A normal morning for me typically looks like this:
I wake up around 6am to either my 2 year old whispering as loud as she can “Mommy! Mommy!” or my 6 month old welcoming the day with screeches of excitement. I change baby girl’s diaper and feed her, get my 2 year old to sit still long enough to put on clothes (add a lot of time and patience in there if she decides it’s a “I can do it myself!” morning), potentially shower or at least make myself look presentable for going inside 2 year old’s Krippe, bring the girls downstairs for breakfast that I will inevitably be cleaning up off the floor and off their faces/clothes, get shoes on 2 year old while she runs around the house, change baby girl’s diaper because she has excellent timing, and finally get out the door by around 8am. Oh great! I forgot to put on deodorant and to brush my teeth again!
Being a mom is rigorous training, no matter how many kids you have. You can feel like all you are doing is running around, cleaning, putting out fires, and pulling your hair out. Mainly because you are. The struggle, I find, is sitting down and thinking about what I wanted to accomplish during the day and what I was actually able to do. Over time, it becomes mundane and tedious, which equates to me feeling like my brain is mush and knowing I am capable of so much more. I can’t tell you how many times I have told myself, “You are a Masters level clinician who has run a private practice. You are capable!” I might feel better for a second, but I find that I get so caught up in the day to day that I forget what great things I am actually doing each day.
What You do Matters!
I came across a blog (www.revolutionfromhome.com) a few years ago that had an activity I fell in love with. I used it in therapy sessions with mom clients and presented it for a group of moms at a seminar. This activity truly helped shift my thinking from how mundane my life had become as a mom to some of the great accomplishments I have each day. So here it is and I challenge you to try it:
First, write down 5-7 actions you did over the past week. The more mundane and redundant, the better! Cross it out. Then, reframe them below what you wrote, considering what they really mean in the bigger scheme of things.
Here’s some examples to get you started:
I made breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I perpetuated the survival of our species.
I kept up with most of the housework.
I organized chaos.
I walked to pick up my daughter.
I chose health.
I sat with my daughter through a tantrum.
I promoted peace and taught my daughter coping skills.
I cleaned the kitchen.
I continued to work towards keeping my family healthy.
I know, I know… you are probably thinking, “Really, Katie? I perpetuated the survival of our species by feeding my family every day?” Yes, actually you did. Why down play it?
To be honest, you have to get pretty creative with some of the tasks we do day to day to see the bigger picture, but I promise they are there. I am still thinking of a really good one for all the laundry I do every week! Each positive reframe you are able to make reminds you that what you are doing is just as important as any other job…maybe even more! So the next time you are feeling your brain turn to mush and can’t see the greatness in what you do and who you are do this activity. If anything, it’ll make you laugh and remind you that the tasks might be mundane but being a mommy is an amazing job!