Maxed out Moms

Emily DaFoe

“With every act of self-care, your authentic self gets stronger, and the fearful, critical mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side.”

Maxed out Moms

Many mommas are overworked and exhausted. In fact, a recent study showed that moms work an average of 100 hours per week and that the average super mom only gets about 10-15 minutes of quiet time a day! 

The truth is some days I feel I barely have time to take 5 minutes, let alone 15. I have friends that locked themselves in the bathroom to get a break, all while they watch little fingers poke under the door in a ploy to lure poor mother dear out. I have friends that hid in cupboards to eat a piece of chocolate in peace and a good friend that recently confessed to locking the bedroom door to cry while their little ones banged and screamed relentlessly on the other side. 

My situation is currently quite tough at the moment, I’m now going through a painful separation (aren’t they all painful?!), have two girls under 5, while taking part in a hands-on renovation and working full time. Not only am I busy and burnt out but I am faced with the extra burden and sudden uncertainty of where I will live in the next 16 months, or what my kids and my future will look like. To be honest, maxed out mom doesn’t even cut it. Many of my girlfriends who know what I’m going through are asking me often ‘how are you so positive and how are you keeping it together?!’ The truth is, in some moments I’m barely coping, and you know what, that’s ok. What not ok is not looking after ourselves. I’ve literally had to create commitments with myself to reduce my anxiety, stay focused, and positive in an endeavor to be the best me and mommy I can be while going through a trying time.

Here are my top 7 personal self-care tips that have helped me reset and be more compassionate with myself over the last year. 

Stop talking: The biggest thing I’ve had to do is stop asking people for directions to places they’ve never been to. What does that mean? Well, at the start of the breakdown of my relationship with my ex-partner, I would ask all different friends, what should I do? Some friends that haven’t been married and some that have never had kids. I had 100 various sources of advice, which obviously complicates the situation and sent me into a stressed-out tizzy! My recommendation: get quiet and if you need to speak to someone hire a therapist or choose a good friend or two that you can confide in.

Meditate or try my Mini Mindfulness Moments: Cut out time for yourself to meditate even if it’s only 5 minutes a day. If you don’t want to meditate, the act of merely being mindful helps. Often when I drive, I truly focus on being there, watching the surroundings, and being super switched on. I feel the leather underneath my hands on the steering wheel, and I focus on the road and my breath. It helps me feel less stressed, more focused, and calmingly centered when I arrive at my destination.  No road rage here.

Dance the night away: Put on some disco music and pump up the volume the kids love it, and it helps take out any aggression. You’ll be left feeling powerful and empowered! Here are some of my picks!

Happy (Pharrell Williams)

Lose Yourself (Eminem)

Eye of The Tiger (Survivor)

Roar (Katy Perry)

Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)

Titanium (David Guetta)

Walking on Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)

Get up 20 minutes earlier and enjoy your tea or coffee: This is not just a cozy morning ritual but can set the tone and mood for your entire day. Just make sure you don’t bring your phone or computer to your breakfast nook! Just put your feet up and enjoy your drink and quiet time! 

Be kind to yourself: I found myself crying in the car after dropping after my children to daycare on Monday. Between the lawyers, renovation and work and sleepless nights, I was just feeling broken. I heard the inner voice, the judge saying, ‘how the f&$k did you let yourself get here!’ This inner voice, this judgmental voice is not helpful. We think over 7,000 thoughts a day and if a majority of them a negative you’ll be heading in a negative direction. Sometimes I make a priority to tell myself ‘I’m awesome, I got this, I did great today!’ So, go on, give yourself a pat on the back and change the direction of your path from negative to positive!

Chant the Serenity Prayer: I’ve always loved this one!! It helped me a lot over the years, and I’ve even inscribed it on a bracelet. Write it down on a post-it note and pin it on your fridge!  ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the difference to know the difference.” 

Watch funny movies: I’m currently on a funny movie bender watching old comedies like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Parenthood, Ferris Bueller and Coming to America. Not only are they a good laugh and bring back memories from my childhood, but laughter can boost your immune system and decrease the hormones associated with stress too! 

It is true what they say, ‘Self-care is giving the world the best of you, not what is left of you.’

Whatever you choose to do to look after yourself, the first step is realizing its importance; a necessity not a luxury. Your relationship with yourself is just as meaningful as your relationship with your closest friend and family. So like those, commit time and watch your confidence and positivity flourish.