Monday Motivation – Give Yourself A Break

In my experience, mom’s are always trying to do it all, for everyone else.  Very seldom do they take time for themselves.  And in the rare occurance that they do, they feel bad about it.

Well momma’s, I am telling you to give yourself a break.  In all things.

Have you been extra hard on yourself lately because you can’t keep up with it all?  Stop.  Go take a long bath, everything will still be there when you get done.

Have you been feeling down, and tired, and beaten?  Stop.  Call up a girl friend and get some coffee.  Chances are she will completely understand, and you will feel much better afterward.

Have you been feeling overwhelmed?  Stop.  Take a walk, or read a book, do something that relaxes you.

I know it is easier said than done, trust me, I do, but make sure you take some time for yourself.  It is not selfish, it is necessary.

Embracing New Seasons

I have a confession.  I am not a baby person.

I never have been.  Besides some little cousins, with pillows under my arm, Madeline was the first baby I ever held.  Hers were the first diapers I ever changed.

Since then, I have held a few more baby’s, and changed more than a few more diapers, but the truth is, unless I gave birth to the baby, I have close to no desire to hold it.  And I definitely don’t want to change it’s diaper.

I just don’t really get them.  They are miracles, yes, and that is wonderful, but the joy I have for being out of that stage is almost embarrasing.

That being said, give me all of the toddlers.  Yes, they talk back.  Yes, they throw temper tantrums, and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, but I will take this all day long over all day feedings, every three hour wake ups, spit up down my shirt, and blow outs.

I can officially say that we have entered a new season, and I am loving every second of it.  Blake is no longer a baby.  He communicates with us (even though he only knows a handful of words), he understands when we ask him to do things (even though he doesn’t always do them), he eats with utensils (or flings food across the room with them), when I reach my hand down, he holds it.

Sometimes I will be walking behind him, watching his little head bounce around as he runs, and I can’t help smiling and thinking to myself “this is my life”.  I have two toddlers, and I love it.

I can’t guarantee that I will be welcoming every new season with open arms, that as they get older and need me less it won’t make me long for their little hands in mine, but for now I am just soaking it all in.

I am embracing the tantrums, because it means I have strong willed children who know what they want.

I am embracing the fighting, because in two seconds they will be giggling about something else.

I am embracing the mess, because my healthy, happy children made it.

I am embracing it all, even in the midst of it, even when I have to just shake my head and walk away, even when there is spaghetti sauce splattered on my dining room wall, because this is my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tackeling Mommy Guilt

We’ve all had it at one time or another.  It can come in all shapes and sizes.  Maybe it’s something that eats at you every day.  Maybe it’s something that creeps up here and there.  Regardless of how or when you have it, the reality is that you aren’t alone.

When I was in the midst of my post-partum anxiety, I felt it all the time.  It would eat me alive.  I was sure I was doing everything wrong.  I would lose my temper with my oldest.  I would despise getting up in the middle of the night with my youngest.  I couldn’t keep the house spotless.  I wasn’t spending enough time with my first born.

These thoughts ran through my head constantly.  They had me convinced that everything I heard or saw regarding parenting was about me.  I was a bad mom because I didn’t breastfeed, I was a bad mom because I bed shared, I was a bad mom because I had an epidural, etc.

Luckily, I got myself some help, and these ridiculous thoughts stopped.  I realized that I was doing the very best I could, and that it was all okay.  I wasn’t a bad mom.  I’m not a bad mom.  And neither are you.

Last night I had a flash of mommy guilt.  I get them every now and then, as I’m sure you do too.

It has been a long week with my littles.  The youngest is teething, and has a cold.  He has also 100% entered toddler-hood.  He is into everything he shouldn’t be.  He is testing his limits, and testing my patience.  His big sister is on the verge of becoming a threenager.  She is sassy, and strong minded.  The two of them have started fighting like brother’s and sister’s will.  Neither of them have been sleeping well.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  I know I am not the only momma going through this right now, but that doesn’t make it easier to go through it.

It was getting late, both kids were tired, but both kids were refusing bedtime.  I hadn’t been able to exercise earlier in the day, which has become a refuge for me.  My husband took number two upstairs to put him to bed, so I told number one that mommy was going to do her workout, and that she could get cozy in her spot (she has a designated couch spot that she has referred to “her spot” since she could say those words) while I did it, and then we would go to bed.

This did not end well.  It took me forever to get through my half hour work out.  She wanted to build a fort, she wanted to make a tent, she wanted me to read her a book.  I kept saying “hold on, mommy just has to finish this”, and each time mommy guilt would rear it’s ugly head.  I felt guilty that I was saying no to her requests.  I felt guilty that I was taking time to myself and not giving her my 100%.  I considered turning off my DVD and building a fort and a tent and reading a book.  But in the end, I got my work out done.  I took a shower.  We went upstairs and snuggled until she fell asleep.  And she was completely fine.

You see, there are all of these voices telling us and reminding us that our children are only little once.  That a time will come when they will no longer ask us to do things with them.  That their needs should always come first.  That taking time for ourselves will somehow turn them into serial killers.

So here is my question, momma’s, where do we draw the line?  When is it okay for us to say, “You know what? Momma needs some time.”?

I’ll tell you what I am slowly figuring out.  It is okay to take some time for yourself.  In fact, it is completely necessary!

Don’t get me wrong, my children do, and always will come before myself.  However, if I don’t take care of myself, of my needs, I can’t be the kind of mother they deserve.  If 9 times out of 10 I do make the fort, or read the book, but there is one time that I need MY time, that doesn’t make me a bad mom.

If I have the week that I’ve been having with my little’s, and I am excited to be able to run out the door to work at my brother’s store, that doesn’t make me a bad mom.

It doesn’t make you one either.

Next time mommy guilt tries to get the best of you, remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.  Tell yourself that you matter too.  Look in the mirror and remember that you are still a person beyond being a mommy.  Don’t let it get the best of you.  And always remember, you are not alone.

Monday Motivation – You’ve Got This

To the momma who barely made it through last week.  Your kids were fighting.  Your baby was teething.  You ran on fumes.  Today is a new day, you’ve got this.

To the momma who feels like she can’t keep up.  You’re dishes and laundry are endless.  Your kids are like tiny tornadoes who leave distruction in their path.  Take a deep breath, you’ve got this.

To the momma who is making a change.  You are starting a new job.  You are heading out on a new journey.  You are moving to a new town.  Keep your head up, you’ve got this.

To the momma who is questioning her sanity.  You can’t remember what you were supposed to be doing, but you know it was something.  You called your child by the wrong name, twice.  You left your coffee in the microwave for 24 hours.  Smile, you’ve got this.

Remember, we are all in this together.  You are not alone.

This week I challenge you to reach out to someone.  A new mom.  A friend you haven’t talked to in a while.  Someone you know needs some kind words.  Let them know you are there.  Give them some words of encouragement.  Take them a coffee.  Just be there.

What’s In A Name

Since I’m still extremely new to this blogging thing, I thought I would take a second to talk about where “Momma Seeks Balance” came from.  Sometimes knowing the origin of a name helps to understand where the blogger is coming from.

As I shared here and here, I suffered from post-partum anxiety, OCD, and depression after the birth of my second child.  At the time, I was a new stay-at-home mom.  I had no idea what was going on with my brain.  I had no idea what I was doing with a toddler and a newborn.  I felt lost.  I needed to find a balance.

I didn’t want to lose myself in my children.  I no longer had a job outside of the house.  I no longer had an actual reason to have to get up and take a shower in the morning.  I could stay in my pajamas all day, and nobody would say anything.

I was seeking a balance between still being my own person, and being a mom.  I still am seeking this balance.

I constantly feel like I can do one thing or the other, but never both.  I can make time to exercise, but not clean.  I can make time to play with the kids, but end up not getting a shower until before bed.  I can make time to clean, but don’t get any one-on-one time with the kids.

Slowly, very, very slowly, I am starting to find a balance in some aspects, and as I figure some of it out, I will share it, just in case there are other momma’s out there looking for the same thing.

So there it is, Momma Seeks Balance.  If I ever find it, I’ll let you know 😉

Monday Motivation – You Are Enough

Sometimes in motherhood it is hard to feel like we are enough.  We get spread so thin between trying to be a good mom, good wife, good friend, good employee, good sister, daughter, neice.  It feels impossible to give everyone the attention we feel they deserve.  No matter what you do, there is always something left undone.  It can become overwhelming.  It can cause you to question your sanity.  It can cause you to question your worth.

Well momma’s, you ARE enough.  You’re hard work does not go unnoticed, even if it feels like it does.

I had a moment last week.  I took the little’s to two different playgrounds.  We had a picnic lunch, and went for a long walk.  When we got home I needed a second to sit down, only to be met with “mom I need you!” “mom I need a drink!” “mom!”  I thought to myself, “oh my goodness, nothing I do will ever be enough, these little people are always going to want more.”

Not to sound like a broken record, but it is hard!  It is so hard to be needed so much.  To feel like you just can’t give anymore.

In these moments, just remind yourself that you are enough.  That you are doing the best you possibly can.  That it is okay to take a second and rest.

Today’s challenge:  If you see an overwhelmed momma, lend her a helping hand, or a friendly smile, tell her she is enough. This simple gesture could make a huge difference in her day.  Remember, it takes a village.