Finding Calm in the Chaos of Motherhood

I can feel when I’m becoming overwhelmed by motherhood. I begin to raise my voice a little sooner. I lose my cool over things I’d normally never bat an eye at. I sigh…a lot. Some days I wish that I had a “real job” that I could retreat to so that I could adult all day with other adults like it’s some kind of party. And other days I even resent my childless friends (and many times even my husband).

Sometimes it happens. I’m only human after all. I’m not proud of it but it is what it is. Show of hands, who can relate? And why?

Why do we do this to ourselves as moms? Why do we take the weight of the world and all of life’s responsibilities on our shoulders without asking for help? Are we trying to be superwomen on purpose? Are we looking for a medal? Because you know what? I don’t think that medal is ever coming…

So why the hell are we suffering? Well, for starters, I think it’s really hard to be a mom in today’s society. It seems everyone is fighting a battle that is never going to be won. I can be a stay at home mom who is constantly criticized by society for “giving up” my career (and don’t I dare complain about getting to stay home all day not having to “work”). Ha! I can also be a working mom who is constantly criticized by society, and other moms, for shortchanging my kids (and how dare I “let somebody else raise my kids”). MmmHmm…see where I’m going with this?

You can’t friggen win! Ever.

So here’s my solution: Stop Competing! Stop Comparing! Live and let live. And, if YOU are happy with YOUR life…guess what? You’re golden, pony boy!

 But how do we do that?

In my line of work as a yoga teacher and doula, I am beginning to notice an alarming trend of really, really stressed out moms with nowhere to turn and nobody to talk to. I know part of it is the standards we set for ourselves that, in most cases, are just too much. But another reason boils down to the cold hard truth that motherhood can be very, very lonely. And whether you leave the house to go to your place of employment or you spend your days at home, we’re all doing work. And at the end of the day, there’s only one person who is inside your head when the kids are finally in their own beds and you have hopefully done whatever tasks you need to do before you can fall into your own bed to seek solace before another day. When this happens day in and day out with no reprieve, we begin to get worn down. Being human, we get cranky. We have less patience and tolerance not only for our children, but also for human beings in general. Our sunny dispositions can quickly turn to an online catfight with the simple click of a ‘Like’ – and that’s where the competitions and criticisms and all-out wars come from. We know deep down that we’re all trying our best but when we personally feel defeated, we tend to lash out. Misery does love company as they say.

So when I’m feeling overwhelmed and can sense the temperature inside me is beginning to rise, what do I do?

I find an outlet.

Some days it’s a yoga class. Some days it's simply taking a few deep breaths. Other days I have a full out meltdown and cry like a baby. Whatever it is, it’s a way to release pent up energy and emotions and it works like a charm every single time. Then I vow to be more mindful of what’s happening in my world and each time it becomes easier and easier to notice that I’m letting myself get caught up in it all.

Finding balance as a mom is paramount. Why live a life of anxiety and stress and negativity? What purpose does that serve and do you really want your kids to grow up with a mom like that? I didn’t think so.

So show up for YOURSELVES mamas! Have a cold, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Am I really happy?” If you’re not answering yourself back with a resounding YES then begin to peel back the layers of what’s going on in your world and find some small ways to change that so one day your answer will be different.

Reach out to a mama friend you trust. Tell your husband how you really feel. Sign up for that next yoga challenge and don’t ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Ever. Then let me know how you make out. Misery may love company but I believe the same to be true about happy people. It’s good to surround yourself with people who generally love life. Your energy feeds theirs and vice versa. Love it up and have fun!

We all have only one shot at this game of life so why not make it worth it? And then maybe, just maaaaaaaybe, we’ll become shining examples to our kids, too, so that they can grow up respecting themselves and knowing the true meaning of balance and happiness.

Think of the future they could have…

Peace & Health,

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