I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I write quite a bit about being a happy mom, but the truth is, I struggle. I write about it because I can relate. I know what it’s like to always feel sad, or mad, and not knowing why you can’t just get out of your funk. I have been there and sometimes, I still end up there. I would say, that for the most part I am a happy person. But some days are harder than others.
I started this blog because I wanted to find ways to become happier. Sharing what I have learned with you has been the best part of all. I know I have a great life. I have three wonderful children and a dedicated, hardworking husband. I have a beautiful home and great friends. I am blessed. I want to actually appreciate it instead of always feeling sad, or angry, or overwhelmed. I want to be a patient, kind mom, instead of the mom who snaps angrily at her kids.
Lately, I feel like I have fallen into a hole again, and today has been the worst yet. I’m not sure what the cause is exactly. It’s probably more of a combination of things, than one thing in particular. My spirited boy has been acting out more than usual, my husband is gone 14+ hours per day and soon to be even more when his work goes through a busy period. I basically won’t see him for a month. I am struggling to keep up with the housework, my job, being a deliberate parent, and wife.
I have been implementing lots of new habits this year and they have been tremendously helpful in improving my happiness and reducing stress. But I am not perfect and lately I have let some of them slip. As moms, we can have the most well intentioned plans, but then something happens that completely throws us for a loop and it seems to take forever to get back on track.
Last week, my husband had an unexpected day off and I was hoping for a date, just the two of us. Something we have not done in over a year. But instead, he decided to go out with a family member. I understand that he also needs time to blow off steam, but I still felt hurt that he didn’t even consider me.
When he came home this afternoon, I knew that tomorrow would be his last day off before he starts working 7 days a week, possibly for the rest of the summer. I am very grateful to have such a hardworking husband, but I hate that his job can sometimes keep him away from us like this. I try to stay positive about this for the kids, but I know they can sense my pain. Especially my oldest, who is very intuitive. He also struggles with not seeing his dad enough. It breaks my heart to see them suffer, too. I try to keep reminding myself that it’s not forever.
Tonite during our bedtime routine, my oldest looked at me and said, “mama, you seem sad”. It took all my strength not to break down and sob right there. Instead, I choked back tears and quickly spat out, “don’t worry, buddy, I’m fine”. But he knew better. I could tell by the way he looked at me. He hugged me a little tighter and rubbed my arm gently and then gave me the sweetest, gentlest, kiss on the cheek. Man, did I need that. I seriously don’t know what I did to deserve this boy, but I must have done something right.
I am not writing this for sympathy. I am writing this to any of you who are struggling right now to let you know that you are not alone. We all have bad days, bad weeks, sometimes bad months or even years. We are all just trying to do the best we can.
So what’s the plan? I’m sure, like me, you don’t want to be in this funk anymore. You are ready to get back to your normal self. What are the next steps going to be?
Treat Yourself With Kindness
First, I am going to treat myself with kindness. If you are struggling I encourage you to do the same. I am just going to accept my feelings for what they are without judging myself. I am not going to think “what’s wrong with me?” or “what right do you have to be sad when there are people far worse off than you?”. What good will those thoughts do? None. They will only perpetuate my feelings by adding on guilt, something that no mom needs more of. I am just going to observe my thoughts for what they are without judgement. Processing and feeling our emotions is necessary in order to let them go.
Make Sure Your Needs Are Met
I am going to pay close attention to my physical needs. I am going to make sure I am getting enough sleep and eating nourishing food. I am also an introvert and need lots of quiet time. I am a huge proponent of self care, but it is really easy for us to put our needs on the back burner while we attend to everyone else. However, it is of the utmost importance to make sure we are taken care of or we cannot give our best to our families.
Resolve Issues That Are Within Your Control
Think about anything that may be causing you stress and commit to resolving it. My happiness habit for this month is creating a life management plan. To be honest, I have not done as well with this as I had hoped. I am going to make a commitment to really delve into it now. I know doing so will make a huge difference. Even just thinking about it makes me feel better.
I am also going to make a concerted effort to do something that makes me smile everyday. Whether that is watching a funny video, turning on the radio and having an impromptu dance party with my kids or just getting downright goofy. Anything to lighten the mood.
Ahh! I feel better already sharing my heart with you. Thank you for giving me your time and letting me vent!
I would love for you to share your experience as well. What helped you pull yourself out of a funk?