I could not be more excited to have the lovely Katy from Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s Survival Guide here guest posting today! Just in case you haven’t met her or stumbled upon her blog yet, let me introduce you! (I promise, you’re gonna love her!) She is one constantly busy mama 🙂 Not only does she blog, but she owns her own business, is a step mama to a gorgeous little girl and mama to ridiculously adorable twin toddler boys! Wondering how she does it all? Well, you’re in luck! Today she’s sharing some tips for regaining your self and becoming the Super Mom that you want to be.
Who is this crazy, screaming person I see before me? With a fuse about the length of a speck of dust, slamming cabinet doors, giving the stink eye to anyone who dares to look me in the face, wanting to cry in a dark closet and go on a rager and burn the house down in the very same breath. Who am I? What is happening to me? Super Mom? Where the heck are you?
I was a step-mommy for years before the boys were born. Sure, E came into my life potty-trained (praise Jesus!), speaking coherently and able to feed herself, but I still thought I had this mommy thing down pat, right? When I found out I was having twins, I knew I was in for some major challenges, but I never in a million years thought I would reach a moment where the person before me was completely unrecognizable. I never anticipated the sheer magnitude of raising multiples. The constant volume of tasks wanting my attention, the demand on my energy, my time, my emotions…while I was absolutely bursting with joy and inexplicable love at these two tiny lives before me, I was also feeling every bit of myself being sucked out of my core until I was completely hollowed out in utter exhaustion.
And that’s when the temper would flare. And then came the guilt for these angry feelings I couldn’t wrap my head around. And the overwhelming sense of failure that I wasn’t Super Mom after all. And cue more flare ups. It was/is a vicious cycle.
As mothers, we claim the ultimate position of servitude. We literally abandon our former selves. Our new world completely revolves around another human being (or beings in my case). It’s so easy to overlook our own needs and to put ourselves aside, that we find ourselves crashing into the wall we didn’t even see coming. And we hit. HARD. I have learned that it is only when I take the time to take care of myself that I can truly be Super Mom to my kids. I’ve had to wrestle some inner demons, learn to ask for help and accept that I simply can’t do it all, especially if I’m not taking measures to care for myself.
Here are a few tips that have helped keep me sane and have calmed my spirit and magnified my patience.
- Sleep. Whenever. Wherever. The whole “sleep when the baby sleeps!” thing? Yeah, that’s true. Trust me, I know what the to do list looks like and the temptation to knock it out in the very short minutes you finally have to yourself after a long morning. SLEEP. Your body will thank you later. You might just find yourself getting more done in less time as a well-rested individual. I need a lot of sleep to function at 100% during the day. I’ve learned that going to bed early and putting the to do list aside means I get more done tomorrow instead of less.
- Write. It’s illogical to thing that every mom can and will start a blog, and I’m not here to set that as an expectation. Maybe it’s just a gratitude journal. Maybe it’s just little post-it notes with positive affirmations that you stick to your bathroom mirror. Maybe you just write out every frustration you had that day and then toss it in the fireplace. The point is, get it out. Writing gives me the permission to release the experiences that are dragging me down and to learn from them. They take on new perspective when I have identified them verbally and put them on the shelf. It allows me to move forward.
- Me Time. Find something, anything, that is just yours. Even if it is 15 minutes a day that you lock yourself in the bathroom with your favorite book and just enjoy your little quiet bubble, find some time to carve out for yourself. Let’s face it; time is the hottest of commodities in my world. So, what do I do? I get up ridiculously early. It’s the only time in the entire day that the house is completely quiet and I can move about completely at my leisure. This quiet start is the keystone to my day. Second, I get manicures. In all honesty, I don’t even enjoy the process of getting a manicure. I love the end result, but otherwise…ugh. BUT, with my OCD, getting a manicure is one of the few places where I am forced to sit down, and someone is literally holding my hands down and I can’t do anything else other than just sit quietly and be still for a few minutes. It forces me to just stop.
- Get Help. Learning to ask for help was a difficult process for me. I was so self-sufficient in so many ways; it was hard for me to consider that I might not be able to accomplish everything I needed to get done. Now? I’m a pro. Ha. I have a few go-to friends that I can call in a pinch, or even when I just feel a bit down and an extra set of hand would help perk me up. I am blessed to be able to budget for a cleaner to help with the housework so that I can release some of the stress I feel over the home disaster that is the twinados. Right now? I’m working to carve out one evening a week for date nights. I still need help with that.
- And the most important tip of all? Forgive Yourself. Tomorrow is a new day. You have to mentally and emotionally be able to let go of the “failures” of today so that you can make room for the successes of tomorrow. Being a Super Mom doesn’t mean that I never get tired, am always patient and understanding, and have home-baked meals at the ready, all whilst singing songs with my kids and folding laundry. Being a Super Mom means I love my kids to pieces, acknowledge my limits and care for myself in a way that allows me to be the best that I can be for my family. It also means setting the example that you can have bad moments and make mistakes, but then you can turn the corner, apologize where you need to, and be accepted in love as you move forward in a new direction. I want to teach my children that I love myself, each and every day in each and every way, and that when I say I’m sorry, I mean it.
Find someone to hold you accountable to these tips. Whether it’s your significant other, a best friend or professional counselors, identify someone that you ask for help making sure you are taking care of yourself!
How would you describe Super Mom? How do you find time to recharge?
Welcome to the chaos! I’m Katy, the writing Mama behind Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s Survival Guide. In between juggling twin toddler boys, a rowdy preteen stepdaughter, a handful of fish and a self-entitled bull dog with my husband of almost 10 years, I work full-time in sales and also run an engagement, wedding and boudoir photography business in Virginia Beach, VA.
When I’m not elbows-deep in kiddo crazy, you can find me behind the camera, teaching others basic photography skills or managing The Studio Hampton Roads. Yup, I’m one busy gal! Call me crazy, but life is good. I’m not sure how I manage to keep it all together, but I’ve got a good feeling that my obsessive compulsive disorder and raging perfectionism probably keep me running at the speed of light, however precariously.