There’s no doubt that motherhood is amazing, but sometimes it can swallow you whole. This week’s challenges are all about getting yourself organized so that you can have a little more freedom!
If you have been dying for more freedom in motherhood then you’ve come to the right place! I am the stay-at-home mom of two wild little boys. My oldest is super extraverted and constantly needs my attention, and my youngest is extremely brave and always wanting to do exactly what his big brother is doing, aka almost dying every five seconds. Throughout all stages of their toddlerhood I’ve continually found myself begging for one thing: Freedom! I love them so much, but sometimes I feel trapped. It takes a long time to get out of the house, it’s hard to find a moment of quiet, and I rarely can do anything without getting interrupted. I’ve never been the type of person who is very good at assessing my own needs and making sure they get met. If you’re like that then you’re going to love this part of our motherhood challenge! I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to bring more freedom to my life so that I have time to assess my own needs! I hope this motherhood challenge helps you find more freedom in motherhood too!
Challenge 22: Establish a mom uniform. Make getting dressed automatic on the days when you are the only person taking care of your kids. This doesn’t mean you need to go buy something new (but if you have some extra cash lying around, get out there and treat yourself!). It can be as simple as looking in your closet and acknowledging what outfits are fast and easy to throw on as well as allow you to easily chase your kids. For me I have shirts that in my head I call “one-hit-wonders” that look great just by themselves, aka no jewelry, camisoles, cardigans etc. I consider those my mom uniform, or workout attire so that I can get in a workout at anytime (aka I mean look like I’m going to work out but am really just enjoying wearing something comfortable, let’s be real!) Then on weekends feel free to doll it up!
Challenge 23: Choose a time for no interuptions. Also known as nap time, bedtime, or quiet time. The key here is to choose a part of the day that is YOURS, and train your kids not to interrupt you. For me it is from 1-3. Sometimes my 2 year old naps, sometimes he doesn’t. My oldest is usually at preschool, but when he’s home, or when my 2 year old doesn’t nap they follow a quiet time routine (that is life changing and I will be sharing tomorrow!) that is designed for them to interrupt me as little as possible! (and when all else fails it’s screen time with popcorn. YOU deserve uninterrupted time mama! You are the leader of the army!)
Challenge 24: Make a list of activities that are fun for you and them. Sometimes your little ones are dying for attention, but you need a break. If you have a list of go-to activities you really like doing with them, it can help you avoid feeling trapped or spiraling into thoughts of feeling like a bad mom. For example, on my list would definitely be Simon Says (where I sit on the catch while they do what I tell them!) or playing sports or catch. I can zone out or get super into the sport, and either way both my kids seem happy. What is not on my list though, is actually sitting down and playing cars with them. If I’m not all there, then playing pretend play just drives me crazy, so I’ve learned to suggest something else unless I’m in an angelic mood.
Challenge 25: Make a list of your go-to fun. Sometimes you need more than just a quiet time break, you need a real break. I feel like the more kids you add, the harder this is to get. Make a list of what really is your go-to fun so that when you have mommy brain, you know exactly what to do to refresh yourself. On my list is definitely a long bath, blasting music in my car on a long drive, going to Target, going to the movies, or going out to dinner.
Challenge 26: Create a morning and evening ritual. You may have hit the stage where sleep is dead to you and you actually wake up earlier than your kids to get anything done. Whether you have or not, setting a morning routine and making it a habit can make your day go so much better! My ideal morning ritual is to wake up before my kids and enjoy the peace and quiet, stretch a little while laying in bed, then do something productive (like blog) before I get in the shower. Then I make sure I put in the laundry to get all the chores set in motion. At night, I ideally get ready for bed, write down something I’m grateful for, listen to the scriptures, then watch a show or listen to a book with my husband. They don’t always happen, but when they do I feel like I went to Disneyland that day!
Challenge 27: Dejunk your hobbies. If you feel like you never have enough time to do the things you love, it might be time to make sure you’re really doing the things you love when you have the time. I recently dejunked my hobbies and it was so freeing. I used to do wedding videos for people and run a film camp in the summer. I loved doing both of them, but when my second baby came along I realized I didn’t have enough time for everything. I decided to stop doing wedding videos and push my film camp goals to a future date when all my kids are in school. It was really freeing because now I am a lot more focused and don’t feel so overwhelmed.
Challenge 28: Simplify your diaper bag. With my first baby, I literally packed everything I could think of in my diaper bag to make sure I was prepared. The problem with this was that it was so full I routinely forgot things like diapers because I couldn’t see in it, and I spent so much time rushing around finding things to put in it that It took so much time to get out the door. Now I literally only put diapers and wipes in it, unless it’s some sort of special occasion. I also make a point to empty it frequently from trash, toys, etc that have piled up. (BTW the diaper bag above is the one I have and is amazing!!)
Challenge 29: Forgive yourself daily. This can be so freeing. Forgive yourself for needing a break and letting them watch hours of TV. Forgive yourself for yelling. Forgive yourself for not noticing they were sad. Forgive yourself for telling them to go away. Moms aren’t perfect and that is okay! If you routinely forgive yourself, you won’t carry around the weight of guilt and feel happier and lighter, and therefore be happier around your kids.
Which challenge really speaks to you? Good luck mama!