I fell asleep in the car, leaning on the window with a jacket as a pillow, just like I would do as a kid. It was Sunday afternoon and we were on our trip home from kiddo #2’s camp, a 2 1/2 hour drive one way.
Friday had been a drive up and back home to drop her off after kiddo #1 had been picked up by the in-laws. Saturday was a day out with friends to listen to music and have a few (or more) adult beverages. When the alarm went off Sunday morning to get ready to retrieve kiddo #2, I didn’t want to move.
Fueled by coffee, I handled the ‘to camp’ portion of the drive. I was tired but couldn’t wait to see her and hear all about her first weekend away from home alone.
She had done great, had a lot of fun, tried new things and made new friends. I was excited she’d gotten the opportunity to do this…but why did the drive have to be so far and on a weekend we’d already had plans. Now back in the car for the trip home. So glad my husband was driving so I could pass out, even just for a bit.
But that’s mom-life. We give to the kids, we give to the family, we give to jobs and careers, we try to nurture our relationships with our significant others and still try to have something of a social life. Exhausting.
But there is hope! Moms aren’t alone. There are lots and lots and lots of us in this world so there are moms out there who feel your pain, understand what you’re going through and are willing to help. There are also family and friends who know you and want you to be happy and not falling asleep at the wheel.
So what to do, what to do….
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Ask for help.
Yeah, I have a problem with this one but let’s collectively get over it. We are super women but even super women need a nap sometimes.
Your husband can’t read your mind and might not even notice that you’ve done 3 loads of laundry and are now starting on the dishes. Ask nicely for help (don’t guilt someone into it) and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by what happens. Kiddos can get in on the action too. Here’s a link to a great chart and article showing age-appropriate chores for children from Latitudes.org.
Here are simple daily to do list printables for your kiddos too. (girl version here, boy version here.) Just slide them in a plastic sleeve and write on them with dry erase markers. Surprisingly effective. Kids love checking things off their list.
And if someone has ever mentioned that they’d babysit anytime, to just ask….ASK! They want to spend time with your kids. Let them!
Take the damn help when it’s offered.
Yeah, I have problems with this one too. Again, let’s get over it. If you’re too proud to ask for help when you need it, the least you can do is take the help when it’s offered. Someone asked if they could help because they wanted to. And if they genuinely didn’t want to help and just asked to be nice, that’ll teach ’em. Over time, you’ll know who really wants to help you out so just say thanks and enjoy the extra hands.
Take care of your health.
It’s easy to let your own health go by the wayside when you’re taking care of everyone else. But over time, you’ll pay for it. Extra weight, high blood pressure, diabetes, dull skin, fatigue and on and on.
These problems are bad for your health but also your self-esteem! You’ll be able to stay more motivated if you keep your health in check and not on a downward spiral. Better physical and mental health will give you the best shot at keeping up with momhood.
Declutter all the ‘kid stuff’.
Feel like you’re drowning in a sea of three seasons and four different sizes of kid clothes, broken crayons, toys big and small, and everything that kids bring with them? You probably are.
Being surrounded by clutter isn’t just a mess and makes it hard to find everything, it can have a negative effect on your mental health. A study done by UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) showed that families, and in particular women, are generally more stressed as they accumulate more things between them and their families. And that stress can make you tired. (Here is a great article on the effects of clutter from Be Brain Fit.)
All of that physical clutter is more to clean and organize and trip over. It also causes us to lose focus and pulls energy away from what’s important. Want more energy? Surround yourself with less ‘stuff’ and enjoy the free space, physically and mentally.
A great way to save all of those adorable art projects that you get major “mom guilt” over throwing away is to turn them into a photo book! Take good quality photos of each project and put them in a professional and high quality photo book from Mixbook. You can look at those projects for years to come, save space in your house and have an amazing #momwin moment. You can even order extra copies for those grandparents that can’t get enough of their grandkids amazing creations! (Hint: the holidays are just around the corner.)
Take a break.
Yes, we love our kids and our families but absence makes the heart grow fonder. Take someone up on that offer to babysit and don’t over schedule your time away.
Aim high and have a weekend away with the hubby. Relax and sip coffee in silence. Or take a mental health day from work and leave the kids at daycare or school. A few hours to yourself can do wonders. Naps are amazing, organized closets can bring great joy (if you like to do that sort of thing with your free time), wasting away the afternoon on the couch is also a wonderful option.
Do something that you love, something that rejuvenates your soul and will make you that much better when you’re back to being Mom.
And in a “sorry, not sorry” kind of way. Don’t apologize or give an excuse. A simple, “No thanks” will do. If you’re asked to do something you really don’t enjoy or just don’t have time to do it, don’t try to fit it in to make others happy. You’ll just cause yourself more stress and exhaustion in the long run.
You can also say no to all the Pinterest-crazy mom projects that you think you should be doing. If it’s not your style, don’t do it. Hate extravagant kid birthday parties? Don’t throw them! Terrible at crafts and despise doing them? That’s ok! Can’t bake to save your life? That’s what bakeries and grocery stores are for! (see the ‘Ask for Help’ section above)
If you love crafting and hate baking, maybe offer to craft with a friend’s kids in exchange for some cupcakes. That’s a win-win for both moms. You do momming the way you feel best doing it.
Fellow Moms, you just keep doing you. We’re all tired, we’ve all failed miserably some days and kicked major ass other days. Let others into your crazy world and you’ll be surprised by the amount of support and common experiences you’ll find.
Tired Moms Unite!
Want a morning off from cooking? Check out these lazy morning breakfast recipes. Is coffee one of your best friends? Read why that’s a good thing. Light reading more your style today? Here’s a few dumb jokes to chuckle at and share with your kiddos. Enjoy!
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