Mommy Mantras

I’ve thought a lot lately about my own mental health and taking care of myself. I’ve also noticed other moms that I know face-to-face and through the internet stressing about everything from babies waking during the night to finding enough time to get kids to and from school.

I’ve gotten some good advice from you guys in the comments here and on Facebook, and I just wanted to share a few little mantras that I’ve been using lately as reminders to be kind to myself.  Mantras, affirmations, whatever you want to call it, I’ve tried really hard to use some positive self-talk these days to help change my patterns of thought for the positive.

Here are some of the things I tell myself when I start to feel overwhelmed.

Time does pass.

Perfection is a myth.

The Grasshopper is going to remember this pizza eating and cartoon watching as fun, not me being neglectful.

You’re doing a great job with what you have right now. – Thanks Diana!

You’re not Superwoman and no one expects you to be.

Just say NO! – Thanks Kerri!

Be gentle to yourself.

and my personal favorite from my mother…

This, too, shall pass.

On a related note, there’s a fantastic blog out there called Self Care Tips for Women.  They posted recently about the myths vs. the realities of motherhood, and the article really hit home for me.

Let’s Get REAL About Motherhood and Life

Do you have any sayings or mantras that you use to help yourself get through challenging times?  I’d love to expand my list!

Some additions to the Mantra List thanks to my readers:

I can choose peace instead of this. – JamesandJax

And a whole list from Diana at The Whining Puker:

“First it gets better, then it goes away.”
– Becky Taylor

“Progress, not perfection.”
– Flylady

“Give yourself lots of grace.”
– Wendi

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All Things to All People

My midwife, bless her, gave me a bit of a gentle scolding last week.  I needed it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling completely drained.  Not just tired.  More than that.  Sucked dry.  Wrung out.  Physically tired?  Absolutely.  Mentally exhausted?  Oh, yeah.  Emotionally worn out?  You bet.

When she asked me how I was feeling, that’s what I told her.  She pointed out that it sounded like I was simply trying to be too many people.

I’ve written before about trying to do too much and how that causes the hyperemesis gravidarum to flare up.  I’ve always thought of it as a physical thing.  When my midwife framed it in terms of being too many people, something clicked in my mind.

That’s exactly what’s been going on, particularly with trying to crank out an article every single day for World Breastfeeding Week.  It’s been completely exhausting.

My midwife suggested I think about my priorities.  Which Molly is the most important Molly?

Who do I try to be on a daily basis?  What facets make me… me?

  • Mommy to the Grasshopper
  • Wife to my husband
  • Cook
  • Partial housekeeper
  • Good employee at the office
  • Keeper of the house schedule
  • Writer/blogger
  • Lactivist
  • Socially responsible consumer (now that takes some hard work!)
  • Pregnant lady
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum survivor/sufferer
  • Gardener
  • Fish-keeper
  • Dog mommy

This list goes on and on and on.

Which of those is most important right now?  Weeellll….  They’re all important.

Some things I’m already letting slide.  Mr. Grasshopper already does all the cooking.  We’ve hired a housekeeper, and whatever she doesn’t do, he does.  The poor dog doesn’t really get walked right now except to go with my husband to get the mail.  He’s taken over taking the Grasshopper to swim class, grocery shopping, laundry, watering the potted plants, and any other chores that come up as a part of home ownership.

He’s carrying so much of the weight of the household right now, and he’s holding up amazingly well under the strain.

My midwife is right, though.  I need to start shedding more roles.  I’m not sure what this means, though.

I think part of it is that I need to let go of the notion of spending every day striving to be The Best Employee Ever.  I’m up to my neck in projects that I’m frantically trying to complete before I go out on leave.

My last day of work will be September 16th.  That’s a little over five weeks away.  That’s not enough time!

I think what I need to do is this:  I need to stop thinking of September 16th as a deadline and start thinking of it as a new beginning.  If I don’t finish every single thing that I wanted to finish at the office, it won’t be the end of the world.  Time passes.  They will find a way to manage without me.

I need to focus on what’s important.  My family, myself, and my baby.

I’m already reaching that stage of just wanting to hide in a cave.  I just want to be left alone to get ready for the baby to arrive.  I want to get the clothes washed and into drawers, the room set up, the car seats installed, etc.  I just can’t right now because of having to work.

So I need to start looking forward to September 16th, not as the drop-dead date for my projects but as the day that I can stop having to be everything but a mommy getting ready to have a baby.  It’s so hard to change that perspective.  I’m a natural project manager, so my instinct is to manage each task and account for all possible outcomes and potential stumbling blocks.  I try in every possible way to foresee every potential risk and develop a plan to minimize or deal with it.  I mean, look at the protocol I put together for the hyperemesis gravidarum.  Effective?  Useful?  Valuable?  Hell yes.  A little over the top? Weeellll….  I’ll leave that for you to decide.

I have got to learn to just let it go.