Self-care is a huge buzz word these days, but what do you do when your passion is at odds with your motherhood? It’s something I’m struggling with right now, and I wanted to share some tips for doing what you love, while also still finding the joy in loving on those little ones who need you.
I love writing.
After quitting my job as a TV news reporter to stay home with our son, I realized how much I missed it.
I knew I wanted to focus my life on mothering, and I was thankful that I was able to stay home with our son.
But something was missing.
I had let go of my passion.
Three years later, I started She Just Glows, which has been one of the most remarkable and incredible journeys of my life. I pour my heart into it… and into you.
And I love it.
In my heart, in my being.
It’s my passion.
I’ve realized that I am fulfilled by writing… and through it… (hopefully) encouraging you, and reminding you that you’re not alone, and that this isn’t easy, and that you can love yourself through it.
It’s still my passion. But now, with 4 kids 7 and under, it’s getting harder and harder to find the time.
I used to write posts while my boys napped. In fact, at the time that I started She Just Glows, they napped 4 hours a day. (Can you even imagine?!?) I mean honestly, I remember I was actually bored and just needed to find something to do!
Now, there is always someone awake.
Most don’t nap.
Someone always needs something.
Now, there are more of them. And as there have been more of them, there seems to be less of me.
And while I am so very grateful to have full-time help, there’s still no substitute for Mommy. I thought I’d have tons of time to write, but I just don’t.
Even with full-time help, motherhood is a full-time job.
And so, these past few months, I’ve found myself feeling ineffective, both as a mom and as a blogger. They’re 2 of my most favorite jobs in the world, but is it possible that they can no longer coexist?
I’ve starting feeling like I’m failing at motherhood, and I’m also failing at everything else.
Is your passion fighting your motherhood?
It might not even be your passion. It might be your job, or an obligation that’s essential, like caring for aging parents. And yet it cuts into your joy when you’re around your kids.
I’m trying to flex with life, and find a way to dwell in motherhood, while at the same time staying true to myself and figuring out how I can keep writing and sharing with you all.
I shared about this on Instagram, and some of you responded with a refreshing message:
“There’s no such thing as balance. Stop trying to find balance, and be content to be dwell in the chaos for a few years. It’s a short time. The kids won’t be this young forever. Take a break and enjoy.”
Others of you offered some tips that I wanted to pay forward and share here. So we can all know that we’re not alone… and that no one has it all figured out.
Here are a few small-but-totally-doable ways to make the juggle seem more manageable, and to find self-care within the confines of mothering.
1. Take a social media break.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I try to turn off my phone every Sunday. It’s life-giving for me, and I notice that I’m happier and more relaxed all day.
“I deactivated Facebook,” one reader wrote. “When my work involved social media, I used an app that blocked the newsfeed, which helped so much with not going down a browsing rabbit hole.”
2. Read a book instead of mindless phone browsing.
One reader said she set up a family reading time, when the whole family cozies up and reads together. What a simple and sweet visual. Make sure your book isn’t a digital version, or if it is, turn your device to airplane mode before you get settled in.
3. Set a weekly to-do list, instead of a daily one.
I love this tip! The reader who sent it in said that it takes a lot of the pressure away, and helps her prioritize.
4. Set a time limit for electronics.
My life coach suggested setting a 20-minute alarm on my phone whenever I’m scrolling. When the 20 minutes is up, put the phone down and go play with my kids. And, here’s the key: be totally in the moment. This helps solve my bad habit of playing with my kids while one eye is on my phone or my Instagram feed.
5. Do unexpected activities with your kids.
One reader loves thrift store shopping, so she took the whole family and each person got to choose something they wanted. Our family loves dance parties, and sometimes to surprise my kids, I’ll just randomly jump in the pool with all my clothes on. Keep it fun and keep it light.
6. Every night, journal 3 things you’re grateful for.
This is a great idea any time, but especially if you’re in the baby stage. It can make those mundane, sleep-deprived days feel more fulfilling.
7. Listen to podcasts.
“Something else that makes me feel inspired and productive while cleaning or cooking is listening to podcasts,” one reader shared. It’s a way to feel like you’re getting ‘me’ time, without taking a break from the work that needs to be done.
8. If it’s not a “hell yes” then it’s a “hell no.”
Excuse the language but this reader’s approach to her commitments was just too good not to share. If you’re not totally in, then consider saying no. I wrote a whole post about this, along with other tips for how to stop doing things that steal your joy.
What do you do when your life’s passions are crowding out the joy for your mothering? I’d love to hear your strategies. Share them on the Facebook page, or on Instagram. And make sure you’re an email subscriber, so you don’t miss any posts!