Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Heather}

Tips for handling the stress of being a mom-we place too much pressure on ourselves, and this is how we can stop!

Most of the immense pressure I’ve been feeling as a mom is self-induced. It is me getting in my own head. It is me pushing too hard and not allowing myself grace.

Maybe it’s because I’m in my 30’s or maybe it’s because I’m growing up. (The two aren’t mutually exclusive.) I’ve really started looking inward. I have been reflecting on who I am.

I’m routinely trying to look at myself so I can become better today than I was yesterday.

I want to explain how I’m dealing with the pressure of being a mom.

One of the biggest steps I’ve taken to deal with feeling the pressure of being a mom is to invest in myself.

Investing in myself has been a huge leap forward for me.

Normally, when I’m feeling the pressure I tend to do the opposite of stepping back and assessing myself. I tend to push myself harder, try to do even more, try to make up for my imagined failings.

It means taking a step back to evaluate myself.

It means taking time to do something that I enjoy.

Like working out, going on walk, writing or reading.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote; you can’t pour from an empty cup.

It’s true!

I can’t be the best mother or wife or woman if I continually deplete myself without taking time for me.

And it works. Taking time to myself helps me lessen the pressure to be the best and do the best at everything. It helps me slow down.

The second way I’ve been handling the pressure is by learning to replace my negative thoughts of not being enough or doing enough with something positive.

It seems like such an easy thing to do, but it requires you to “retrain” your mind.

I was actually talking to a friend just the other day about this and she said, “It’s something you constantly have to do until it basically becomes second nature.” The hope being that your positive thoughts will come first and eventually completely replace your negative thoughts.

How great would it be if my first thought wasn’t a negative one?

I’m guessing pretty incredible, hopefully in the near future I’ll say that with complete certainty.

I’ve also been learning to reduce the expectations I place on myself for all those things “I’m supposed” to do.

For example, my husband has a work event this weekend, and I didn’t want to go. I just wasn’t feeling it. Normally, I’d push through.

I’d set up the babysitter.

I’d run home after work.

I’d fly around the house as fast as I could, cooking dinner for the kids, getting them bathed and in pjs, picking up the house and finally getting myself ready.

This time I refused to do it.

I just didn’t want to.

A night spent in my pjs after a long and hard week just sounds so much better, and so I told my husband to go ahead without me.

And it felt good!

It got me thinking how many expectations I place on myself every day. It can be stifling.

I’m now concentrating on putting less expectations on myself all the time. More specifically expectations that aren’t benefiting anyone.

The only expectations I should feel pressured to fulfill should be being a good person, a mother who takes care of her children the best she can, a wife who works side by side her husband, and a friend who is compassionate and thoughtful. These are worthwhile expectations; these are expectations to focus on accomplishing.

Lastly, I’ve started allowing myself quiet time.

I’ve always been the girl who never sits, whose energy is off the chart. I was taught to always stay busy, and I’ve literally taken that to heart.

I often jam pack my days so full it often seems like a game of Tetris is being played in my planner.

This leaves little time for me to sit with myself and “just be”.

It’s important for self-reflection and calming your mind.

I have learned I need quiet time in my life every day. I need to take time to not talk, not be running from this to that, not trying to fix this problem or invite new ones into my life.

I used to marvel at the thought of this but was always too busy to partake.

The best part is you can do this in less than 5 minutes a day. You can take 5 minutes to find a quiet spot where you can breathe deep, stop thinking of the millions of things you have left to do and quiet your mind. Even if the only spot you can find is your walk in closet.  Which let’s be real, for a mom, is a step up from quiet time in the bathroom.

Baby steps, my friend, baby steps…

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

How do you handle the pressure of being a mom? Do you have any tips for other moms out there?

Tips for handling the stress of being a mom-we place too much pressure on ourselves, and this is how we can stop!

Heather of Just Becoming Me contributor to Mom Motivation Mondays series at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival GuideHeather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

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