Dozens of full-time responsibilities are required to keep small humans alive and well. Pile on sleepless nights, endless loads of laundry, dishes and meals, and it’s impossible not to feel like a mom-bot at times. A mom-bot who occasionally forgets to hop in the shower. Ugh, smelly robot mamas are the worst (hand. raised.) Any given day, I can count the minutes I have to myself on two hands.
And sure, there are moments so perfectly magical that I embrace jelly stains on my shirt. Like when it’s 4 p.m. and I’m still kissing my babies with coffee breath. Or when I’m not sure exactly how long I’ve had birthday cake in my hair, but thinking about the kids licking batter from their spoons is forever ingrained in my memory.
But sometimes I’m simply too tired to even notice how tired I am. And that’s when the following list becomes my survival guide to motherhood. No matter what the last day, week or month has deprived me of.
Before becoming a mother, I didn’t need coffee to function. As a matter of fact, even in college when I was a Division 1 soccer player with a major, two minors and added courses for a leadership certification, I would only drink it at night when I needed to study for finals.
These days, I NEED it. After baby number two, I NEEDED it. And by baby number three, a Keurig was the only surefire way for me to know that I could get it at the exact moment I needed it. Coffee will trick your brain into thinking you are awake when the rest of you is about to crash and burn.
Taking care of my appearance
Sure, it may sound trivial, but sleepless nights can make even the most confident people feel like monsters in public. The Franken-mama stops here. You can put the kids in the cutest clothing ever, but you need to take care of yourself too. I no longer leave the house without tinted sunscreen (Tarte Cosmetics makes a great one) and concealer under my eyes. Dark circles may be a right of passage for parents, but I drew the line when the perfume lady at the mall dragged me to the closest makeup counter.
Make yourself approachable to moms who potentially want to make nice, or better yet, want your kids to come over for a play date. That’s two hours of bonus time just because you didn’t resemble Frankenstein. And looking good can help you feel good. So yes, take care of yourself too.
Taking a break
If suddenly you get a couple hours to yourself (play date score!), take a break. I know, I know, there are dishes to be washed, laundry for days and you can’t see the kitchen floor. But, it’s important. Sit. Meditate. Set aside 5-10 minutes to hear your own thoughts. Before you know it, 5-10 minutes could turn into 30, or a full yoga class that will rejuvenate you for whatever the next 24 hours has in store.
A ton of kisses. Start with morning breath kisses (I especially love baby breath–any time, any place.) Kisses are the first things I give my kids in the morning, and the last thing we do before bed. Kisses encourage laughter and giggles, and leave kids feeling important and loved. I will teach my three boys about sensitivity and the importance of affection if it’s the last thing I do.
Washing off the day
When you’re on your feet 20 out of 24 hours, you accumulate a lot of baggage. Wash it off mentally and physically. When my day ends in a bath, it helps clear my mind and gives me the energy to think about tomorrow. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap has become my mommy BFF. The smell is both rejuvenating and relaxing, and it is made with certified organic essential oils. Find a body wash, candle, or spray that you love and add it to your nightly routine. It will make all the difference mentally and physically.
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