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  • Writer's pictureTricia Pyatt, MA, LPC

Exhausted as a mother...

Have you ever felt so exhausted that you demanded your child watch another episode of Bubble Guppies just so you could have 30 more minutes to yourself? Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom for longer than you needed just to escape for a few minutes from the chaos outside that bathroom door? Have you ever lied about what time it is so you can make your kids think it's bedtime, because you just can't take one more second of the whining, clinging, and needing.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can confirm one thing for you - YOU ARE A MOM!

And unfortunately, being a mom is exhausting. It is the absolute most rewarding "job" on the planet, but also the most draining - emotionally, physically, mentally - utterly and completely exhausting.

But do you know why it is so exhausting? Let me just tell you the "why" behind it.

As moms, we are hardwired to be caretakers of everyone else above us. We are givers. We are selfless. And we are giving so much of ourselves that there is just nothing left for us. And this can be SO incredibly damaging to our mental health.

This is why it is imperative that we practice self-care. And self-care doesn't mean going out and getting facials, pedicures, a night out with the girls... No, self-care can be simply setting boundaries and sticking to them. Maybe for one mom, it means she never cooks on Thursdays. Maybe she orders pizza or chinese food, or they have a cereal night. Maybe for another mom, self-care means taking one night a week to go somewhere without her family in tow. Maybe her husband or other family member or friend can watch the kids while she goes to Target and enjoys sipping on Starbucks while perusing the aisles at Target without any whining or trantrums (since she will not have her kids with her). Maybe self-care means locking yourself in your bedroom or in the bathtub while you read a book for an hour and dad keeps the kids away.

It doesn't matter what you do, except that it needs to be FOR YOU, and for you only! Because if we don't have a healthy momma, we are not going to have a healthy family.

The biggest thing to remember is that boundaries are critical when establishing time for yourself. It is ok to say no to other people and requests for the sake of your well-being. Don't give up self-care just because you feel obligated to help with a school function (that you know will stress you out to the max), or to go to a book club you don't really want to go to. It is ok to say no! In fact, it is GOOD to say no sometimes! This is such a huge part of self-care.

So if there is one thing I urge you to do, it is to make a plan of how self-care would look for you. Set the boundaries of how the logistics of it would work. Then stick to them!

Mommin' ain't easy, guys! Take care of yourselves so you can be the best mom you can be! Your kids, and everyone else in your life, will thank you!


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