When Your Heart Says “I Love Motherhood”, But Your Body Says “I Need a Break”

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As I lie in bed each morning, I plan out my entire day in my head.

I imagine that I will make homemade pancakes with strawberry syrup (not just any old maple syrup. Wha-what!) for breakfast. I picture myself french-braiding my daughter’s hair while I rehearse my son’s spelling test words with him. We will be dressed (myself included) for the day ten minutes ahead of schedule, leaving the perfect amount of time for us all to embrace in a long cuddle before the bus arrives.

In my head, the atmosphere of our evening will resemble that of this blissful morning. There will be elaborate discussions over a Pinterest-inspired dinner. We will spend an extraordinary amount of quality time doing holiday-themed crafts and engaging in self-care routines.

Then, I will have my kids go to bed at 8 pm sharp without fuss or fight.

In reality, my day will look nothing like this, and the reason is simple. I am just too freaking tired.

I am too tired to get out of bed and do anything but pour milk over Cheerios.

I am too tired to brush the tangled rat’s-nest-like knot of hair on my daughter’s head while she screams at me.

I am too tired to look for construction paper and clean up glitter after a failed craft attempt.

You can’t say that I don’t think about being the best darn mom out there. It is way up there on my priority list. I just have trouble pulling through on all of it.

Luckily, if being a parent has taught me anything, it has taught me that families are resilient, and that you are most likely doing a better job than you think.

When you want to be a good mom, but you are just too exhausted for life, try these five simple things to recharge and fake it as a fun mom.

Give Yourself Grace

You’re worn out? Of course you are! You most likely have an overflowing bucket of responsibilities that your family continues to add to.

Of course I don’t feel like waking up early to make pancakes. The prior day consisted of working, girl scouts, a baseball game, and then home to make dinner, lunches, and do baths before crashing in bed.

In fact, I feel like someone should be making pancakes for me!

Prioritize Resting

Someone once told me that, in parenting, you have to:

Put on your own oxygen mask first. You’re use not helping anyone if you’re dying.

You already know that you are a much better mom when you are rested.

I am all about limiting my kid’s screen-time. I want my kids to be screen-free as much as possible, and I get an intense case of mom-guilt when they overuse their tablets.

With that said, it can feel A-MAZE-ING to recharge and sit down for an hour or so when they go on technology.

I’d rather have a little bit of guilt for being lazy, than the backlash I feel when I am worn too thin and have a mommy-temper-tantrum.

Plan a Fun, Relaxing Activity

When you are tired, plan a relaxing family activity. Spending quality time together doesn’t have to be a big, draining event.

For example, my kids love when we do a bonfire in our backyard. We sit back, cuddle, and roast marshmallows. We are all recharging while we enjoy each other’s company.

You can follow Christine’s lead from The Growing Creatives, and do a pretend spa day. Sit back and let your kids do your hair, make-up and more. Take a look here.

Other relaxing activities that kids love include:

  • A family movie night- popcorn + pajamas + cuddles
  • A refreshing outdoor hike or picnic
  • Make a fort that you can cuddle up in and relax together (I am always the ‘sleeping bear’ in a fort)
  • Read a stack of books
  • Color together

Caffeine-up

There is no pause button in life. There have been days where my kid was up all night, and I still have to wake up, get to work, and later return home and manage my household.

On days like this, I have no other option but to chug back a large coffee, force a smile onto my face, and power forward.

Balance Your Life

Learn to ask for help. This was something that took me a while to truly grasp. When I started to ask for help from family, friends, and my husband, I quickly learned how eager every one was to help me lighten my load.

Learn to say no. I’d love to make cookies for the PTA bake sale; however, if I volunteer, I can guarantee I will be swearing as I try to salvage my burnt cookies at 11:30 pm on the night behind the bake sale.

Final Thoughts

The fact that you are even thinking about being a good parent, makes you one automatically.

Your family doesn’t need gourmet dinners or elaborate crafts. They just need you. And if you can give them a patient, relaxed version of yourself, then all the better.

And if you are truly exhausted, there is no shame in faking it through, Mama.

If you found this helpful, share it! And check out some other recent posts:

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  • Guide to Safe Benadryl Dosing for Children
  • Miralax for Children: Dosage in Kids for Constipation Relief
  • 5 Serious Conditions that Mimic Strong-Willed Behavior in Kids
  • 6 Harmful Myths About Raising Strong-Willed Kids

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