This has been a tough one for me. I get really frustrated with myself when I don’t feel happy. I look at my life and I think “You have so much. How could you not be happy?” Sure, I can always find someone who seems to have it better and easier than me. (Thank you, Facebook). I think part of it is because being a stay-at-home mom was supposed to be my dream, and like most dreams it was unrealistic. The reality of being a mom to two kids is that it’s hard. We want to homeschool, which adds it’s own set of challenges, but bottom line, no matter how you go about it, it’s still hard.
There is a great blog post from last year by Modern Mrs. Darcy that really changed me. It’s OK for it to be hard. That’s right, some things are hard. Parenting is one of them. Saying it should be easy, when it’s not just makes you feel worse. Just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean you won’t do well or that you aren’t good at it. It just means it’s hard. It’s OK to feel down as a mom sometimes. But do your best not to wallow in it. Accept that today is a bad day, don’t assume that next week, next month and next year will be too. (I’m talking to myself right now).
Be aware of the effect of hormones. I’ve discovered that the biggest indicator of PMS for me is the desire to quit everything and move away. Suddenly nothing seems manageable and I just want the whole world to leave me alone (an impossibility for a mom). That’s when I need to take stock, check a calendar and extend myself some grace. Yes, the issues are real, but the emotions are heightened. So I need to try and take a step back. If possible, try not to make major life decisions when you are overtired, overly emotional (whether due to circumstances or hormones) or especially hungry. When our bodies aren’t in good shape, our minds don’t function as well. This is difficult for me to do sometimes because I tend to want to push through until I’ve “fixed’ whatever the problem is, but sometimes I just have to let it go and pick it up again when I’m in a better frame of mind.
I’ll close with this great quote from Jamie Martin.
“The promise of the seasons reminds us that down won’t stay down forever. The tide turns, the seasons change and soon we will find ourselves up again. It’s OK to be down. You won’t stay there.”