Sometimes we just feel stuck! We might feel unusually frustrated, find our homes are especially chaotic, or feel in a slump. It can happen to anyone! And it’s a good indication that something about our routines or our attitudes just isn’t working for us.
Sometimes, there’s a certain heaviness around that’s hard for me to shake. Sometimes I resent the repetitive, mundane details of my day to day life. And at these times, I am desperate for a feeling of accomplishment, for any sense that I have done something well or that my effort has led to some tangible success.
I can see that I have overcome many challenges as a parent – I have learned a lot and I love how we have grown as a family, and how our habits have changed along with us.
Still, there are some days – and some chores – that leave me feeling useless at this. When I look at all the unfinished work, all the unresolved concerns and worries floating in my brain, I feel like my life is just a mess.
I’ve been digging deep into my attitude about these struggles. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered some great ways to shake up my bitterness and remind myself to notice and enjoy all the things that are going right.
So here are some ideas to work through mindfully – with or without the kids – to see how you are making progress, how truly perfect you are for parenting your own kids, and how your home and your family relationships do indeed reflect all of the effort you have been putting in!
If your biggest concern is a never-ending mess in your house:
– Do a small decluttering spree. Keep it simple! Even if you can just fill one small box with items, realize that each small box is that much less items around to need to be cleaned and organized! Relish that, and if you can, do this regularly!
– Take some time to put something away together with your kids. This requires their enthusiastic cooperation, so wait until the right time presents itself and pick something that they can be a part of, no matter how small. Be patient with it, and notice your kids putting some care into their own home, their own things. Let them feel proud about having an impact on the home! Help them feel like their contributions matter, and help yourself remember that they do, too!
– Do a quick kitchen tidy in preparation, then make something fun! A treat, a special snack, a craft or something interesting like slime or playdough. Let your cleaning be motivated by anticipation of doing something really nice together – not just to check another item off off of your to-do list.
– If you’re overwhelmed by the sizes of a mess , pick just one small space to clear – even just a shelf or table. Pick an area that you see often or that holds some value to you, so you can enjoy that bit of clear space often.
If your biggest problem is feeling frazzled or lackluster:
– Get freshened up! Have a bath, a shower, or just brush your hair. Put on some clothes that make you feel great – whether comfy, cute, bold, spooky – whatever it is! Put on some makeup, shave something, give yourself a nice smell… Whatever your style is, put some effort into making yourself feel put together, and you can get a confidence boost and feel more prepared to tackle anything.
– Rearrange or redecorate something! If you’re feeling ambitious, move some furniture around. If you are not that energetic, put up or shift around some pictures, decorations, plants, change the scene around a bit. Take in the shift in energy!
– Dive into a project or an indulgence that you’ve been thinking about for a long time, even if you feel like you “should” be spending time on “more important things” – even if you need to just push a mess off to the side to make room for yourself, do the thing! It doesn’t have to be elaborate, or practical. You are allowed to enjoy things, so do it!
And if your kids are right up in your business:
– Let them in! Give yourself some practice doing your sacred, special personal things with them or near them. Maybe not every hobby or interest is appropriate, but you might be surprised by what your kids take an interest in, what they are capable of or at least what they will give you some space for. You don’t need to be away from them to do something you love. You don’t need to live your best life in stolen moments!
– Tell them what is up! The words you choose and the depth you go into will vary depending on the age and general maturity level of your kiddo(s), but let them know that you are in a funk and that you’re working on making yourself feel better, or working on making the house feel better for everyone. Modelling mental and emotional self-awareness and showing them how you take care of your own stress or bad moods is a learning opportunity for them. And your emotional honestly paves the way for their own, too!
And remember: Even when it seems like everything is falling apart, you got this!