Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mom. Having a little munchkin fills my heart so much. I love being a mom but I’d be lying if there weren’t days that I didn’t want to just pull my hair out and throw in the towel. I struggled so much through the first year of parenthood. I was tired, cranky, drained and just not happy. I hardly made time for anything outside of motherhood and it really affected me as being a parent.
As a first time mom, I was able to find and stick with some simple habits that I inserted into my life that have REALLY helped me as a mom, parent, and just overall person. Recently, I have been putting a lot more energy into making sure I stick with them and I am so much happier when I do. When I am happy, I am more calm and just function as a better parent and my whole day as a mom runs so much!
- Get out of the house. This has been a big priority for us lately. Packing and toting around a little human can be exhausting, but I’ve noticed that as Kaeden gets older, his need to explore and interact with the outside world grows daily and he starts getting a bit cranky if we are cooped up in the house for a few days. Not to mention, I can start getting a bad case of cabin fever. Grabbing a coffee to-go and sitting in the fresh air while he runs around always leaves Kaeden and I in a better mood.
- Enjoy the small things. They are only little once. There are moments when reality hits me sometimes, and I can’t believe how big my baby boy is getting. He’s practically sprinting and having minute – long gibberish conversations with his teddy bears and I just sit there and want to cry my eyes out because I still feel like it was just yesterday that we brought him home. Time flies by and as a mom, I never want to forget these moments so I make an extra special effort to pay attention to the small things.
- Leave it for later. My husband will appreciate this one 😛 I am a neat freak. I like our house to be organized and tidy. I am constantly finding something to do around the house. But I’ve learned that there really is no point in killing yourself. Those things can wait.
- Have date night. The very elusive but very important date night! This is one you will hear time and time again from people before you have kids. I don’t know how many times Justin and I brushed it off and just nodded our heads, like we know already! But what they don’t tell you is how hard it is to have a date night once baby is here! There never seems like there’s enough spare minutes in our schedule to actually plan time as a couple but this is something that we have put more effort into. Because at the end of the day, that bond between us is an important one and if it’s not healthy and kicking, then we can never grow together as parents.
- Don’t compare yourself. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. Just don’t do it! Every mom is different. Parenting styles are different. Bodies are different. Kids are different. No one has a perfect life, and social media can be the evil monster that makes you think some people have it easier than you. Wrong. Everyone and every family is unique and they come with their own trials and problems. Plus, worrying about someone else just eats at your soul. At the end of the day, the only person you should be comparing yourself to your yesterday self. If you can be a little better than you were yesterday, then you are winning in my book!
- Loosen up. Motherhood is no easy task. It comes with a lot of sighs and allllloooooottttt of mayhem. Kids are going to get messy, toys will be tossed everywhere. It took a while, but learning how to love and join the chaos at times as truly made me a better mom. I smile when Kaeden has spaghetti face now, and I snap a pic!
- Have you time. You were a person before you became a mom! And you still are! Get out and enjoy things for yourself, by yourself! Remembering who I am and what I love outside of motherhood has been so importantly. I notice such a big difference in myself if I am able to get away for an hour or two and always come back to my boys feeling happier than ever. 🙂
- Sleep. Sleep. and more Sleep. This didn’t come until Kaeden was about 10 months old and started sleeping through the night but oh, how I cherish my sleep now! There is nothing more draining than caring for your family on little to no sleep. It’s so essential to our everyday health, and they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!
- Support and encourage other mom’s.
Raising kids takes a village and there’s no better feeling in the world than having someone who understands what you are going through or to just listen about what crazy thing your kids did this time. Being kind and offering a small bit of encouragement or supporting a friend with their daily struggles can go a long way.
- Make family time. These people are your life. They are your family and your biggest treasure. Plan something fun to do with them. Go to the museum. Go to the Park. However big or small the activity, family time always brings a smile to my face. It breaks you guys out of the normal everyday routine to explore and have fun together!