51 Ways To Be A Fun Mom Even If You’re Stressed or Tired!

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

Would your kids call you a fun mom? Think about that for a second… are you way too consumed with adulting to notice that your kids really need a mom who is happy and fun?

Look, I get it. I can be as uptight as they come! I spent my early years as a mom focused on getting all the things done and doing what I called “putting out fires” every day.

I missed sooooo much when my girls were little. And the funny thing is, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my first daughter was born. I’ve been with my kids from the very beginning and it’s crazy how disconnected I was sitting right next to them. Being a fun mom didn’t come naturally to me… I had to learn how to become a fun mom and enjoy my kids.

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

I started this intentional journey when my son was born three years ago. I made a decision to become the mom I really wanted to be and soak up all the good stuff. To be intentional about being present with my kids and not just their disciplinarian, dinner maker, and chauffeur.

I mean, I’m still all those things but I want to be more!

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

How to Have More Fun With Your Kids

I want to become the fun and happy mom I know my kids really need. It’s not just about feeling happy and being fun all the time but about building the foundation for a life-long relationship. Sure, I’ll always be their mom, but we don’t get a guaranteed ticket into their heart. And that’s where I want to be for a lifetime… in their most intimate place.

In this crazy upsidedown world, I want my kids to never hesitate on coming to me with every question, issue, and fear they experience so I can lovingly help them through it.

Let me tell you, your kids won’t be rushing to you as the uptight, super strict, and always shouting mom. Heck no!

And I’m not talking about doing things to become your child’s friend either. Nope! You are their parent and should be respected as such. But we can be nice and welcoming in how we relate to our kids.

Sure, we all have days when our precious little ones just get on your last nerve and you feel like snapping and are miles away from “fun-town.”

Just try doing these things little by little and I promise you’ll see a difference. And you and your kids will be so grateful you did!

Let me just give you one disclaimer first. The younger your kids are the cooler these activities will seem to them. The older your kids get, the more they’ll act like you’re embarrassing them or you’re being lame for trying.

Let me encourage you that this is just a facade and even your tweens and teens secretly love it when you make an effort to be interested in them even when you may actually be embarrassing them! So give these a try even if you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for.

Here are some Learning Activities for Your Toddler!

51 Ways to be a Fun Mom and Enjoy Your Kids

  1. Have random and undistracted conversations about whatever they bring up. Ask questions and actually be interested in what they say.
  2. Read a book aloud. This is great to do even as your kids get older in the form of a mystery or adventure novel. Here’s my complete kid book recommendations list.
  3. Make slime. Yes, it’s messy but they love it.
  4. Work on a fun activity kit together. These activity crates are my kids’ new obsession!
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt style nature walk. Make a list of things you want to see and score them by difficulty and keep score on the walk. Offer small prizes based on how many points earned.
  6. Race your kid at the park. The faster you are the cooler you appear to be.
  7. Make a craft.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Play their favorite video game.
  10. Have a contest to see who can do ______ better, faster, neater.
  11. Let them miss a day at school to go to the movies. My husband actually did this one!
  12. Do what they love. If it’s soccer, play soccer with them. If it’s dance, learn the steps with them.
  13. Invite them to run errands with you and stop for ice cream.
  14. Cook a meal together. Here’s a kid’s cooking class that’ll your kids will love.
  15. Play Would You Rather. Here are some questions to get you started. 
  16. Tell jokes.
  17. Watch a Netflix movie marathon complete with buttery popcorn.
  18. Go on a bike ride.
  19. Bake your favorite cookies and turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
  20. Go to a painting class.
  21. Keep a shared journal that you write in separately to share your thoughts. I love this journal! This one’s perfect for boys.
  22. Take a kid-friendly fitness class or enroll them in a kid’s fitness gym. My kids love this one.
  23. Work out together at the park.
  24. Visit a splash park in the summer.
  25. Read kid magazines together and take all the quizzes.
  26. Do silly pranks on each other.
  27. Make your kid laugh with a tickle fight.
  28. Have a silly face contest and post the winner on your social media or just laugh at it.
  29. Make a crazy milkshake.
  30. Have a spa night. My middle daughter loves this!
  31. Play superhero. My son equally loves this!
  32. Write a book together.
  33. Share an art journal if your child loves art. This is such a cute one!
  34. Have a dance party.
  35. Have a totally electronic device free day.
  36. Order books from a monthly subscription service for kids. This makes reading a fun and gift-like experience. My family loves this book subscription service that sends all their books wrapped like birthday gifts!
  37. Have themed dinner nights.
  38. Read a devotional together and work through the activities and questions. This fun devotional combines God and Science in a really fun way.
  39. Play their favorite sport at the park.
  40. Create an obstacle course in the backyard and race to complete it.
  41. Invest in the things they love. My daughter is a brilliant artist so I’m always surprising her with new sketch pads or other art supplies.
  42. Fly a kite.
  43. Have a slumber party in the living room.
  44. Let your kids get really messy. I personally don’t like when my kids get messy, but this is a sacrifice on my end to let them have fun.
  45. Have a water balloon fight.
  46. Put on a full drama performance complete with scripts and costumes.
  47. Have a pajama day during the week.
  48. Build an epic fort in your living room.
  49. Have cuddle time with the child who will still let you. This is great for those kids whose love language is physical touch. Get 50 love language ideas for your kids here!
  50. Add glow sticks to your child’s bath and turn off the lights!
  51. Always give them your full attention no matter when they need you.

Wow! That’s a lot of fun for you and your kids. Are you ready to put this tips to good use? Your kids will thank you for it!

Did I miss an awesome fun idea? Please, share your favorite fun activities in the comments below.

It's hard to be a fun and happy mom when we're stressed and overwhelmed. These 51 fun ideas will have you loving motherhood again! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #kids #kidsactivities

Are you lacking in the fun department lately? Snap out of your mom funk and try these simple ways to be a fun mom! Your kids will thank you! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood #momadviceWant to go from grouchy and tired mom to fun and energetic mom? It's easier than you think! Get 51 simple ways to be a fun mom everyday! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #momgoalsGet 51 Super simple ways to be a fun mom and really connect with your kids every day even when you're stressed and tired! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #motherhood #momgoalsEven though it's hard being a mom, our kids don't need more cranky moms. Here are very simple ways to be a more fun mom even when you really don't feel like it! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momadvice #familyFind yourself going through the motions as a mom? Try these super simple ways to bring the fun back into motherhood! Become the fun mom your kids need! #motherhood #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlife

These simple tips will help you overcome the habit of being uptight and grouchy and give you real simple ways to have more fun as a mom! How to spend more fun time with your kids! #funmom #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood #momlife

The Best Mother’s Day Inexpensive Gift Ideas Kids can Easily Buy for Mom!

Inexpensive Mother's Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is a day I choose to take full advantage of every single year. I get showered with kisses, hugs, and snuggles all day – plus I don’t have housework of ANY kind!

What I also love about Mother’s Day is the thoughtful gifts I get from my kiddos each year. Some years they make something special, some years we do something fun, and others they save their money and buy me something creative.

Inexpensive Mother's Day Gifts

I never matters what I get, I’ll treasure each one of my gifts.

This post is meant to help all the dads and family out there who want to help your kids give the best meaningful gifts on Mother’s Day. And moms, it’s perfectly OK to leave this post open on your hubby’s computer! A super sutble hint. 😉

Each gift idea is under $20 but most are half that! If you’re looking to go the homemade route, here are some DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Cheap Mother’s Day Gifts From Kids

Butterfly SunCatcher

Always My Friend Necklace

ArtNaturals Bath Bomb Gift Set

What I Love About Mom Love Journal

Funny Bring Me Coffee Socks

Pretty Love Mom Bracelet

The Seaweed Bath Co. Whole Seaweed Detox Bath 

Mother Daughter Silver Key Chain

Mother Son Necklace

Rose Gold Mom Bookmark

Beautiful Essential Oils Diffuser Bracelet

Just Between Us: Mother & Daughter: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal 

Amazing Books Mom Will Love for Mother’s Day

Mom Up: Thriving with Grace in the Chaos of Motherhood

Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths: Embarrassing Stories and Brutally Honest Advice on the Extremely Real Struggle of Motherhood

Mom Set Free: Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right

Becoming MomStrong Bible Study: A Six-Week Journey to Discover Your God-Given Calling

Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus

This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices

Looking for ideas for mother's day gifts from kids? This list is full of awesome and inexpensive Mother's Day gift ideas kids can buy for mom and Mom will love! #mothersday #gifts #momlife

3 Things That Prove You’re Already an Amazingly Good Mother Right Now

good mother

I know every single mother has asked herself this question at least once, “am I really a good mother?” Or maybe you’ve mulled over that question many, many times.

The thing is, it isn’t an easy one to answer. That’s because there isn’t a mold of a perfectly “good mom” for us all to fit into. We all make mistakes and fall into many of the pitfalls of motherhood only to find our way back again. Rinse and repeat.

But over the last decade and then some of raising my three children, I’ve grown tremendously and learned a lot. I’ve come to identify three things that if you live by, you can rest assured that you’re already an amazingly good mother!

Sure you and I both have things we need to work on, stop doing, and get better at but this is a really good foundation to stand on.

And the good news is, this list isn’t focused on outward things like how early you put your kids to bed every night or how many vegetables you serve with dinner.

These are totally heart issues and things you can pray about and work on a little bit each day.

1 –You are attuned with your child

What does it mean to be attuned with your child? Let me give you this quick illustration. Remember, when your now big kid was just a newborn and you would lay them peacefully across your lap and just stare into those sweet little ones and try to get them to smile?

You were in that moment connecting with your baby and very little could break you away from that moment. Feelings of sleep deprivation and the overwhelm of being a new mom didn’t keep you from soaking in every adorable drop of your newborn.

Somewhere along the way though, our desire for connection becomes less urgent and we become more focused on “getting it all done” and keeping everyone alive. And that happy mom can sometimes fly right out the window.

Being attuned with your child will look a bit different for every mom and family, but here are some general examples:

  • you show genuine interest in what your child loves… even if you don’t.
  • you frequently check in with how your child is doing as it relates to their world.
  • you ask questions to hear their responses to constantly get to know your child.
  • you prioritize regular one on one time with your kids individually very frequently.
  • you focus and affirm the positive behaviors of your child more frequently that the negative ones.

Even though you may struggle like I do, to get your kids out the door on time for school every morning, placing the highest priority on a heart connection with your child proves you are a good mother.

That’s because you know deep inside that having a quality relationship with your kids is vitally important to their overall health and well-being. Children who have grown up feeling unloved by their mothers often report this as feeling “unknown” by their mothers.

Being attuned simply means paying attention to the changing needs of our children. And being willing to make those changes along the way. What our toddler needs from us now isn’t the same as what she’ll need as a growing teenager.

You humbly set an example of being imperfectly perfect

Our kids do NOT need a perfect example of what it means to be human by never making mistakes. That’s because it doesn’t exist. And if we try, we simply come across as a hypocrite.

If you do your best but make a real mistake like forgetting your son’s preschool graduation and having to show up really late (I did that), or getting so mad that you accidentally break the glass top to your stove (I did that too) it’s most important to own up to your mistakes the right way.

If we never show our kids how to recover from our worst and even most embarrassing mistakes, how will they ever learn for themselves? If we don’t take ownership for our bad choices we teach our kids to blame others for their mistakes in life.

It may seem strange that making mistakes is a point of being a good mother. But I believe that it’s important that moms know how perfectly normal it is to make mistakes and have terrible days. It’s all about how we move forward from those bad moments that makes us good mothers.

It’s how our kids know it’s OK to make mistakes and that beating themselves up or blaming shifting are damaging ways to deal with our own poor choices.

In the end, you’re actually making your kids stronger and more emotionally intelligent by watching you walking through life imperfectly.

You understand your true value as a mom

Motherhood is literally one of the most important journeys we’ll ever embark on in our lifetimes. However, raising children is often under valued by society and has been for hundreds of years.

Moms can feel like their careers and dreams make them more valued and important in the eyes of everyone around them. This is a sneaky trap and one that I personally fell into as a new mom. I struggled to see my significance and true value as a mom.

This led me down another path of a tired and burnt out mom who never fully understood the gift right in front of her. I felt pulled in opposing directions because I allowed my ambition to come before my kids.

It’s not that ambition and working a fulfilling career doesn’t mix with motherhood. Not at all! In fact, many amazing moms (including myself!) are also successful at many fulfilling careers at the same time.

But when you understand your true value as a mom, you’ll never feel pulled because your family always comes first. It’s never easy but in the end it’s always the right choice.

Being a mother is a gift and if you truly see that, you are already a good mom.

Final Thoughts

Being a good mother isn’t about whether you bake the best cookies with your kids or how many books they read over the summer, it’s always about the heart.

Our kids are looking to see if we really care about them, if they can trust us with their heart, and if we succeed at winning it we’ve won the prize of a lifetime!

When your kids are grown, they’ll likely not remember all the stuff they learned in math class but they will remember stuff like when that batch of cookies you both make failed miserably, or when you went for that bike ride in the country and got lost!

It’s the little things, sometimes the weird things, and mostly the heart things they’ll remember!

If you find yourself wondering if you're a good mother, let me encourage you with these 3 things that already prove you are a good mom right now. #momadvice #motherhood #momlife #parenting
All moms feel unsure if they're a good mother from time to time. But let me share 3 simple things that prove you're already a good mom right now! #momlife #momadvice #motherhood #parenting

3 Simple Ways to Become The Happy Mom You and Your Kids Both Deserve!

how to be a happy mom

Let me start off by answering the big question lingering right now… what makes a happy mom?

I’d like to first tell you what I believe a happy mom is NOT:

A happy mom is NOT a perfect mom.

A happy mom is NOT immune from messing up and making mistakes.

A happy mom does NOT have it all figured out.

A happy mom does NOT feel happy all the time.

A happy mom does NOT have super powers.

Happy moms

Years ago, I used to be the exact opposite of a happy mom. I was a tired mom, a short-tempered mom, a stressed-out mom, a burnt out mom, and a worried mom. But I never would have defined myself as a happy mom.

It’s not at all that I didn’t love being a mom or loved my kids with every part of me but I was so consumed with “getting it right” and “getting it all done” that all the fun in my days got sucked right out the window like a vacuum, leaving me sufficating inside.

What Happy Moms Do Every Day

I needed a brand new perspective – one that freed me from the bondage of carrying my motherhood on my own. I wanted to learn what other happy moms I knew were doing who didn’t seem to feel overwhelmed all the time.

And I did. I pinpointed three things that happy moms do every day. And doing these simple things really help so much to remove the pressure and stress that comes with motherhood and focus on being free to focus on the things that matter the most.

The Bible calls children, His reward. And I believe that with all my heart. No matter how much stress I may experience as a mom, it will never ever outweigh the joy and gratitude I feel for having the title mom.

“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!”

Psalms 113:9 NLT

So what does a truly happy mom look like?

Well, she’s a humble woman who knows she can’t and shouldn’t try to get it all done on her own. She’s wise to know that there’s no badge of honor for working her mind and body to the bone. She sacrifices by finding her tribe and gains so much in return.

She survives on grace instead of coffee. I mean, coffee is the nectar of the moms and I love my hot cup of goodness every morning. But I couldn’t live without the fuel of grace from Christ allowing me to do what I do with a joyful heart.

A truly happy mom takes responsibility for her own happiness. This simply means our happiness is a choice. We can be happy even when our kids aren’t acting right or when our spouse isn’t giving us what we really need. We have the power to choose joy in the midst of things that aren’t joyful.

And finally, she’s a woman on a mission. She’s on a mission to win the heart of her children. And while she’s cleaning, teaching, feeding, and disciplining those kids she’s paying attention to the biggest goal – relationship.

Keep reading to know how to experience these things in your own life and home with these very simple tips.

Happy Moms Don’t Do #AllTheThings All At the Same Time

I’m not sure where the belief comes from that we, as moms, must do everything. This is simply not true and not healthy. I used to feel as if caring for the kids, for the house, cooking all the meals, doing all the driving, and on and on was my sole duty as a mom.

Meanwhile, I’ve always been a working mom. I quickly wore myself to the bone and had no joy… at all. Sure my kids were smaller back then but that isn’t a good enough reason to not enjoy one of the best season’s of a woman’s life… raising her babies.

So here are my tips for NOT doing #AllTheThings all at the same time!

1 – Ask for Help

Asking for help isn’t asking for a favor. It’s having an honest conversation with your spouse and your kids about what it means to be a part of a family. If you’re doing all the cleaning, cooking, and house duties in your home… stop.

I’m not saying that there’s one way to distribute labor in your home because there’s not. But it should be appropriate to your family’s dynamic. Consider your children’s ages and when you feel it’s time to introduce chores. And it’s been scientifically proven that giving kids chores is a really beneficial thing for them. So absolutely no downside there!

Also, consider your spouse’s work schedule with yours. If you both work equal schedules you both may find that dividing household responsibilities equally works best. Just start talking about it positively and without negative emotions or nagging getting in the way.

2 – Keep a simple schedule and put yourself on it

Having your kids involved in each activity under the sun can feel overwhelming for both you and your kids. As our kids have gotten older, we’ve allowed them to be involved in one activity per child, per season. There are case-by-case exceptions that pop up along the way but this is the norm for us.

This goes for your schedule too. If you are a compulsive people pleaser who just can’t say no, chances are you’re drowning in obligations. It’s OK to say no to volunteering every week at your kid’s school or being on the roster for every event at your church.

Being overloaded isn’t doing you or your family any favors. And do NOT forget to put time for yourself on that schedule. It doesn’t take much but you need to care for yourself too.

3 – Separate work and Kids whenever possible

Finally, the one thing that stole my joy faster than anything was trying to do work regularly in the presence of my children. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been a work at home mom with a computer and a baby in my lap at all times!

This led to many, many tantrums (eh hem… from me) when I couldn’t manage the constant interruptions while I was trying to get my work done. I finally had an Aha moment that my kids were doing nothing wrong. It was me that needed to make the adjustment.

I either needed to learn to seamlessly bounce back and forth between my work and my kids’ needs, or I needed to schedule my work around my kids. And because I just didn’t handle the back and forth very well, I make a huge sacrifice and started working around my kids. You can read about that here.

Since making that single change, I am soooo much of a happier mom!

They Give Themselves Heaps of Grace

Grace is knowing that we’re all highly imperfect and we need so much grace along every step of this motherhood journey. There are so many decisions, choices, and the many opinions of others that can make us second guess everything we do.

From the very beginning, we’re making big choices like whether to breast or bottle feeding or whether we should co-sleep or sleep train in their nursury. And the truth is, sometimes we totally rock it and other days we feel like the biggest hot mess ever.

And what we don’t need is more mom guilt eating us alive!

Learn to forgive yourself freely

When you do have one of those days, or weeks, where you yelled so much your throat hurts and you feel like the worst mom that ever lived… stop. Stop beating yourself up. It’s not good for you and it’s also not good for your kids.

The best thing your kids need to see is a true example of a person who knows how to positively respond and recover when they make a mistake. Simply make it right however appropriate, apologize genuinely, and move on!

Know you weren’t made to do this on your own

None of us were meant to do this mom life on our own. Whether you’re married to a husband who helps or one that doesn’t, or whether you’re single, divorced or widowed – you shouldn’t strive to do this life on your own.

This is a very in-depth subject in and of itself without a one-size-fits-all answer. But what is true, is we all need a support system. This can be a group of other mom friends that all help each other out when we need it and when we don’t. Or simply having an honest conversation with our family on why it’s important that everyone in the house do their part.

But you were made to do this

The most important part I want you to really know is though you weren’t meant to do this on your own, you were made to do this.

You were given the privilege of becoming a mom and therefore I truly believe you are already equipped for the job. God created you and called you to be a mother before you were born whether you adopted or birthed your children! There is a special grace given to all moms… you just need to put a demand on that grace through faith.

They Foster Connection Above All Else

The final and most important thing that happy moms do every day is foster connection above all else. Too often we can get caught up in teaching, leading, and disciplining our kids… and I didn’t even mention cleaning up after!

But happy moms see that the relationship that they build with their child is one that actually helps make the rest of the mom stuff so much easier. Kids naturally want to please those they love and respect.

When we’re truly connected to our kids, they don’t like breaking that bond by doing things that can rock the boat. And the seeds we sow now in bonding with our children is a harvest that will last a lifetime!

There are many ways to foster this connection. Here are a few of my favorites:

1 – Have one on one time

It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, having one on one time with your kids can easily be done every day. Simply schedule a time block for each child every day. Ten minutes is just fine.

You and your child may just love to talk and catch up on the day. You may love reading a book outloud together or even playing a short board game every night. What you do isn’t as important, as your child knowing they have your undivided attention.

Just keep in mind to do what is most fun or interesting to your child. Showing that we’re “into” what they love, even if we’re not, shows how much we care!

2 – Hug it out

Hugging has been shown in many scientific studies to help children deal with emotional challenges, make kids smarter, grow bigger, and even stay healthy. Yes, all that!

Hugging your child for at least 15 seconds is highly recommended. Now, not all your kids will be natural huggers and others will love to stay in your arms for days on end. And other kids will be wiggling out by second-2! But getting those hugs in every day is beneficial to them and us.

3 – Focus on the good

The final way to foster connection with your kids is to always be looking for and focusing on the good in your child. Your kid might be going through a challenging season or a difficult phase and it may take a lot more energy on your part to see the good… but do it anyway.

This doesn’t mean you ignore the bad, but you praise and high-five all the good moments you can find and this helps inspire your child to keep repeating the good behavior. Instead of getting all the attention from their questionable behavior.


Final Thoughts

Happy moms aren’t perfect or immune from mistakes and bad days. Even after you’ve read this entire post and even put these tips into action, you will mess up.

Just remember that section on grace! You can do this AND enjoy the day because as the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. In other words, time flies way too fast, so why not work on enjoying this journey!

It hard to imagine you'll ever be a happy mom when you spend your days stressed and overwhelmed. But there are 3 simple things that happy moms do every day that you can do too! #kidsandparenting #motherhood #momlife #parenting
Want to enjoy your motherhood journey more and actually feel like a happy mom? Try doing these 3 simple things every day! #parenting #motherhood #momlife #kidsandparenting

7 Simple Ways I Plan to Level Up My Mom Game in 2019!

becoming a better mom

I honestly hate New Year’s resolutions and never do them. They’re no different than the empty, tired threats I throw at my kids from my room to turn off the TV and go to sleep early on a Sunday night… they make no impact whatsoever.
 
Resolutions give people false hope that things will be different this year just because we really want them to. And then at the end of each year, we realize the needle never moved. Not a single inch.


That doesn’t mean I’m just a floater, haphazardly moving through life. I just don’t like being told when I should be living my best life. Just like when Black Friday rolls around and everyone says it’s the biggest sale of the year… lies.

How I do like to ring in each New Year is to reflect on what type of person, wife, and mom I want to be. With each passing year, I still believe we can become better versions of ourselves each and every year. Not by making empty resolutions but by creating a powerful vision of who we want to become and deciding to take intentional action on those small things little by little.

One of the things I strive for is to be a better mom than I was the year before. Not some perfect Suzy Homemaker version of myself but to do the things that are important to me. Like being more patient and not losing it with my kids every single day. Oh and consuming smaller amounts of their chicken nuggets and cookies cause I also don’t want to buy new jeans in 2019.

This year I’m going to be less hurried, rushed, and busy with life. As crazy as this may sound, I became a mother because I really wanted to. And even crazier… I actually really like my kids, not every moment of the day, but most.

And every year they keep getting older and I can see the time flying. So this is how I’m going to do my best to capture the time this year.

1 – I’m going to ask more questions instead of lecturing.

As my kids get older, I’ve learned that talking isn’t my best parenting tool. Listening is. This year I’m going to practice the art of holding my tongue except to ask more questions to keep them talking. Yes, I know… not more talking! Ugh. But seriously, we can’t share their heart if we don’t know what’s in it.

Here are 60 fun questions to ask your kids to get you started!

2 – I’m going to stop sweating the small stuff and embrace all the little moments.

I have literally cried over spilled milk, spilled lemonade, and especially spilled grape juice. But over the years I’ve learned to calm down and teach my kid how to clean up their own mess. Done. But more importantly to really see and capture the sweet little moments I used to miss because I got all worked up and spent the whole day feeling guilty.

3 – I’m going to stick to my word. But before I can stick to my word I need to be more selective with my commitments.

I can’t say yes to taking my kids skating if I don’t look at my schedule first. No more canceling on my kids if I can help it. Also, if I say, “if you leave your room a mess before school one more day, you’ll lose your tablet for 2 weeks” then that’s just what I’m going to do. Period.

4 – I’m going to put my phone out of sight when my kids are talking to me.

I Brandi, am a smartphone addict. I, like so many other moms, find myself mindlessly scrolling on my phone whenever I have a free moment. I honestly don’t even know why I’m doing it. But one thing I’m changing is not holding and scrolling on my phone when my kid is talking to me. No matter how boring or endlessly long their story is… it’s rude.

But what’s even worse is I’m missing out on the real and beautiful or silly moments right in front of me. They’re always there… I just have a hard time seeing them when my phone’s in the way.

5 – I’m going to let my kids be messy.

I’m not that mess loving mom who makes toddler sensory bins and lets her kids finger paint. I don’t even like Play-doh. But somewhere in 2018, I took note of how making slime and ruining all my good bowls was a great bonding experience for my older girls who didn’t fight during one slime making session the whole year. That’s huge and so mess gets the win in my book.

6 – I’m going to give them more responsibility.

After the reading that eye-opening Harvard study that says kids grow up to be more successful, happy, and make more money because they did chores growing up I realized that I’d be doing more damage to my precious angels by continuing to clean up their rooms and fold the laundry on my own. So there you have it… more chores in 2019!

7 – I’m going to be more grateful.

We all know the saying about grass and poop in our neighbor’s yards. Sadly, I still struggle with comparison and not feeling like I measure up to all the fit, ab-revealing moms with perfectly posed children on Instagram. But I’m going to decide to really see the greatness in my own yard cause it really is pretty great.

Much love and success to you in your 2019!

P.S. This was originally just an email I sent to my lovely subscribers, but it resonated so well I thought I’d share it with all my readers! If you’d love to join my email list and get inspiration like this (that I don’t normally share in a blog post) click here to join!

Instead of making New Years Resolutions, I'm deciding to work on who I am and who I really want to become. So these are the 7 things I'm doing to become a better mom in 2019! Are you with me? #motherhood #parenting #momlife
I'm doing doing totally random New Year's resolutions... here are the intentional things I'm doing to be a better mom in 2019! And you can do them too! #motherhood #parenting #momlife

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids & How to Easily Get Started

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

I like to say that I’m a “sleep person.” Not a morning person or a night person… just a mama who really, really loves her precious sleep.

But a few years ago I came to a crossroad and desperately needed to make a change in my life and do things differently. There was just one problem – I didn’t have any wiggle room in my daily schedule to move things around.

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

As moms, our lives tend to revolve around everyone else’s needs and schedules so I knew if I wanted more time, and time that I could have consistently, I was going to have to steal it from myself.

And that’s what I did.

I took baby steps and started waking up before my kids… and the results were life-changing. No seriously, waking up early changed my life.

And I won’t sugar coat it for you, it was never and is never easy. It takes tons of sacrifice every single day. Again, I really LOOOVE sleeping in.

However, I made a choice for myself that I’m so happy I did.

But before I share all the details of why I made this choice, I feel it’s necessary to cover a few points first.

The first is that learning to wake up early was a process that evolved over a couple of years. And the goal to start shouldn’t feel like a load of weight or pressure to do one more huge thing as a mom. Motherhood is hard enough and this is NOT the only way to do things.

In fact, read to the end to hear my full thoughts on this issue.

And second, motherhood is filled with so many expectations on what we should be doing and when. Only you can decide if this is the season for you to add on something new. And you’ll know inside when the time is right.

7 Life-Changing Effects of Waking Up Before Your Kids

However, waking up to the sound of children running around, whining “I’m Hungry”, and fighting over toys can be literally the worst way to start your day… ever!

Even if you decide to wake up a simple 15 minutes before your kids and steal a moment to soak up the quiet stillness of the morning, you’ll feel so much more ahead of the day instead of running behind.

This is the most obvious benefit of waking up before your kids. And it’s a BIG one!

But there are also more little-known and life-changing benefits of rising before your little ones and that’s what I’m covering in detail in this post. 

Related posts on living your best life as a busy mom:

6 Surefire Ways to Ditch Overwhelm and be More Productive Today

9 Ways to Rid Your Mind of Self-Doubt & Become a More Confident Person

The Secret to Working Out and Staying Fit as a Busy Mom

4 Positive Mindsets Shifts to Help You Live a More Enjoyable Life Right Now

1 – You Come to Know You are Loved by You

As women, we struggle with self-care and self-love. It’s not hard to see why with all the constant pouring out we do every moment of the day. We’re too often left bone-dry and feeling underappreciated.

We often fight feelings of guilt, failure, and not being a good enough mom. I believe in many ways motherhood is the great equalizer for women, who all experience these feelings in their day to day mom life.

With all those negative feelings stewing around our amazing qualities, our unrelenting love for our families, and all the great things we do every day can become dull and unnoticed.

Why? Because motherhood is expected and simply a part of your daily life. Moms don’t get awards for doing an amazing job… it’s expected.

But when you suddenly decide to make a sacrifice and do something for you… something unexpected happens. You start to notice that YOU matter too. That YOU are still there. And YOU are loved by you.

And when that self-love kicks in, you start thinking, doing, and acting differently. You wear better clothes, you take a shower every day or most days, and you begin thinking about those old dusty goals from your pre-kid days.

2 – You Become Stronger

If you know anything about working out you know that when you first start… your muscles are crazy weak. And after you work them they revolt and make you walk around in serious pain for a few days.

Walking around like a duck after a great leg day is the best. 😉

But after you keep showing up and working out those same muscles they hurt less, grow bigger and stronger, and help to burn all that suffocating fat that surrounds those sexy muscles.

That process of growing stronger at the gym is the same process that happens when you stick to your goal of waking up earlier than your kids.

It gets easier and you start to experience an inner strength rising up inside that’s the best kick starter for your day.

3 – You Gain More Confidence

Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with in my life. I spent so much of my energy comparing myself to everyone around me which always left me drained in self-confidence.

That was partly because I never gave myself the space to think my own thoughts, create my own ideas, and even set my own goals.

When you never give yourself the place to stretch yourself and only rely on doing what everyone else thinks is best, your mind starts to believe you aren’t capable.

Yes, waking up roughly three hours before my kids allowed me to see that I don’t have to just take life as it comes to me, but I have the power to write my own story as I want it to be told.

4 – You Learn to Trust Yourself

No one likes being stood up, especially on a continual basis. In fact, if one of your friends constantly invited you to meet up for coffee and catch up but left you hanging again and again, you probably wouldn’t be friends for long.

That’s because that’s rude and disrespectful. It sends the message that you don’t matter to them. But it also brings into question their integrity. You simply can’t trust a word they say.

Now let’s talk about how many times you invited yourself for a quiet run in the morning and stayed in bed instead. Or a million other times you told yourself you’d be somewhere, doing something and decided your Netflix account was a better friend than you are.

Here’s the real danger in not keeping your word to yourself. Studies on cognitive dissonance show that when people’s actions and beliefs don’t line up, they usually change their beliefs to match their actions.

You’re actually telling yourself you don’t matter and don’t deserve the time you’ve tried to set aside for yourself. And learning to stick with your early rise goal allows you to start trusting yourself again.

5 – You Become a Master

Malcolm Gladwell shook the productivity world when we said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of anything.

This can totally feel overwhelming but it’s also strangely encouraging because there’s a clear number… a clear goal to be attained.

Now, whether or not you believe this 10,000-hour rule or not (and many do not) the fact is, the longer you do anything the easier and better it gets.

And I’m not talking about trying to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer if writing isn’t your thing. We’re talking about doing something you’re already passionate about and already doing or wanting to do on some level.

When you set aside a consistent time to write, read/study, sow, design, build, workout or whatever it is, you will gain your own kind of mastery!

6 – Your Purpose Comes Alive

When moms sacrifice their precious sleep it’s got to be for something that really matters. Something that’s deeply personal and inspiring to their soul.

And in most cases, that thing is closely connected to their passion or purpose. And when you give yourself permission to pursue your passion, over time it starts to evolve and come alive.

Things that don’t get watered and fed wither and die. When we feed our passions they get stronger and begin to thrive.

I believe we as moms all have a unique God-given purpose outside of motherhood. Our purpose may even be closely related to being a mom but motherhood is a ministry and a season of its own.

Giving time to your gifts and giving yourself time to have quiet time with God is so important to your personal growth.

7  – You Become a Better Mom

Finally, and not at all the least, is that you actually become a better mom. Didn’t see that coming, did you!

When you make time for you and just you, something powerful happens… you loose mom-resentment. You know those thoughts that creep in and tell you how you could do this or that if you didn’t have a house full of kids… or one kid.

I know, I know it doesn’t feel right when we think those thoughts or even when I just talked about them but all moms think them from time to time.

But here’s what happens when you give consistent time for you… all you. The resentment fades, you feel more fulfilled as a person outside of being a mom, and you actually feel more tuned in to your kid’s needs.

We need to be filled up so we can be adequately poured out for our families. And that’s what happens in those quiet, early hours.

3 Easy Steps to Start Waking Up Before Your Kids

Before we dive into these super practical steps to waking up before your kids. I need to share the absolute importance of you knowing your “why” intimately.

After you start you’ll want to quit this new wake up time many, many times down the road. And when that spirit of quit jumps all over you in your comfy bed, you need to know why you want to wake up so early in the first place.

Is it to have some quiet time to connect with God and study your Bible to grow stronger spiritually?

Is it to have consistent uninterrupted time to write or work on your business?

Is it to work out and lose 50 lbs and stay healthy and active?

Is it to drink a cup of coffee and stare out the window in the blessed quiet for 15 minutes before your crew wakes up?

It doesn’t matter what your reason… that belongs to you alone. And your reason doesn’t have to be super significant in the eyes of the world… only you.

Without trying to sound like a cliche hair dye commercial… you are worth it!

Just know your “why” and get started. Here are the easy 3 steps that any mom can start right now.

Step 1 – Roll Back No More Than One Hour

If you’re an overachiever like myself, you may be tempted to roll back your clock at least a couple hours. DO NOT DO THAT… yet.

Roll back your clock by 30 minutes increments if you’re really not a morning person or one hour if you really feel you’re ready. But no more until you’ve been waking up at this new time for at least 3 months.

Shocking your body into a drastically early wake-up time can cause your body to revolt and we don’t need your mind and body plotting against your new goals! Slow change is lasting change.

And be sure to get to bed early enough to not loose your recommended hours of sleep!

Step 2 – Gracefully Reset Every Time You Sleep In

This process really isn’t as hard as you may think. The biggest obstacle to lasting change is failure. Failure to get out of bed!

You WILL hit snooze, cover your head with your pillow, or throw your clock across the room some mornings. Especially, if the baby was sick or your toddler starts hating their bed for the 100th time this year.

#MomLife is full of sleep stealers so when you just can’t get up, cut yourself a much-needed break. Don’t let frustration linger and reset tomorrow.

And repeat this process as long as needed.

3 – Play Hide and Seek with Your Alarm

This final step is one I actually had to add into my wake up routine when I started snoozing my phone in my sleep repeatedly. I’m so sneaky in my sleep!

I would wake up so frustrated because I felt like I had no control. Until I decided to be sneaky with myself!

I would lay my phone in different places that required me to get up and move to turn it off. It worked like a champ!

What To Do When You Can’t

You may be reading this and for some reason, you can’t wake up early or you feel like staying up late would work better for you.

Let me be super upfront here, this post isn’t to put pressure on moms who are already doing too much. Or the mom who just had a baby and now is feeling guilty that she’s too exhausted to try this new goal… yet.

Here’s one mom’s honest story of why she doesn’t wake up before her kids.

This is for the mom who is ready and wants to stretch herself in a new way but needs a little push and a whole lot of support and inspiration.

And finally, if you are a classic night owl then honestly do what works for you. I used to stay up late when I was younger and it worked fine for me.

Productivity studies actually show that people are more productive at the times they “think” they are most productive. Mind over matter, I guess.

The whole point of this article is to help you find time for you. And anyway you get it is a win in my book!


Have you already been waking up early? What’s your best early rise tip? Or your biggest early rise question? Share in the comments below.

 

How to easily wake up before your kids and the 7 powerful effects that happen! Three simple steps to get you started! #momlife

Waking up before your kids has many life-changing benefits. Here are 3 simple steps to start waking up before your kids. #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood
Even as a tired mom, there are amazing benefits to waking up even just 15 minutes before your kids. These will surprise you! #momlife #parenting

4 Things You Must Do When Motherhood is Kicking Your Butt!

What to do when motherhood is hard

Is motherhood kickin your butt? Do you spend your days second-guessing your decisions and feeling like you’ll never get this mom thing right?

Let me ask you another question – How do we as moms decide what was a good “mom day” versus a bad one? Is it when everything goes as we planned? Is it when no major catastrophes happened that day? What about when your to-do list actually gets done? What about if we “feel” like a good mom? Hmmm.

Or if all your kids listened and obeyed the first time all day? Oops sorry, that last one was part of a fairy tale. My apologies. 😉

The point is, how do we know if we’re doing a good job at this mom thing? I believe the answer is we need to learn how to set realistic expectations for motherhood.

What to do when motherhood is hard

This is especially true in our massively social media driven world where all moms seem to want to share is their highlight reel. I’m guilty of this too. I mean who wants to air their dirty laundry or dishes for the world to see?

But, I’ve got news for you. ALL moms have messy floors, dirty dishes, kids that talk back and disobey, and a to-do list a mile long that never seems to get done. Oh, and are plagued by this nagging feeling that you’re screwing up your kids. YOU’RE NOT ALONE. Here’s my post on Instagram where I get a little real on the topic. 😉

Messy Living Room on Instagram

Related: 51 Ways to be a Fun Mom even when you’re stressed and tired!

As moms, we’re a lot more alike than we think. Sure, we may have majorly different parenting styles and world-views but we love our children and work really hard to make sure they get their best chance in life.

That’s why we need to cut ourselves a little slack and begin to see motherhood from a different, better angle. I’m not necessarily proud to say this but most of the time when I’m struggling with anything in my life 9 times out of 10 I’m looking at it the wrong way.

Pessimism runs in my blood. I have to fight against seeing the negative side of things on a daily basis. And my motherhood struggles are no exception. And just so you know, I didn’t just write that to say that your struggles are all in your head and you just need to think more positively and everything will get better.

I merely want to point out that even when problems and struggles are so very real, having a healthy perspective and doing healthy activities go such a long way in helping us heal our way through those issues.

I used to suffer for months on end with depression and never told anyone. I just listened to my self-condemning thoughts and never did any of the things I’m sharing with you on this list. Instead, I allowed those thoughts to permeate my heart and make me feel hopeless.

I want you to know that simply by reading this, you’re an amazing mom. You care about your kids and your own wellness. And I want to encourage you, from the mom who always thought the worst of herself, that you don’t have to live in that place!

Keep reading and find your freedom.

Here are 4 things to need to do right now when motherhood is kickin your butt!

Related: Why Putting Yourself First Makes You a Much Better Mom!

Momlife Made Simple Email course

1 – Think Like Your Kids

Kids naturally think of themselves first, and their number one priority 99% of the time is doing something that brings them joy. In other words, a kid’s gotta have fun, right!

So why not take on that same philosophy yourself? Especially, when #momlife is kicking your butt! Take time to drop all the mom stuff, responsibilities, and burdens. And just do what makes you happy and brings you joy. That could be reading a great book. This book is a must-read when you’re feeling the mom-blues. It helped me work out some major issues I was feeling in my mom life. If reading isn’t your thing, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you feel filled while doing it.

Related: Why All Moms Need to be Intentional With a Regular Self Care Routine 

I would also highly recommend spending fun time with your kids. I know at first glance this may seem a little counter-intuitive because we’re talking about motherhood kicking your butt. However, if the kids are driving you crazy it may be because they’re actually craving your attention. Not just your shared space in the room attention but your all-eyes-on-me, doing total fun stuff attention.

And you need this fun kid time too. The reason we struggle to sometimes enjoy just hanging out with our kids is we feel the pressure of #AllTheThings that need to be done and are piling up. I totally get it! But making real connections with your family is one of the best things you can do to reset your mom rut and start enjoying motherhood again. Need some ideas? I’ve got you covered here!

Here’s my favorite subscription service that my kids are obsessed with and makes fun time super interactive and educational. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!

2 – Drop Perfection

No mom is perfect and we all have good stuff and not so good stuff, but we were made for our kids and they’re made for us. I believe birth is a divine appointment, and we’re all created by a loving God. With this in mind, I firmly believe that we don’t just have random kids. Sometimes it can feel like we do, though. Lol

Our children are given to us. Children that we’re already equipped to raise and understand even if it doesn’t seem that way. Trying to be perfect and making no mistakes is a total setup for epic failure.

In fact, perfection is really an illusion like a mirage in the desert. It tempts us to keep chasing it, but the truth is, it’s not real. We were created to simply be us. That’s it. Learn to be OK with your unique personality and parenting style. And stop comparing yourself to other moms.  Your kiddos need YOU!

Related:4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Bounce Back Quickly!

3 – Say No to Mom-guilt 

Another powerful way to set realistic expectations as a mom is to say no to mom-guilt. Yes, you can get rid of mom-guilt. Well, mostly, because having that guilty feeling is just par for the course for moms because the real source of mom-guilt is the love you have for your child. If you didn’t have that, why would you ever feel guilty?

The thing we must remember is we have grace. God’s grace causes things to work out well even if we’ve messed up big time. That same grace is there to help us move beyond our mistakes so we can move forward without heavy guilt baggage.

And guilt is a toxic emotion meant to stop you in your tracks and have you #InYourFeelings for far too long.

Related: The Truth about Mom Guilt and How to Get Rid of it Forever!

4 – Get Refocused on Your Why

After you’ve had a few kids, it becomes harder to remember why you wanted to have a family in the first place. To remember those visions you had of becoming a mother and what you wanted to accomplish.

My husband and I struggled with infertility issues so it took us almost 5 years before we got pregnant with our first child. The last few years before I got pregnant were agony. Every single month, 12 of them to be exact, brought extreme heartache.

It also was a season of vision, as I could see nothing but my baby for years before she came. We longed to finally meet her. In that time of waiting, I never thought of the mistakes I’d make or the frustrations I’d later feel raising a pre-teen daughter.

I only focused on loving her with all my heart and providing her with her absolute best chance in this life.

So, when motherhood feels hard and is really kicking my butt, I can simply refocus and remember that I’m doing just fine as long as I’m loving my kids with all my heart and still working to give them the best I can give.

You Are Doing the Best Work

Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a moment. When was the last time you ended the day with a positive thought about yourself as a mom? Do you even know your true value as a mom?

Motherhood is hands-down the hardest and yet most purposeful and fulfilling job anyone could ever ask for! We have a powerful and impactful ministry assignment to raise those little ones into who they were called to be. That’s a very big job and that’s partly why it’s so hard. That and the fact that those little ones are super messy, bossy, and generally all about themselves most days. 😉

I know that wiping running snotty noses, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning, driving kids EVERYWHERE, and breaking up sibling wrestling matches doesn’t feel very purposeful or fulfilling all the time. Just know, that all moms struggle with that stuff.

And whether you feel like it or not, motherhood is a calling. And all the biggest callings come with the biggest sacrifices. But I also firmly believe we ALL have the grace to do what we’re called to. You have the grace to be a wonderful mother… oh and a joyful mom too!

Go ahead and lift up another mom and share this post to all the moms you know. And together we can lay down perfection or guilt and embrace US.

Leave a comment below and bravely share how you’re going to embrace YOU.

Motherhood is hard and can be totally overwhelming. These tips will help you find the joy in the difficult seasons of motherhood. #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood #momadvice #MomMotherhood is hard but when you feel totally overwhelmed and exhausted there is HELP! These 4 simple things will lift your mindset and make you see you're a great mom! #kidsandparenting #parenting

Feeling like you suck as a mom? We all do some days. You need to start doing these 4 things right now when your mom life is kicking your butt! #motherhood #momlife #parentingstruggles

Motherhood is hard! Here are 4 things you MUST do when you feel frustrated and overwhelmed with motherhood. #motherhood #mom #parenting #momlife

7 TED Talks for Moms To Break Free from the Mom Guilt and Rock Your MomLife!

TED Talks for motherhood

Becoming a mother is probably one of the most transforming seasons of a woman’s life. It comes with it insecurities about whether we’ll ever be good enough, the judgments and opinions of everyone around us, and the daring responsibility of caring for another life.

TED Talks for motherhood

It also brings the unrelenting love and bond of a sweet blessing that no words could adequately describe.

Motherhood is full of amazing surprises and devastating valleys but one thing is true… motherhood is a privilege. And certainly a title we should be grateful for.

These TED Talks are powerful and will empower you in your best role as a mom. Watch these and be reassured that you already are a wonderful mom right now!

Related: Learning to Fully Embrace the True Value of Being a Mom!

7 TED Talks for Moms

It’s time to unmask the lies of motherhood

Every single mother is struggling with guilt and so many are hiding behind a mask. A mask that says, “I’m fine” even when we’re clearly not. Even when they’re struggling.

The truth is, we’re all competing with ourselves and our own unrealistic expectations. It’s time to remove the false mask we’ve been wearing and love ourselves enough to admit that motherhood is hard and that’s ok.

We should put more energy into supporting each other instead of shaming and judging other moms and ourselves.

Related: The Truth About Mom Guilt and 4 Steps to Get Rid of it Forever

Overcoming the loneliness and overwhelm in motherhood

So many moms are still struggling with the overwhelming demands of being a mom and have no idea how lonely they really are.

We feel the pressure to be perfect and do it all “well” but fail to realize we don’t have to do it all on our own. We need our community. We need friends and support and the need to be connected.

It’s not good for our own emotional well being to continue going through the motions of work life and mom life without quality connections with friendships with other women and moms.

Related: Super Easy Ways to Feel More Intentional, Connected & Fulfilled in Your Life

Why we need to ignore the judgments of others and mom shamers

Being a mom is really hard because we are judged and even shamed for every decision we make. The looks and stares we get when we choose to breastfeed in public. Or the looks we get from other moms when we shake up a bottle of formula for our new baby.

Motherhood gets a little easier when we decide to ditch the mom guilt and raise our children in the best way we know how. When we decide to be confident in our own parenting choices and support the other moms in our lives.

Related: Why Putting Yourself First Makes you a Much Better Mom

A new way we should be thinking about the transition to motherhood

When a woman gets pregnant, she goes on a massive roller coaster of emotions, hormonal changes, and fear we’ve only encountered since puberty.

If you’ve ever struggled with not feeling adequate as a mom you need to watch this talk. You and I are not alone and are navigating a totally normal phase of life for us as women.

Related: 51 Ways to be a Fun Mom Even When You’re Stressed or Tired

Parenting rooted in kindness versus the expectations we create for our kids

We all have expectations on how our children should look and behave. Many of these expectations are actually fueled by the expectations of others and society.

We can instead, choose to raise our kids through kindness and compassion and build a solid relationship and lasting memories with our amazing children.

Related: 60 Fun Questions to Ask to Get to Know Your Child’s Heart

Here’s our permission to stop overparenting our kids

We all love our kids and want to help them achieve their best in life. But in all our effort, we can inadvertently hurt their ability to develop self-efficacy. And the good news is, our child’s success in life is not our job alone.

So the pressure’s off! Motherhood just got easier.

Children desperately need us to be there for them but not to make every decision in their life. We are there to inspire them to discover and follow their own unique path.

This is one of my favorite parenting related TED Talks. You’ll feel relieved after watching this.

Related: 9 Things Your Kid Really Needs But Doesn’t Know how to Tell You

A moving tribute to a mom’s greatest gift – mother’s intuition

I personally have experienced countless moments of mother’s intuition. I remember when my son was just three days old and we had been discharged from the hospital.

When we got home, I noticed that his eyes had a yellow tint and so did his skin. I called the pediatrician right away and was told that he didn’t appear to be Jaundiced in the hospital so it was likely nothing.

I felt led strongly to take him to the ER anyway. Even as we were being checked in, the nurses commented that he didn’t appear Jaundiced either. But I persisted that he be seen by a Doctor.

Once he was seen, the doctor also agreed that he had minimal yellowing but took his blood anyway. When the results came back, his levels were dangerously high and he was immediately rushed upstairs to be admitted.

We had to stay in the hospital for four more days. It was scary but I’m so thankful that God has given parents a special intuition to know when we should push a little further. It’s a gift!

This mother’s own story is a beautiful tribute to the divine workings of a loving God working in and through our lives as mothers.

These TED Talks are so encouraging and are proof that we are all in this together. That your struggles are likely my struggles too.

Share in the comments below which talk meant the most to you as a mom!

Struggling in motherhood? Stop and watch these amazing TED Talks for moms that'll make motherhood a bit easier! #kidsandparenting #parentingtips #parenting #kids The TED Talks for moms will inspire you to feel free as a mom and finally stop struggling with mom guilt! #momadvice #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlifeOverwhelmed with mom guilt? Stop struggling and find freedom with these 7 amazing TED Talks for moms! #momadvice #momlife #parenting

The Secret to Avoiding the Harsh Reality of Mom Burnout

The secret to avoiding mom burnout

Have you ever experienced mom burnout? Wait… you’re a mom, so of course, you have! And you know exactly how frustrating, depressed, and debilitating it can be. I believe mommy burnout is harder than any other type of burnout.

The secret to avoiding mom burnout

When you have work burnout, you can take a day off, request vacation time, or at the very least you get to go home every night. As a mom, you don’t get days off, there are no vacations from motherhood, and #momlife is always waiting for you when you get home!

We’re not talking about hating motherhood or not loving the blessing of being a mom. We’re talking about the harsh reality of something that sneaks up on every single mom at some point… mom burnout.

The Anatomy of a Burned Out Mom

Being a burnt out mom most certainly comes with the feeling of pure exhaustion. Moms who are feeling the burnout are most certainly exhausted. Not just the normal, running after kids all day tired, but flat-out exhaustion. They are also likely to feel unmotivated or depressed.

Basically, you’re only motivation is to stay under the covers and sleep ALL DAY. There’s just one problem with that… you’re a mom and you can’t. And this leads to feelings of frustration because you no longer own your day – or your life for that matter.

You see how the negative emotions can snowball out of control creating an avalanche of feelings headed right for your home and family? Sadly, they’ll probably get plowed with this avalanche and won’t even see it coming.

And I think we can both agree that they don’t deserve that!

Moms who suffer from mom burnout don’t resent their kids, they’ve just misplaced one important thing on their priority list… THEMSELVES.

The Cure for Mom Burnout

Motherhood requires tremendous sacrifice every single day. Sacrifices we’re all too happy to give, until we’ve given everything we have and there’s nothing left.

You can’t keep pouring out of an empty vessel and expecting something to pour out. It doesn’t work that way! You have to pour in to be able to pour out. Otherwise, you’re just dry and grouchy and nobody likes that.

The first step to getting out of mommy burn out is to understand that being burned out doesn’t make you a bad mom. That’s just the inner dialog that happens when you’re in burn out mode. Stop believing the lie that really “good” moms love their kids so much that they never go through this.

That’s just not true. All moms feel overwhelmed by motherhood at some point. And this most likely occurs because we don’t expect it and simply don’t guard against it.

We just keep going at the same break-neck speed and never stop to check on that weird sound under the hood until we find ourselves calling AAA from the roadside.

Related: 4 Things You Must Do When Motherhood is Kicking Your Butt!

The cure for mommy burnout is to listen carefully to what we need and create an intentional plan to fulfill that need. Therefore, curing burnout is going to look different for every mom.

Simple Ways to To Avoid Mommy Burn Out

Here are some ways you can enjoy your life more and really avoid mommy burnout… or at least make those moments few and far between!

Drop Perfection and Mom-Guilt

I really felt it was necessary to lead with the choice to stop chasing the illusion of perfection and letting mom-guilt make you feel like a crappy mom. I’m guilty of falling into these traps all the time and so are many other moms. But we have to make a choice to stop.

It’s hard when we’re bored and decide to jump on Instagram and scroll through to see all the other moms with their perfectly posed and super clean children. And you think to yourself, “how come my kids don’t look like that?”

And you glance at their superwhite house and can’t find a grape juice stain anywhere. And then you look in your living room and… you see at least one grape juice stain on the couch right next to you.

Then you’re left feeling like there’s something wrong with you. And I’m here to tell you there isn’t! Simply the fact that you’re reading this tells me a whole lot… that you care about how to raise your kids and want to be the best mom you can be.

So right now I want you to acknowledge that you’re a good mom… as a matter of fact let’s say it out loud right now. I AM A GOOD MOM! And keep saying it every day until you start believing it.

And when that voice starts telling you that you’re not… keeping speaking over that voice until you can’t hear it anymore.

Related: The Truth about Mom Guilt and How to Stop it from Running Your Life

Find and Schedule What You Love

This is more than the typical “me-time” where you go get your nails done. I want you to dig deep if you need to and find something you really love. Something that when you’re doing it, really brings you a sense of peace and joy in your life.

It could be gardening, reading, painting, running, or writing. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as you intentionally decide to devote scheduled time to do it… alone and without the kids if possible.

Here’s the hard part, some of you might not even know what that thing is. This was me for so many years. I never took the time to nurture what I loved before kids, so naturally, that got buried and forgotten over time. Anytime I did have free time to myself, I had no idea what to do!

So, I’d do things like binge-watch a show on Netflix or go shopping. I’d use my precious alone time to do mindless things that didn’t fill me up. So I stayed empty.

If you don’t know what you love, try remembering the things you loved when you were younger. Chances are, they’ll still bring you joy. You can also step out and discover new things. Like taking a dancing class or an art class. And remember that you don’t actually have to be “good” or talented at any of these things. They just need to bring you joy!

Once you find something you love, make time for it. Put it on the schedule, find a babysitter or leave the kids with your husband, and go out and do it. If you love reading, you can go read a great book in a comfy chair at a coffee shop. It’s great to get out instead of staying in the same environment but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

Don’t stress out if you can’t get a break from the kids. This is so real for many moms. Remember, it’s not the kids that are the source of the burnout. It’s the absence of you giving yourself what you need. And if you can’t find a real person babysitter, I find that Netflix works just fine!

The point is to stop being a martyr mom and learn to put yourself on your own priority list!

Make Activity a Priority

Staying active is extremely important in fighting off burn out! Yes, I’m talking about exercise but I’m also talking about getting up and moving around all throughout the day.

Sudden bursts of activity release our happy hormones in the brain and we need lots of those firing to ward off the dreaded burnout mode!

My biggest piece of advice would be to have a regular and consistent exercise routine every day, or at least 3-4 times per week. Thirty minutes of high to moderate activity every day goes a very long way in creating lasting energy for your day.

Several years ago I was struggling with depression and brought up the issue with my Doctor. The first thing she asked me was if I was exercising every day. I wasn’t, and she said before she ever starts down the path of medication (which I wasn’t looking for anyway) she recommends women start a consistent exercise routine.

She said that exercise is one of the leading and most effective, non-medicated treatments for depression. I took her up on that recommendation and the depression, exhaustion, and extra back-fat disappeared. Nice trade off if I do say so!

Look, I’m no different than anyone else and I’ve fallen off the workout wagon a million times! The key is to make it stupid simple and ditch the over the top ideas in the beginning. And the best part is, working out can be done as a fun activity to do with your kids. You can check out simple tips for staying active and working out with kids here.

Stop Trying to be Super Mom

As women, we’re often wired to be people pleasers and have issues with saying no. And even if you don’t have People-Pleasing Syndrome, chances are, you still feel the pressure to do #AllTheThings all the time.

We don’t like failing, falling behind, or looking like we can’t handle something. So, we push ahead despite the need to slow down and say no. Honestly, it’s OK and not a sign of weakness to say no. It’s actually a sign of strength to do an honest assessment of where you are and what you can realistically handle right now.

My best advice would be to save your energy and time for the things that really matter and will last long after the action taken. Only you know what those are for you.

Before saying yes to anything, practice taking a moment to think about it and really consider it before making a decision. Sometimes taking a minute means checking your calendar, but even if you don’t have any scheduling conflicts you’re not obligated to say yes.

Finally, we want to be at our best and available for our kids whenever possible. When you’re overloaded with obligations and your kid comes home and asks you to bake your winning brownies for the class party you want to be able to easily say yes… even when you don’t feel like baking.

Take a Break and Breathe

When overwhelm does get the best of you and you’re feeling extra cranky and exhausted, make a decision to take a break and breathe. If you can take a break from the kids or take a mental health day off from work that’s great.

But even if you can’t totally disconnect, take a break from anything that’s non-essential.

That means volunteering at your kid’s school, taking a pause on extra projects or activities you’ve picked up, and even relaxing on the housework a bit.

This time is great to rest your mind, rest your body, pray, and release the pressure that’s been building.

Following the simple tips above will really help set you up for avoiding mom burnout before it has a chance to wreak havoc in your life and family.

How do you take good care of yourself? Go ahead and share your best tips in the comments below!

Mom burnout is real and isn't always easy to see coming! Get these simple tips to help you avoid mommy burnout and enjoy motherhood again! #kidsandparenting #parenting #momadvice #kidsMoms are tough and are guilty of putting themselves last! Learn why your family really wants you to put yourself first! #momlife #motherhood #parentingMommy burnout is real but doesn't have to be your daily reality! These simple tips will help you avoid burnout all together! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momlife #motherhood

4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Bounce Back Quickly!

Motherhood struggles are real! And too many moms are exhausted, snappy, and prone to yell because they are simply burnt out. Get the simple step to bouncing back quickly from burnout! #joy #Momstruggles #parenting #motherhood #momlife

If someone calls you mommy, chances are, you know exactly what it means to be a burnt out mom, one time or another.

Sadly, it happens to moms way more than it should.

So why do moms find themselves trapped in burnout mode so often?

I believe Mommy Burnout happens because we care too much.

Motherhood struggles are real! And too many moms are exhausted, snappy, and prone to yell because they are simply burnt out. Get the simple step to bouncing back quickly from burnout! #joy #Momstruggles #parenting #motherhood #momlife

We care too much about how well we take care of and love our children.

We care too much about not making mistakes and failing as a mom.

We care too much about getting it all done.

The Root of Mommy Burn Out

And all that care isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s birthed out of the love we have for our family. But there is a warning in Scripture that clearly tells us not to be “Care-FULL” or anxious for anything.

That’s because all that “care” wears away our peace and joy and leads us straight into the dry valley of mom-guilt.

And I’ve wandered aimlessly in that place for far too long!

And let’s face it, even on a good day, motherhood is tough! It’s also wonderful… but still really hard.

That’s why moms can hit the burnout wall in a nanosecond.

We don’t need to walk around like Mombies… just trying to make it through each day.



There’s a better way!

So, let’s break this down…

Momlife Made Simple Email course

4 surprising signs you might be a Burnt out Mom

Here are four signs that you might be experiencing or headed for Mommy Burnout Mode also known as Survival Mode and some real-life tips on how to get out.

Sign #1 – You have more than the occasional yelling blow-up at your kids

We’ve all been there… As you’re navigating your way through little-people-chaos, you’re running super late for an appointment and as you’re rushing everyone out the door – one of them accidentally spills the milk that another one of your angels left out on the counter.

A setup for a mommy meltdown!

Now, there are times when that scenario would have totally frustrated me but everyone would have walked out unscathed.

But there are other days (help me Jesus!) that I could have alerted the entire neighborhood to our little debacle.

And I’ve come to learn that 9 times out of 10 when I go into full-on fit mode, it’s because I’m experiencing or headed for Mommy Burnout.

This is when I need to step back and try to see the situation for what it really is – spilled milk.

Stress is a magnifier and is how we can magically turn those molehills into ice-capped mountains!

And when I’m stressed about anything, I’m a whole lot more touchy than I would be otherwise.

So, instead of letting stressful situations fester, I’ve learned to deal with them quickly as best I can to keep them from affecting all the other areas of my life. Like my home life!

Sign #2 – Your house is in a constant state of disarray

Let me just say this… I’m not the mom who’s going to judge or shame another mom for the condition of her home. I have 3 kids, and one of them is a 2-year-old boy. Enough said there.

I just know from personal experience, when I’m burnt out, housework really gets the best of me. I feel like I’m always running behind the mess instead of controlling it.

Relate?

If you’ve totally abandoned your usually cleaning and tidying schedule… you may be in or headed for burnout.

My advice isn’t to run around and catch up on all the laundry hills. Nope!

It’s to take a day off from doing ALL cleaning. I know that probably sounds a little counterintuitive because we’re talking about how you haven’t been cleaning.

But trust, me it’s not! Whether or not you’ve actually been physically cleaning, I know you’ve been mentally cleaning.

Looking at all the mess and feeling overwhelmed.

Taking an intentional day off to mentally and physically rest will help you recharge so you can start off small tomorrow. #BabySteps

Sign #3 – You find yourself feeling lonely but fight against the urge to connect with friends/family

When we’re in Survival Mode and overwhelmed with life, it’s easy to get sucked into a cycle of isolation and depression. We tell ourselves – no one else is going through what I’m going through.

We let the shame of our situation keep us on an island with no one to talk to but our own critical voice. And that’s the worst voice we can hear when we’re vulnerable and depressed.

Reaching out to a friend and being honest about where you are is extremely important.

You may be thinking, “I don’t really have any friends.”

No worries, a lot of women struggle with friendships after becoming a mother for A LOT of reasons. I know I did, and still do!

Reaching out and making the effort to connect is the first step. Without trying to sound cliche, if you start really looking for relationships – you’ll be surprised how they were there all along.

Sign #4 – Your health isn’t a priority in your daily actions

You may know your health is important; but your exercise, water, sleep, and good food simply aren’t happening. You find yourself snacking ALL DAY… and I’m not talking about carrot sticks and hummus!

You’re exhausted and your sleep is out of whack. You either sleep too much and never feel rested, or you’re dealing with insomnia. You’re not just tired but EXHAUSTED all. the. time.

We’ve all heard it – stress can cause many things to go crazy in our mind and bodies. So, it’s no surprise that we’d feel sluggish and rundown when we’re headed for burnout.

But when we outright abandon the healthy habits we know we should be doing, we’re only making the problem bigger.

A healthy lifestyle is the fuel you need to keep going strong.

So, make a commitment to reconnect with the healthy habits that slipped away. No condemnation! Just get back on the horse. Call that friend and get an accountability partner.

In addition to healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising – having a regular check-up with our doctor is NECESSARY!

Especially the older, and more fabulous we get. 😉

**If you’re not feeling great physically, get it checked out just to be sure there’s not a medical reason for your exhaustion.**

How to Bounce Back Fast!

You are simply too precious to your family, and to this world to allow yourself to live in full-on Burnout Mommy Mode!

The source of most feelings of burn out stem from stress, anxiety, or mom-guilt.

In order to fully release those feelings – the Bible tells us to cast the whole of that CARE onto Christ who cares for us affectionately.

We can rest in the #Truth that we have a Savior who loves us and cares about every moment and area of our lives.

When life gets crazy, we are commanded to release our concern to the One who can work it out.

And that requires us to tap into something else – FAITH.

Sometimes just knowing we’re not alone is comfort enough.

And we’ve ALL been there!

We also need to identify the source of the burnout. Are you doing too much all at once? Are you trying to combine your work at home activities with the kids busy time (I did this one a lot and it’s a disaster!)? Are you ignoring your health?

When you understand the source, you can then objectively take a step back and see what needs to be changed.

Here are some other practical things you can do to quickly ease the mommy burn out and get you back to your place of peace.

Take a Break

I mentioned this earlier in reference to your housework. But when I say take a break here, I mean stop “fixing” everything and just relax. I know that’s easier said than done, but I know if you can figure everything else out with such mommy Macgyver magic, I know you can find a way to give yourself a break.

That means for a day leave the dishes, don’t give the kids a bath, grab takeout for dinner, and put the kids to bed early. Now I get that you’ve been in burnout and may have already been doing all those things. I get it! But this time you’re making the choice to do it, not as an act of defeat but as an act of rest. There is a difference!

Ask for Help

Of all the things on this list, this one may be the hardest… at least it is for me! But I’ve grown to understand how important relying on your support system really is. There was a time when I would NEVER ask for help. I think that’s sad and I hope you don’t do the same. We all need help in every area of our lives and our #Momlife is no exception.

Help can come in many forms such as ordering your groceries online through a service like Amazon Fresh instead of dragging the kids into the Temple of Doom AKA Wal-Mart. Or that help could be dropping the kids off at a trusted friend or family member for a day… or two.

Start Working Your Passion

One of the reasons I was feeling burnt out a few years back is because I was doing things for everyone else… taking care of my husband and kids, working an unfulfilling job to pay bills, and any other thing I “needed” to do. In my heart, I had a passion to write and connect with other moms but I had TERRIBLE confidence issues and simply didn’t think I had the time to do anything else.

Very long story short, I decided to put my passion on my daily schedule and over time a new life was born… seriously. This blog and so many other things I’m doing today were born out of that decision. And burn out for me was dramatically decreased because passion has a way of inspiring you to move forward every day in a new exciting way.

Give Yourself Permission

Finally, I want to urge you to give yourself a healthy dose of grace and also permission to be imperfect. You are a mom so that means you’re already doing more than most! It’s just a fact. So acknowledge that motherhood is hard – not just for you – but for ALL moms… including me. And that’s par for the course when raising strong-willed, opinionated, tiny humans.

The simple fact that you’re reading this post tells me you’re an awesome mom! So give yourself a pat on the back, a fist bump, and a big hug. You got this! If you’re looking for more solutions to getting back on track and making your #MomLife more simple, check out my #MomLife Systems Made Simple Email Course. It’s Free!! Grab your spot here!

When was the last time you were in Burnout Mommy Mode and how did you get out?

Leave a comment below, so we can all encourage each other!

Motherhood is hard and moms can find themselves in burnout mode fast! Get the tips to easily get rid of mom guilt and mommy burnout for good! #momadvice #motherhood #momlife

 

The mom burnout struggle is real! Stop suffering in silence and get the secret to bouncing back quickly! #momadvice #parenting

Feeling burnt out as a mom? We've all been there but you don't have to stay there! These tips will have you finding the joy in motherhood again! #kidsandparenting #parenting #momadvice #momlifeMommy burnout is so very real! Here's how to spot it and stop it from running your life! #momadvice #momlife #kidsandparenting #parentingBeing a mom is hard... and getting burned out is very easy. Here are surprising signs you might be a burned out mom and how to quickly bounce back! #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood #parenting

Get 4 simple ways to recover quickly from mom burnout and find yourself again! #motherhood #Momlife #parentingadvice Motherhood struggles are real! And too many moms are exhausted, snappy, and prone to yell because they are simply burnt out. Get the simple step to bouncing back quickly from burnout! #joy #Momstruggles #parenting #motherhood #momlife

If you're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted you might be experiencing mom burn out. It's a very real thing and here's how to get out fast! #motherhood #momlife