I have always been passionate about designing and making meaningful gifts and keepsakes and was very fortunate to able to start my own business. Lauren Nicole Gifts (name after my niece) was started in 2004 and was a great way for me to have my own business, but still move around as an Army wife. My husband recently retired from the Army and we are now permanently located in Ouray, Colorado
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Finding Motivation within the Realm of Motherhood
It’s no secret that being a mother (whether you work at home, stay at home, or work outside of the home) is one of the hardest jobs out there. There’s no salary for all of the long hours we put in; and aside from the beautiful children we give life to, the benefits aren’t all that great either. We’re overworked, underpaid, and unfortunately for so many moms out there, under appreciated.
During the first few months after my son was born, I found myself in a funk. Having struggled with depression during High School and College, I found myself falling victim to something much worse than the “baby blues.” I was on my way to a major case of Post-Partum Depression. The beautiful little boy that adored his mama (and still does, by the way) was sucking the life out of me. Between the unending piles of laundry and the dirty diapers, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I asked myself over and over again, “Why is motherhood so hard?”
Over time I’ve realized that the biggest problem I had, was finding motivation. My husband was working long hours; we were in a new city, hadn’t made a lot of friends and had zero family around. I found myself stuck in a place between not caring and “what’s the point?” When I finally hit rock bottom and got sick of feeling that way, I decided it was time to do something about it. Getting motivated, when you don’t feel like you have a reason to be motivated is tough. But there are a few simple, everyday things that can pull anyone out of there funk.
1. Take time to get yourself dressed and ready: Whether you stay at home or work at home, getting up and getting motivated starts from the time your feet hit the floor in the mornings. There were many days where I would have just assumed sit in my PJ’s and eat Ice Cream until it was time to crawl back in bed again. Getting up in the mornings, taking a shower and putting a little bit of time into making myself look better ended up making me feel better as well. Not to mention, my poor husband totally appreciated the change.
2. Make yourself a Schedule: I know that when you stay at home with your kid(s) it can seem a little pointless to have a schedule. What could you possibly need a schedule for when your day involves nothing more than tummy time, feedings, and diaper changes? Well, unless you want to end up on the next episode of Hoarders, you will need to clean your house at some point. And eventually, you will run out of clean clothes…so making yourself a schedule and taking note of the little things (like cooking, cleaning, and running errands) can give you something to look forward to everyday.
3. Find a Hobby: I’ve always been a writer, so when my son was born, I turned to blogging as an outlet and a safe haven on those days that things were just too much for me to handle. Aside from the creative outlet it provided, it opened the door to new friendships and a sense of community that I hadn’t found in our new home. Whether you’re interested in cooking, decorating or something totally different, exerting a little bit of creative energy is good for the soul. Buy yourself a new cookbook and work your way through it. Take up crafting or knitting. Find something to occupy your time with. As you get better, consider opening an Etsy Shoppe or teaching a class of your own within the neighborhood. Nothing will make you feel better than achievement and creativity.
4. Get out of the House: I can be a total homebody if my husband lets me. Now that I work from home, it’s even harder to pry me away from my computer and my writing (what can I say? I love what I do!). But it’s so important to your personal sanity to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air and interaction with real people. Join a playgroup, pay a visit to the local library (most of them have some sort of story time during the week you can take your child to), go on a picnic in the park. Even if it’s only for an hour a day, you will feel 10 times better if you get out and away from your house.
Lastly, let me add that if you need help, ask for it. Everyone has been a new parent at some point or another. Talk to your mom or your in-laws. See if they will babysit for a few hours to you can go do your own thing. For me, a trip to the mall (even if I wasn’t shopping) or a visit to the Barnes & Noble to read for an hour and sip on a Starbucks was crucial during my sons first few months. No one needs or should have to deal with the baby blues and new-mommyhood alone. There are loads of people who would be willing to help you out if you ask.
What are your tips and bits of advice on overcoming a funk?
*And thanks so much to Denise for giving me the chance to Guest Post here! I am a HUGE fan of her jewelry! It’s always an honor to be featured and supported in another blogger’s space.
This post was written by Courtney, author of the blog The Mommy Matters. You can find her spilling it all on her personal blog, especially her adventures in motherhood.