These days, things are a little less predictable, but almost just as messy. Let me give you an example…
So…how does a mama really love life in spite of all the messes?
I realize that this is borderline annoying, like the person who walks up to you and says “SMILE!” just because you don’t seem cheerful enough.
But trust me when I say I’ve had my share of struggles with enjoying and loving life when circumstances are conspiring against me. It’s legitimately very hard sometimes, and if you’re a mama to little ones you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But there are things that help me love my life as a SAHM to two little ones. Here are a few of those ideas.
How to Love Life at Home with Little Ones
1. Know How Awesome You Are
I’ll probably be writing many posts on this subject, so I’m trying to reign myself in.
- You were made for this. Being a mama is such a miracle, and God knew what he was doing when he made you one. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect, in fact, he expects you to rely on Him. He thinks you’re amazing, and He’s going to help you every step of the way.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. There’s more than one way (or two or three or seventeen) to be a great mom. If you’re getting discouraged because someone else seems like they have it all together, here’s a reality check for you: They don’t. And they probably struggled or are struggling now just like you with this thing called parenthood.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Lower your expectations and don’t be hard on yourself. Remember that what you do has so much value and let the little things be little in your mind.
- Remember your identity. Yes, sometimes having kids makes you feel a bit like who you are can be summed up with one word: MOM. Taking care of little ones means devoting yourself to their needs, and it’s exhausting! One thing I love doing are simple things to remind me of who I am…like reading, talking to friends, even looking at things that make me happy on Pinterest. Just remember, you’re unique, talented, and still that same amazing person you were pre-kids.
2. Remember to Take Care of Yourself
- Ask for help and get some time away from the kids. Even if it’s just long enough for a shower…though hopefully, it’s more.
- Get some fresh air whenever possible. I did a lot of nursing my baby on a patio chair in our back yard while Kai ran around. And once Sylvie started sleeping through the night and the weather was good enough, I’d leave my husband with the monitors in the early morning and walk around the block. It’s amazing how a little fresh air can make me feel more like myself again.
- Make sleep a priority. Sleep is SO important to me. I’m just not myself after a night of interrupted or little sleep. You’ve probably heard this advice before, but if you’re not doing it, it will make such a difference to sleep when your kids sleep. If you can’t do that, just do what you can to make sleep a higher priority. Even if it means while your preschooler is having a quiet time, or you’re catching 20 minutes during a Daniel Tiger. Sometimes I’d tell Kai mommy was extra tired today, and I’d crash on the couch after explaining I was right there if he needed me. He never did, though.
- Connect with God. Prayer, reading the Bible, and reading devotionals written for moms are a few things that are required for me to preserve my sense of gratitude and general good cheer. If you don’t have time to devote to reading, try listening to some teachings and encouraging words online.
- Connect with friends. Have someone on speed dial who really gets it, or is at least a great listener. If you can manage to join a moms group at your church, that will go a long way in getting some great perspective!
- Do all the self care. Take a look at all the self care essential for moms. It’s not just about lighting a candle, it’s about taking care of you.
3. Treasure Up the Good Times
- Make memories every day. It’s not exactly time to rush off to Disney World, but some of the memories I treasure most with little ones are things like kissing my baby’s feet, or giving her a tray of water to splash in, or snuggling her while we read before sleep. I like to look for some sweet moments every day to savor them when I need it…usually in the same day.
- Record funny stories and quotes. I have a piece of paper tucked away that I can reach easily throughout the day to jot down quotes from my 3-year-old son. My husband stores away anecdotes and funny things Kai has said in an app on his phone.
- Take pictures of any remotely cheerful moments and milestones. Texting them to family is optional, but encouraged. Making a scrapbook/photo album is also worth it if you have the time.
I don’t think that these things are some sort of cure-all, and I know how simplistic some of them sound, but they are what help me. Mom life is tough, and I want you to feel encouraged and happier amidst the struggles.
If you’re having a really hard time, find out if you have PPD and get help; it will be the bravest most amazing thing you can do for yourself and your little one.
One day I know we mamas will look back and long for the sort of interruptions that require a lot of paper towels to clean up. I hope by then you also know that even though you aren’t perfect, you’ll hear “well done” from your Father in heaven one day. He’s given us such amazing treasures, and it wasn’t a mistake that he did.