As moms we take on so much and we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We try to be everything and do everything all by ourselves when it was never meant to be this way. We were meant to have a village of support. A village to take on the daily tasks of life so that we could be 100% present with our little one and focus on becoming a mother. Obviously our culture and society doesn't allow for that anymore so we have been forced to take on the role of many and fit it into the life of one. In short, motherhood is a HARD job and we are all doing amazing, no matter the doubts we have about ourselves.
It's so easy to see people on social media and begin to doubt ourselves and feel like we aren't doing enough. We feel like we need to have a perfectly clean house, the best cooked meals, a picture worthy play area, pinterest perfect activities, a baby that is sleeping through the night, and on top of all of that we know we need to be present with our child. We are being pulled into a MILLION different directions. All of this pulls us away from actually being present with our little ones. Our minds are somewhere else and it's hard to be present when we are thinking of all the things we need to do! I struggle with this daily, but after 19 months of life with my precious girl, I have found some tips and tricks along the way to help me be efficient but most importantly to help me be present with Lilah. Below are 10 tips to help you stay present and enjoy the moment with your little one!
Have grace with yourself We tend to be SO hard on ourselves. We put ourselves down. We think we are bad moms. We think we need to be more productive. On and On and On! So what do we do? I want you to do this- how would you treat your best friend? What would you tell them if they were going through exactly what you are going through? Now say that to yourself. Recognize the AMAZING things you are doing (number one- RAISING A LITTLE HUMAN) and give yourself credit. Talk to yourself as you would talk to your best friend.
Take some time in your day to meditate, pray, be silent (whatever works for you) I used to follow a mom account that said that in order to be productive in the day, you needed to have 15 minutes of you time in the morning. This always made me feel like a failure because since we bedshare, I couldn't just sneak out of the room in the morning to go have my 15 minutes of quiet time. It didn't work that way for us. So I let go of that expectation, but I did find that on the days where I could find 15 minutes to myself to pray and be still I felt more confident in the day. So, it doesn't have to be first thing in the morning, but I do recommend finding 15 minutes in your day (anywhere in your day) to be still. If you bedshare and wake up before your little one, it could be in bed next to them. It could be during their nap. It could be 15 minutes where you ask your partner or friend or family member to take the baby so you can have some quiet. I use those 15 minutes to pray and reflect on what I'm thankful for as well as set some intentions for myself.
Make a to do list of three things you would like to get done during the day Make it realistic and doable. By creating a list of 3 realistic tasks you would like to accomplish during the day you are giving yourself a plan for the day but you are also releasing yourself from the never ending to-do list! 3 tasks is doable and it makes you feel accomplished but it also allows you to be present and focus on your little one.
If having a tidy house keeps you calm, clean one area/room a day By cleaning one room a day you are fulfilling that need to clean but you have a realistic and doable goal.
Include your little one in your tasks This will differ by age. If you have a baby who isn't yet mobile you can babywear while you put the dishes away, make dinner, do the laundry, etc. As your little one gets older, you can include them in the tasks. Lilah LOVES helping with laundry and preparing meals. She also loves putting the dishes away because I have included her in these tasks since she was very young. I want to be very mindful here and remind you that it is completely OK to get no tasks done in a day and simply lounge around and enjoy your little one, but if you are feeling the need to get things done but also keep your little one close, this is a great way to do it!
Call on help So many times people will ask what they can do for us and we tell them nothing. Even if there are a million things we actually need help with. There is NO SHAME in asking for and receiving help. If someone offers to help, let them. It is also totally ok to be honest in what you need help with. So often people will offer to come over and watch the baby while you get things done. If you're like me, I didn't want other people handling Lilah when she was very young. It's ok to say that you prefer to stay with the baby but that you would love help with the dishes or laundry.
Outsource help This can come in many different forms. It could be in the form of meal prep kits that send the ingredients and instructions and you just have to do the cooking. It could be utilizing grocery pick up or delivery. It could be in the form of hiring someone (if it's in your budget) to come clean your house once a month. It could be in the form of having one set night a week in which you order take out. By putting the load on someone else you can rest knowing it's going to get done but be 100% present with your little one.
Time Block Time blocking means you block some time off during the week or each day to get things done. Then when that time is up you can be present with your little one. It's important to be realistic about what you want to accomplish in that time because if you feel like you didn't get "enough" done it may make you feel anxious.
Split responsibilities with your partner Sit down with your partner and discuss the things that need to be done around the house and then divide and conquer. It's nice to have set responsibilities for each of you because then there is never a question about it. You know it will get done.
Let go of the external pressure Understand and accept that life is different after a baby and that you don't need to be everything and do everything. Do what feels right but know that if all you did today was snuggle and cuddle your baby, you did an amazing job!
I hope this list helped you, Mama and I hope that you are taking time to enjoy being a mom!