Blink, and they're one.
Blink again, and they're starting school, making friends, and before you know it, they're off on their own.
Life, especially with children, can sometimes feel like it's on fast-forward. Amid the whirlwind of diapers, playdates, and dropoffs/pick ups, you might feel like you're losing grip on the remote control of life.
For every mom who's ever felt overwhelmed by the dizzying pace of motherhood, this post is for you. If you've ever felt like life's going too fast and you can't quite catch up, here are some ways to hit the pause button, breathe, and relish these fleeting moments:
**1. Start Journaling:**
Begin with a simple gratitude journal. Every night, jot down three things you're thankful for from that day. It could be your child's laughter, a quiet moment with a cup of tea, or a hurdle you overcame. By focusing on these moments, you create anchors in your memories.
Personal note: If you’re like me, you might be thinking you need to buy a pretty journal, but by now I’ve come to realize that my iphone notes app is great and easy and can help make this practice long lasting.
**2. Daily Moments of Mindfulness:**
Take a few minutes each day for deep breathing exercises, or even guided meditation. This helps in grounding you, making you more present in the here and now.
Personal note: I set my alarm for 30 minutes before the kids typically wake to create time and space to do this.
**3. Build a Routine, But Flex When Needed:**
While it might seem impossible, carving out a daily routine can help in slowing things down. It doesn’t have to be rigid. It's about predictability, structure, and something to lean on, which can bring a sense of calm. Remember, it's okay to deviate when needed.
Most of us have such a hard time doing this, but don't hesitate to ask for help! Whether it's your partner, a family member, or hiring help, distributing tasks can ease the feeling of being overwhelmed and rushed.
Here are examples of a few things I delegate: Making lunches for school, housekeeping, car washing, childcare for my 1 year old during work hours.
**5. Prioritize Quality Time:**
Even 10 minutes of undivided attention with your child/ren can make a huge difference. Read a book, dance, or simply sit and chat. These pockets of connection make lasting memories, and also really help down regulating your child/rens nervous system/s
Designate tech-free times. The constant influx of emails, social media notifications, and news can amplify feelings of life rushing by. By unplugging, you can truly be present with your child, and yourself!.
**7. Create Your Mama Coven:**
Talking with others who are in the same phase can be therapeutic. Share, listen, and realize that you're not alone in feeling this way.
Note: I have found this to be incredibly helpful especially in the early days, with mamas who were at the same stages (with similar child rearing philosophies)
**8. Set Aside Time for Yourself:**
It's not selfish; it's necessary.
A small break, a hobby, or even a short nap can recharge you and help you tackle life with renewed vigor.
Here is a short list of things I do: Bath by myself with candles and delicious smelling bath oils and a locked door, 30 minute walk, facials, foot massage by a professional (lol).
**9. Create Traditions:**
It could be as simple as Pancake Sundays or monthly family picnics. Traditions create anticipation and anchor memories.
**10. Capture Memories, But Live Them First:**
While it's essential to photograph or film milestones, ensure you're not experiencing your child's entire life through a screen. Sometimes, the best moments are the ones stored in your heart, not on your phone.
Every phase has its challenges, but also its unique joys. The whirlwind nature of motherhood is a testament to its richness, its highs and lows, and the breadth of experiences it brings. Embrace it all, one moment at a time.
Here's to slowing down, even if just a little, and savoring the beautiful chaos that is motherhood.