Modern day motherhood can be stressful. There’s a new report out every morning that tells us what we should be doing and what we’re doing wrong. The news and social media have become the boss we never knew we’d have…and the one we never wanted. If we’re not worrying about our child mastering potty training, we’re worrying about whether or not they’ll become a successful member of society. That’s a lot to handle and a lot to think about on a day to day basis, but the truth is, the future success of our children aren’t going to be affected because of choices such as whether or not we fed them organic baby food. Are we shaping certain aspects of our children’s personalities? Absolutely. However, I think the biggest impact we have in their lives comes from the love, comfort, and encouragement we give them. We can expose them to every type of activity, different languages, and the best education that money can buy – but at the end of the day, all of that means nothing without investing in them emotionally.
All of that to say this, sometimes we just need to let the stress of motherhood go. We need to stop worrying about their future and start being present in the now. Easier said than done? Of course, but let’s give it the ol’ college try and follow the best advice to ever come from a Disney movie and just LET IT GO! How, you ask? Well, my suggestions aren’t rocket science, but in preparation for a busy holiday season and a new baby making her arrival, here are a few ways I’m, “letting it go,” and some things I think you should try too…
1. Take yourself on a date
Get away for a spa day or just take yourself for a walk around the block. Go out with your husband, call a friend or a group of friends, and make it a group date. Whatever you do, just spend some time being you and not somebody’s mama for a few hours.
2. Get off the internet
Don’t read the latest report on how you’re screwing up your children and stop comparing your parenting choices to your friend’s on Facebook. After all, they don’t really know what they’re doing either, all of us are just learning as we go.
3. Go old school
Think about the activities you enjoyed most as a kid and go enjoy them with your kids. Ride bikes, roller skate, play pick up sticks, bake cookies, lock your kids in the backyard…okay, not really…but my mom totally did that even though she still won’t admit it.
4. Skip making dinner
Let your partner make dinner, order in, or take the family out. If you’ve had a long day, give yourself permission to wave the white flag at dinner time.
For me personally, this one falls right under time with Jesus. When I feel my shoulders aching, tension in my neck and upper back, I know I’ve been neglecting my exercise routine and that stress has gotten the best of me. I always feel so much better once I get out there and move my body. Go for a walk, a run, take a zumba class, or do some yoga in your living room. There’s a million reasons not to exercise, but the benefits are undeniable. So if you’re feeling stressed, consider taking some things off your to-do list and replacing them with exercise. You won’t regret it.
These are just a few suggestions on how to let the stress of motherhood go, but hopefully they can jump start you to make your own list and encourage you to stick to it. Remember, if we don’t start to take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to care for those that need us most. Invest some time in you today and listen to that Frozen soundtrack one more time if you need a reminder to just, LET IT GO!