities, ordeals, annoyances, and plagues - usually suffered for a good cause! We can so easily become depressed and 'witchy,' ... unless we can keep the following points in mind":
2) "Martyrdom can actually be good for you." - to develop charity, give service, enhance your compassion and empathy for others.
3) "Part of the Martyr Syndrome is brought on by ourselves and our inability to get others to help." - If you struggle with this like we do, let's try to enlist the help of our children, our spouses, and willing family and friends!
4) When a series of wild events occur and you feel fully qualified to to be a martyr, the overall effect is usually hysterical. Learn to laugh!
5) Write things down the next time you experience the Martyr Syndrome. It's good therapy and helps you realize that the cause is still noble.
- Linda also says, "One of the habits of a highly effective mother is SIMPLIFICATION." Right now we are in the midst of a big move, so I'm trying to de-clutter and get rid of things we don't need, want, or have room for! DI and I are becoming great friends and less clutter means hopefully somewhat easier management. Maybe for you, "simplify" means learning to say "no", enrolling your children in less extra-curricular activities, or focusing on enjoying the simple life of laughing and playing more with a child.
- Have a PLAN FOR YOU with "Sunday Sessions". Each Sunday Linda and her husband would take turns locking themselves in a room for 30 minutes each while the other tended the kids. Take this time to think about your plans and desires for the coming week. Write three short lists:
1. Things you want to do for yourself (maybe it's exercising or reading a chapter of a book you're dying to read)
2. Things you want to do for your family (maybe it's having more one-on-one time with a child or doing something special for your husband)
3. Things your need or want to accomplish in "your world" so your work/service (maybe it's organizing or cleaning a certain part of your home, attacking that laundry, or helping a friend that week)
*So, even when you don't feel like you can get anything "done" in a day, maybe you can at least do one thing from your lists!
- Linda recommends having a fun "DAY AWAY" or maybe it's just an Afternoon Away once or twice a year. Arrange perhaps on a Saturday for your husband to watch the children while you do some life planning. Linda explains how she would "assess where I was and where I was going... as a mother and as a person." She explains how she comes home as a new woman refreshed and recharged with a husband who is even more handsome and children who are more adorable :)!
She ends one of her books with what she will tell her first daughter who is about to get married. "I'll have to be honest and tell her the whole truth about mothering. When she ask me what to expect, I'll tell her to expect surprises. I'll tell her that mothering is the hardest thing she will ever do, but that it is also much more joyful than even she can fathom.... There is no greater joy in life than that of being a mother. Along with the job description comes not only chauffeur, cook, maid, and drill sergeant, but most importantly, gardener of souls - fertilizer, weeder, waterer, exposer to the light, and then watcher as each seedling grows and becomes it own beautiful self... Truly, motherhood, complete with its valley depths and mountain peaks, is life's most astounding experience!"