The day are long, but the years are short.
Some days will fly by and others will go at a snail’s pace. Everyone tells you when you’re in the thick of it, when your babies are babies, to enjoy it. Right? Because one day you’ll blink and suddenly your son is walking instead of crawling and your daughter is writing instead of scribbling on a scrap of paper. Strangers at the grocery store will stop and reminisce over when their children were little. I’ve learned to appreciate, (maybe not love, let’s be honest here), every phase my children are in because it is true; they will grow out of it. They’ll stop throwing food on the floor or only wanting you to put them to bed at night. So, take a deep breath…the day will go by, bedtime will come, and they’ll be a little older the next day.
You may lose yourself, just for a while.
When my daughter was born my husband and I decided that I was going to stay home with her. I was excited to spend my time with her, but man, little did I know how much I would miss feeling like ME. I was learning how to breastfeed and adjust to little sleep. Newborn days are hard days, especially for new moms. Moms are constantly dealing with one transition after another. Maybe you’re transitioning from being a working mom to a stay at home mom. That is a tough one! No adult interaction, no longer using your brain to solve problems, instead sitting on the floor making block towers. Maybe you’re transitioning from one kid to two, from two to three, or three to four. Maybe you’re moving to a new house or a new town. Adjusting to any “new normal” is really hard! Luckily I’ve learned that having some grace for yourself is key. You will figure it out and feel like yourself again, soon.
When all else fails, go outside.
I wasn’t much of an outdoor person before I became a mom. Now I’m a big believer that the outdoors can put anyone in a good mood. Grab a ball, a blanket, and pack a picnic. It doesn’t have to be anything special. My kids are happy with ham and cheese sandwiches and a packet of crackers! Living in Florida we are fortunate to be able to do this year round in our backyard or at the small park in our neighborhood. We also do sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, or use the water table when it’s warm out. These are all great ways to entertain the kids and yourself! Seriously, the outdoors is your friend.
Have a hobby, any hobby.
Catering to little kids needs all day is exhausting. It can leave you feeling empty and drained. You’ve gotta have something for yourself to recharge your batteries. Something to look forward to during nap time when finally, some peace and quiet! That can mean catching up on your favorite TV shows or reading a book. Maybe you’ve always wanted to paint, sew, or make jewelry. Having a creative outlet is so satisfying.
Schedule time with your husband, your friends, and yourself.
It’s so easy to set everyone aside when you’re rocking babies and singing the Moana song all day long. Phone calls are harder to make. Dates are harder to plan. Hair cuts, pedicures, or any sort of pampering is pushed to the wayside. We can all admit it- it’s hard to continue living life the way you used to before kids. Whenever my husband and I have the rare opportunity to go out, we are able to connect and feel like a married couple again. And when your friends are all moms, it’s hard to go out without the kids. Scheduling a moms night out, in advance, is really the only way to do it! Figure out what works for everyone and have a meal in peace. Talk about something other than your kids! Lastly, YOU need time for YOURSELF. I don’t have to tell you how amazing it is to have someone else do your hair or sip a cup of coffee leisurely. Sometimes I will do just that- go to a coffee shop to sit, drink, and read a book. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the kids again.