10 Essential Mom Survival Tips

While the majority of these tips are geared towards stay at home mom’s, I think a lot of these likely apply to “working moms” as well. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a few trends making the rounds on the mom circuit:  Mommy Meltdowns. I’m no stranger to having a Mommy Meltdown. Let’s be honest, most of of us aren’t.

10 Essential Mom Survival Tips

To our husbands, our Meltdowns can be triggered by something they see as silly (we are out of milk or the shoes haven’t been put away for the umpteenth millionth time this month). However, Mothers tend to hold the entire weight of a household on their shoulders: the care and education (homeschooled or not) of the children, the upkeep of the home, the finances, grocery, etc. There is always that one LAST STRAW that just breaks the camel’s back. All the little things just pile up and pile up and pile up until you just can’t take it anymore.

Here are some 10 essential Mom tips to help you keep your sanity and avoid those Mommy meltdowns:

1) Find a Mom’s group.

If all your friends don’t have children, you need to find other moms. Pronto.  They are your springboard. Your support. The only ones that will truly understand how you feel over cleaning up spilled milk for the 10th time today and it isn’t even lunch yet. Yes, your non-mom friends are amazing and yes, you need to keep them in your lives… however, no one is going to quite understand (and sympathize) as much as fellow moms.

2) Have a Mom’s night out on a regular basis.

I’m not talking about you running to the grocery store.  I’m talking about you getting yourself a massage & Mani/Pedi, or a long, lengthy trip to the library.  I’m talking about getting together with friends for drinks. Something that is for YOU, and just for you.

3) Get a hobby.

My main issue is that I have one too many hobbies, but find something that you enjoy and complete that activity on a regular basis. For me, it is various craft projects and reading fictional novels. I don’t include blogging in this, because while I enjoy it, it is a lot of work.

4) Communicate with your spouse.

This is SO important. One of my biggest areas that I need improvement in is communicating with my husband. When I do, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I had sort of a mini-meltdown at the end of February that leads to me taking the month of March off from subbing and my husband taking a week off at the beginning of March. He has a very packed schedule and a lot of the time I feel like I’m in this alone. When he knew how I felt, he took some time off and the family spent some (much needed) time together.

5) Take the kids out of the house on a regular basis.

I can tell when it has been too long since I took the kids out of the house. Their cranky, whining, and I’m snappy. There’s nothing worse than being trapped indoors, with the same toys, the same books, the same movies day after day after day.  Finding a mom’s group will typically help you find playdates or other activities to get out of the house with kids. Investing in a membership somewhere kid-friendly will help a great deal as well. We purchased a zoo membership (good for one year) this past fall and it has given us a guaranteed place to go (costing us no more than the gas to get there) for when we need to get out of the house.

6) Have reasonable expectations for yourself.

This is hard, for everybody, regardless of your status of parenthood. I seem to (even though I know I can’t) have this expectation that I can have a clean home, educate my kids, blog, substitute teach, etc.  at all times of the day. Sadly, that’s just not realistic. There are only so many hours in a day and some of those hours need to be used for relaxation so that Mommy doesn’t lose it. Be reasonable, if you can’t get the dishes done tonight, don’t stress about it. Trust me, they will still be there tomorrow.

7) Don’t be afraid of a lazy day.

I’m not saying you can have a lazy day every day, but don’t be afraid every now and then to toss in the towel and say “I’m not doing anything today.” A few weeks ago (the same day I decided to take March off from subbing, actually) I decided we were having a lazy day. I was bone tired and just couldn’t. I pulled the kids’ couches from the playroom into the living room. I handed them their blankies and stuffed animals. I then crashed on the couch and we had a Disney movie marathon. I needed the break. They needed the break. We were great the next day and back into the full swing of things. There is nothing wrong with taking a lazy day when needed.

8) Keep a journal.

I’ve kept a journal since I was six. (It’s downright scary some of the things I had to say as a child). This can be your springboard for your thoughts, feelings. It gives you a place to vent, let loose and just brain dump everything that you are feeling. Not into handwriting? No problem. Create a free blog and mark your settings to private. Just make sure to dump all of your problems out of your head on a regular basis. I used to journal every day, now I journal about once a week. It helps. If you’re not big into writing your thoughts/feelings, keep a gratitude journal or pick up a one-liner journal at the bookstore. You’ll be surprised how much you have to say once you get started.

9) Get organized and declutter.

I find that I am my moodiest when surrounded by clutter and having fallen off the wagon of my cleaning schedule. Create an organization system for your life and stick to it (as best you can, it isn’t supposed to cause stress). Get rid of junk you don’t use and don’t bring more junk into your home.

10) Relax.

This is probably the hardest one of all. If you’re finding yourself bogged down and unable to keep up, take a break. Take a few deeps breaths and remember that it really isn’t that bad. Be grateful for what you do have: a roof over your head, food in your stomach, clothes on your back. Be thankful for what you do have in life, instead of focusing on what you don’t. Remember that your kids are still kids. Most of us can’t remember what it is like to have an epic meltdown over the fact that you can’t have candy for dinner or throw the cat in the bathtub.

What are your essential tips to avoiding a Mommy Meltdown? How do you keep yourself in check and not lose yourself to Motherhood?

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