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There were more than one mom who participated in my informal survey who spoke of feeling guilty for wishing she wasn’t a mom at times. These moms went on to say that although they deeply love their children, they miss their carefree lifestyle, their freedom, and the peace and calm that was once theirs in their former, before kids life.
The seasoned moms, myself included understand this, too. We all remember how difficult it can be with a bunch of little ones who are so demanding of your time, attention, and simply your person as it can seem that you forever have little ones hanging off you. I often joke, although it isn’t so much of a joke really, that I haven’t gone to the bathroom by myself in 14 years. There is certainly an element of truth to that statement, and it does exhaust me still at times.
When talking to moms of littles, I am always quick to empathize because I remember what it was like to have kids who were so young that they were all dependent on me, all at the same time as they were too young to be too self-sufficient in any way.
- First off, let me encourage, remind, and assure you that this phase will not last forever. Your children will grow older, and if you are new in making the adjustment to primarily caring for your children it will get easier. As one of the seasoned moms said, life will be crazy for awhile, but the craziness won’t last forever.
- Next, let me give you permission for having these feelings. It is normal for you to miss your former life, your former self who didn’t have an excess of skin, stretch marks, and all the demands and responsibilities that can make you feel trapped at times and wishing for just a bit more freedom. Don’t feel guilty about these feelings. Know that we all had them and still have them from time to time.
- Own these feelings. Owning these feelings gives you a feeling of empowerment, which is so often what moms who are weary are feeling. When we are weary as moms we feel lost, overwhelmed, under-equipped, and just downright tired of everything. This could also be described as burned out. Recognizing that you feel this way and embracing these feelings comes before you can implement an action plan that will bring forth different feelings.
- I have mentioned this before in this series, but it so vital that I can’t leave it out here – feed your soul. This would include any or all of these things: participating in a hobby you love, scheduling time for yourself, grounding yourself before everyone else gets up in the morning, developing friends who you can share your true feelings with, and so much more. Go back and read about being overwhelmed or being a stay-at-home mom if you have not read those yet.
- Share your feelings with your spouse. Not in a bombard-them-when-they-get-home sort of way but in a I-really-need-to-talk-t0-you-when-would-be-a-good-time sort of way. Decide whether you want him to solve your problem here or just listen, and tell him which you want him to do. Nothing is more frustrating than a husband who is trying to solve your problem when you just want a shoulder to cry on. Just tell him what you need. Remember how he can’t read your mind? If you want him to alleviate some of the stressors that make you want to escape, work toward developing a plan to do that together.
- Faith plays an important role in my life. It is my lifeline. I could not get through motherhood without it. If you have faith, don’t overlook the power of just praying for strength every day. Admit your feelings, cry out to God, and ask Him to take the burden of these feelings from you. Ask Him to give you His perspective on your life and your circumstances. Ask Him to help you see your role as a mother through His eyes. This is a huge game changer for me every time I am intentional in doing these specific things.
- Serve others. Make a meal for a friend, donate some items that you no longer need to Goodwill, visit a nursing home in your area. Doing for others takes the focus off you, and this is so freeing of the weightiness of the frustrations and emotions that you feel.
- Get plenty of sleep. There is nothing that plays with our emotions more than being tired. This can be a commitment – this getting plenty of rest thing. I am still trying to heed my own advice here more often. It is so tempting to stay up super late to get things done since you don’t have kids underfoot. If this is you, too, I get it. But I can certainly look back on the days where I am overtired and see how I was less patient, more demanding, and completely unreasonable at times. Maybe you can, too.
Know that if you are craving the freedom you once had you are in the company of every other mom I know. We all feel the stress, the strain, and the enormous responsibility along with the never-ending demands that so often come with having kids, especially if you have more than one child. Share this post, pin this post, or print it off and save it for later so you can be reminded that you are not alone in wanting just a piece of your life back. Then, step back and remember that this won’t last forever while accepting and owning these feelings, feeding your soul, sharing your heart with your spouse, clinging to your faith, serving others, and seeing to it that you get a reasonable amount of sleep.
Remember that missing your freedom or wishing for your former life at times does not mean that you don’t love your kids. Not in the least. You will find that implementing these strategies in your life will not only give you a way of coping with your feelings, but it will also give you the sense of freedom you long for. The freedoms you experience as a mom are almost always going to be different than the freedoms you experienced before you became a mom, but learning to embrace the new freedom can be just what you need.
This post is the 11th in a 15 day series 15 Days of Hope for the Weary Mom, that is taking us through the rest of the month of May. Come back to find more throughout this month, or subscribe to get the new posts delivered right to your inbox. By the way, if you did the math on the remainder of the month, you may have discovered that there is a bonus coming at the end since there are still five days left in the month.
You can find hope in the first post in the series, What in the World Have I Gotten Myself Into?! here
You can find An Action Plan for the Overwhelmed Mom here
You can find An Action Plan for the Mom Who is Stuck at Home here
You can find An Action Plan for Connecting With Other Moms here
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Dealing With the Never-Ending Responsibilities of a Mom here
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Getting It All Done as a Stay at Home Mom here.
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for Getting It All Done as a Working Mom here.
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for the Mom Who is Afraid She is Doing it All Wrong here.
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for the Mom Who Worries That It’s Too Late here
You can find A Realistic Action Plan for the Mom Who Has No Role Model in Being a Mom here.
Come back tomorrow to find A Realistic Action Plan for the Mom Who is Depressed.