As a mother of young children, it can be incredibly easy to get overwhelmed, discouraged and burned out. While it is completely normal, it doesn’t have to become your new normal. There are steps you can take that will help you keep a lid on the craziness. There will be times when things can easily get out of control and children often bring the unexpected plot twists, but consider these four tips to help you get out of the stressed out zone and into a more peaceful experience as a young mom.
1. Avoid Zoning Out
After cleaning up the messy dinner table and cleaning all the dishes, it’s easy to sit down and zone out on the phone for an hour while the children horseplay in the living room. While it’s understood, it’s best to avoid this temptation. While the children are playing, continue working on the chores and important tasks around the house. With a bit of focus, you can get a lot done and get ahead with one hour. Once you cross those tasks off of the to-do list, you’ll be able to relax later. Plus, the time you spend zoning out really isn’t restorative for your psyche in the same way it would be once you’ve pushed the needle within that same hour.
2. Create a Support System
Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to managing the responsibilities and taking care of the children. Furthermore, solicit the help of a support system. Build a support system of family members, friends and hired babysitters that can help you before things get crazy. If you attend a local church, consider partnering with some of the young mothers so you all can support one another. Find a trustworthy babysitter who can come periodically and help out. At $10-$15 an hour, a two-hour stint will help you feel more supported.
3. Schedule in Much Needed Self-Care
In order to be the best you can be, you’ll have to invest in yourself. Invest in your mental health. See a therapist on a regular basis to talk things through. Get massages to rejuvenate the body. Just like you take care of the children and make sure their doctor and dental visits are scheduled, do the same thing for yourself. Schedule the babysitter or friend to watch the kids and run off to a dental clinic in Hayward or wherever is more local to you in order to take care of yourself. Self-care is a daily decision you have to make, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your family.
4. Use the Power of Outsourcing and Automation
Many young mothers get caught up in the idea of being perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. Avoid falling into that mental trap. It’s okay to automate some processes in order to maintain personal sanity and happiness. It’s okay to hire a cleaning service to take care of the home every other week. You don’t have to stand in the kitchen and sweat over a hot stove every night. Purchase large crockpots, do the initial prep and enjoy some slow-cooked meals. Soups, lasagna, macaroni and cheese and meats are simple to cook in the crockpot. Purchase a few pre-made salads and avoid the unnecessary cutting, chopping and prepping involved in cooking. Laundry can easily take forever. Create a system to stay on top of all the clothes. If it’s too much, send the laundry out to the local laundromat. Many laundromats will wash, dry and fold the laundry for a specific amount per pound. Outsource and automate certain processes so that you’re not left feeling overwhelmed.
It’ll take some time to build a regiment that works best for your family. But, don’t give up hope. Your happiness is worth it. No mother has to live in a constant state of stress and burnout. Implement these tips and watch things change for the best.