Being a mom is one of the most rewarding yet most challenging jobs out there. Sounds cliche, but I can’t seem to find another way to describe it. You will feel a love you have never felt before, but also want to rip your hair out at the same time. Balance right?
But at the end of the day, mom struggles do not get enough attention, and are not something to mess around with. We need to do a better job taking care of the moms in our lives (or ourselves!)
Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, you likely go through some mom struggles on a daily basis that leave your cup empty and make you feel like you’re not enjoying motherhood as much as you should.
Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling things you can ever do, but it does come with a plethora of unexpected mom struggles.
Moms are usually the go-to parent; the maid, the dinner cook, the snack maker, the event planner, the grocery shopper, the nap schedule keeper, and the laundry folder.
Not to mention the constant running to-do list we have going in our brains that nobody sees behind the scenes .You name it, a mom is doing it somewhere.
The exhaustion that comes with being expected to do it all can take a toll on ones mental health if our cup is not being filled back up.
These are six mom struggles that I don’t see talked about enough and absolutely need to be addressed, even if that means taking just one small step in the right direction each day.
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Moms are the glue that hold everything together, so we shouldn’t be leaving her hanging by a thread.
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Whether you are a mom who works outside of the home, or a stay-at-home mom, there are a number of common struggles that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and drained.
These include enduring the mental load, craving an escape from your responsibilities, experiencing aggression or irritability, struggling with feelings of guilt, asking for help, or the struggle of practicing self care.
Are you a mom struggling with one of these? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
1| The mental load:
Do you find yourself not being able to shut off your brain? Do you constantly have multiple thoughts running through your head at one time? Are you having trouble falling asleep at night due to the burden of your ongoing to-do list?
This is all due to the mental load that us moms have to endure. The mental load is the weight of all the mom duties that constantly run through our minds. It’s the worry, stress, and anxiety that goes along with trying to do it all. And it can be absolutely exhausting.
2| The need to escape:
After being home with the kids all day, it’s completely normal to feel like you need to escape from your reality. Do you find yourself constantly scrolling your phone throughout the day? Maybe you find yourself zoning out in front of the TV at night. Or maybe you’ve been indulging in a little too much wine lately.
These are all signs that you are in desperate need of an escape from mom life.
These things aren’t inherently bad, but setting aside intentional time such as after the kids are in bed, during nap time, or even having someone help with the kids (as long as it doesn’t cause more stress) for an hour or two can help you be more present at the times that you are with your kids.
3| The aggression or irritability:
Do you find yourself snapping at your kids more than you would like to admit? Maybe you are constantly yelling and you don’t know why. These outbursts of anger are most likely due to mommy burnout.
When we are constantly running on empty, our patience runs thin and we can get overwhelmed and frustrated at the snap of a finger.
When I first became a SAHM I wasn’t aware that I could feel such a sense of rage at times. Like I could actually punch a wall because I am so incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated. I have come to learn that this is common among moms. It is 100% normal and something that should be addressed rather than ignored.
When we are trying to cook, clean, change diapers, keep the peace, do the laundry, schedule appointments, find childcare when need, plan vacations, its exhausting; and it always seems to be put on us… there is no wonder moms have a new found sense of aggression. We need a break, and we need it now.
4| The guilt
Oh the mom guilt. Is there even such a thing as a mom who hasn’t felt mom guilt? I wish it would go away because it sure isn’t doing anyone any favors. The stark reality is that it probably won’t.
Do you find yourself wide awake at night thinking about how you could have fed your kids healthier, or played with them more, or how you shouldn’t have yelled at them when you got frustrated while making dinner? This is unfortunately a daily occurrence for me.
The problem is that it’s the mom guilt that keeps us overindulging in mom-guilt coffee. The mom guilt that keeps us from asking for help when we are buried under parental responsibilities and chores. It’s the mom guilt that makes us feel like complete failures at being a mom, even though you know very well there is no such thing as being a bad mom if you are having these thoughts, its means the complete opposite…that you care.
If you do have the opportunity to have a friend or family member watch your kids, do you find yourself not being as productive as you had hoped, or end up feeling guilty because they are not with you? Yeah, me too.
On the other hand, if they are home with you every day, you may end up feeling guilty because you got frustrated with them and ended up yelling when you shouldn’t have, or because you didn’t spend enough one on one time with them that day. It’s truly a never ending cycle.
Without open conversations, how are things supposed to change?
5| Asking for help
This a big one for me. If you have people in your life who you trust 100% with your kids, and it doesn’t leave you more stressed out to leave them it their care, this is ideal. If you have to the means to pay for childcare a few days a week with a trusted childcare provider, great! These are both ideal scenarios! But what if you can’t do either of those?
What happens when mom guilt takes over and you don’t feel like its okay to ask for help?
Sometimes asking for help can take an even greater toll than not asking at all. My MIL often wants to watch our kids but we don’t have a great relationship. She will often only talk to my husband, not give me details of their day, my kids don’t nap, and I have to drive back and forth to get them. Is this worth it to me? No.
It’s especially not worth it because of the added mom guild that is associated with it. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your kids somewhere and it’s not proving value or a true break to focus on other things, don’t do it. It’s not worth it.
6| The self-care struggle
I’m beginning to hate the term self-care. This doesn’t mean that it’s not important, in fact, its extremely important. What I find concerning is rather the idea behind the term “self care”. The term screams expensive and time consuming.
You may hear influencers or advertisement’s telling people what self care is and how you need to practice it. They lead you to believe that you need to have lots of money and time to achieve this practice. When in reality, you don’t need either of those things.
The only thing you need is a few minutes a day to do something for yourself. This could be making your bed, putting on some makeup, taking a bubble bath before going to bed, making yourself three fulfilling meals during the day, drinking plenty of water, taking a shower with no kids present, going to the store without any precious backseat cargo, or setting boundaries and saying no.
Whoever said that self care shouldn’t be fulfilling basic needs must either have a lot of time on their hands, or doesn’t have children. Because the fact of the matter is, most moms don’t have the time or money to go get a massage, or spend $80 on a manicure. While I believe they are well intentioned, they tend to come off as privileged.
More power to you if you have the money and time to do these things, but don’t make everyone think thats what self care should be, because it is actually whatever makes YOU feel good.
What if we valued and took care of our own lives, the way we take care of our families.
What a crazy idea, huh? This is what self care should look like.
Here is an amazing resource for some FREE self-care ideas for busy moms.
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Don’t forget to put your need at the top of the to-do list this week
Overall, mom struggles come in many forms and can be difficult to navigate. Whether you are struggling with finding time for yourself, dealing with mom guilt, or feeling overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood, it is important to seek support and open up about your feelings.
Asking for help when needed and remembering that you deserve a break from time to time can help ease some of the mom struggles you may be facing. So, go ahead and take that bubble bath or make yourself a cozy meal – you deserve it!
Take things one day at a time. You know the term “raising kids takes a village” well i’m still waiting on that village to show up and you probably are too. We are only one person so we need to learn to go easy on ourselves.
Some days will be harder than others and that is okay. It’s all about balance. You may have an exhausting day with the kids so you decide to put them to bed early to enjoy a bath and your favorite show. You put your priorities first today and that will help you feel more fulfilled tomorrow.
This is what mom struggles looks like. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and that every mom goes through these things. Talk to your friends, family, or even a therapist to help work through some of the challenges you may be facing. You got this momma!
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