Hi friends. A few things spurred this post on today, but especially Natalie’s blog post from last week’s Thoughts for Thursday. It was a real, honest, mom and blogger post that a lot of us can relate to. I know I related and a lot of it really rang home to me. I was also recapping our year in 2016 this week and it reminded me of a few posts that I wrote last year and the ups and downs of motherhood. My SIL is getting ready to have her second baby this month and when I was catching up with her this week it made me reflect on what helped me get through the transition of one child to two. I wrote a post about it last summer and it is still good for me to go back and read sometimes. It also reminded me of how tough motherhood can be.
This post from last March that I shared is good representation of when I was at my tipping point in motherhood. Madelyn was almost 6 months and Brody was 2 years 9 months. We had just spent the last 3 months of winter with one or both babies sick with some type of cold and then Brody had just given us a huge scare. He had a severe febrile seizure that put him in the hospital for 3 nights. That pretty much put me at my tipping point. It was then that I knew I needed to find some help. And I made an effort to follow these steps below…
Tips for Being A Happier Mama
1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
I’ve had family around ever since we’ve had Brody and Madelyn and it has been a life saver. I learned quickly not to be afraid to ask for help, but at the same time not abuse the privileges. I’ve had family friends offer to help since having kids to and I’ve actually called them when in a last minute bind too. I know that everyone doesn’t have the luxury of having family around, but remember it’s okay to take help from friends and neighbors that offer too. It may be an easy meal or it may be someone willing to babysit while you run to the doctor.
2. Sign Up for Care.com & find a Babysitter
I wasn’t sure at first how to go about getting an outside babysitter since we were spoiled by having family to babysit. After Brody’s seizure, I knew I needed some daytime help with Madelyn. I was stressed, scared and Madelyn was requiring more attention and interaction since she was now 6 months old. I signed up for Care.com because I had heard great things. I found several different potential candidates and ended up hiring a girl I loved. She was my age, a nurse, and wonderful with Madelyn. She came a two mornings a week to watch Madelyn while Brody was at school. It helped me a lot because at that time Madelyn’s nap schedules still fell exactly at the times I needed to be taking or picking Brody up from school. I also stumbled across a wonderful lady that was interested in cooking. She started making some dinners for us which was a huge help too. Honestly, looking back; I wonder why I needed all the extra help because it’s so much easier for me right now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the extra help; but now dinner’s aren’t as tough for me to make now and taking the kids here and there isn’t as hard because Madelyn is down to one nap a day. It’s a good reminder that everything is just a phase. I’m so thankful for our sitter, Carina, who stayed for about 5 months. It was a short stint, but it was just the help I needed until Madelyn was older and started going to school with Brody. Help with housecleaning can be a big one too. Sometimes during these tough seasons of life, it’s worth sacrificing in certain areas to afford other luxuries like house cleaners or child care.
3. Find Mom Groups
I think this is so important whether it’s an organized Mom’s group or just some of your friends that get together on a regular basis with the kiddos. I really enjoyed this with baby #1, but I found it much tougher with the second baby. Some Mom’s went back to work, some had their kids in school and nap times were always tough to work around. If you can find your niche, you’re very lucky! It may take trying a few different groups out before you find the right one.
4. Schedule Playdates
On days that my kids are not in school, I am so much happier if I have a playdate scheduled or something fun planned to do with the kids. I just do better with them when we plan to get out of the house for a few hours. It’s easier for me in the summer because I loved taking the kids to the pool. The winter time is tougher, but even a chick-fil-a playdate and lunch is better than nothing!
5. Go to a Gym that Has Childcare
This one can be easier said than done. We actually have plenty of places around here that I can take my kids to so I can work out, but the problem is my kids!! Brody’s at a great age and adjusts to any of the childcare places pretty easy. Madelyn on the other hand always has a heart attack. She cries like crazy at drop off, then does okay and then some how usually ends up crying more for me to have to come get her out early. I think consistency is important with this one. They end up learning to like it and that or so that we get to ourself can be a wonderful break during the day!
At the end of the day, just remember we are all human. We can only do and give so much and some days are good and some days are really really hard. My days have gotten better for me as the kids have gotten older. I still have problems with trying to multitask which I really need to be better at and I still lose my temper many of days. Kids are trying, but they can also be the cutest things on the planet.
Cheers to Mommyhood and to those that don’t have babies, maybe you have pets. Pets can be a lot of work too (or even husbands). :).
Link up with Natalie and I below for Thoughts for Thursday.
*PS this is not sponsored by care.com or anyone else. I just happen to use that service when trying to find childcare.