I am there. I am in a mom slump. I am tired, and I have looked like a haggard elderly lady for 8 months running now. Don't get me wrong, I have attempted to come out of the slump by putting on some make-up and trying to tame the wild mop that is my hair, and that helped for a little bit, so I guess it was worth the effort
What is mom slump? You may ask. Well, in my eyes, it is when you do not have the motivation to complete simple everyday tasks and you would rather stay at home watching Netflix and binge eat ranch dip and Lay's potato chips (When the kids are sleeping, of course.)
You don't feel the desire to venture into the outside world, but you do manage to welcome those very few visitors whom you are comfortable with seeing you looking like an unkempt and smelly hermit. Mom slump is the same sweatpants day after day. Mom slump is really needing to take a shower, but then that poor motivation kicks in again and you decide to just look up endless amounts of ways to make slime for your kids on Pinterest.
Mom slump is not caring what your husband thinks of the way you look. It is piles and piles of laundry on your dining room table because, let's face it, folding that heap of cotton exhaustion is just too much to handle. Mom slump is enjoying the time with your little ones, but wanting to tie them up at the same time.
The good news is, I have managed to figure out some tricks, that, while they are simple and pretty superficial, have actually helped me temporarily drag myself out of my slump.
15 Take a Break From Social Media
This is probably the biggest one. Facebook and Instagram are the world's worst confidence boosters, and sometimes, it's just good to take a break from them or stay off of them permanently! You know that little magnifying glass on Instagram? You know, the one that you tap so that you can see all the photo suggestions? Yeah, that little thing is the devil.
Tell me, Instagram, why would an average mom like me who is packing 20 extra pounds want to see a fitness model who earns her living by posting pictures of her toned six pack and super firm hind-end? I mean, good for her, but I couldn't care less about seeing that ever again. And then you've got Facebook which is full of negative news stories, mean people, and sad events.
Yes, it can also be really fun and enjoyable to interact with the people you know and share funny stories and cute pictures of your kids, but whether you think it or not, the negative things that you see can eventually take a toll on how you think. Take a break from social media from time to time to refocus on what is important in your life. You won't believe how much of a relief you feel to get that burden off your back for a little bit.
14 Spruce Yourself Up!
I am a pretty low-maintenance girl. I have had the same makeup for longer than I'd like to admit, I get my nails done about once a year, if that, and I rarely cut or color my hair. With that being said, I still feel ten times better when I take the time to put a little makeup on and brush my hair.
If I'm feeling a little frisky, I'll even change out of my sweatpants and put on a pair of yoga pants. That little action in and of itself is a great mood booster. I'll even spritz on a little perfume for an added bonus and then BAM! I feel like a new woman. It may be a really small act, but it can work wonders on how you're feeling during a mom slump.
13 Start a Hobby That You Enjoy
Life becomes especially hard and even sometimes depressing during the first few weeks with a newborn. Some women feel alone, sad, overwhelmed and even angry. These types of feelings usually don't stick around for too long and are mostly associated with Baby Blues but can sometimes turn into Postpartum Depression.
If you think you may be dealing with Postpartum Depression, it is very important that you tell your doctor. However, if you've just got a case of the Baby Blues (These should also not be taken lightly), there are some little things you can try that may help you some.
For the first few weeks after each of my three babies, I was feeling pretty down and out... Like "crying because all of the Cheetos are gone" down and out. It was bad. I was overjoyed with my new baby, but my hormones were so out of whack that I couldn't control how I was feeling.
Nighttime was the worst because that was when I felt the loneliest. I was up by myself several times a night. Breastfeeding was making me feel like my nips were going to fall off, and I was mentally and physically exhausted.
I didn't know that it would help at the time, but I somehow ventured into blogging. It became something for me to look forward to each night and was a great outlet for venting frustrations and talking about my day. With my second and third babies, I found that Netflix and reading were my refuges. Getting into a TV series, or reading a good book became something for me to do while I was up with the baby, and again, something that took my mind off the negative feelings I was having.
For you, it may be working through one of those awesome adult coloring books, knitting a scarf, or exercising. It doesn't matter what you enjoy, or how silly you may think it is, the important thing is that you make yourself feel better and are able to fight those baby blues and come out victorious!
12 Go Outside!
Being cooped up in the house all day with three youngins sometimes takes a toll on my mental stability. I have started developing a speech impediment like my two-year-old and have even contemplated how many times I would have thrown Caillou's hind end in time out for being such a whiny little baby.
Your mind can do weird things, mine especially. Therefore, when I am getting a little too caught up in how Jake is going to defeat Captain Hook, I take the kids outside for some fresh air!
The kids love to go outside and play when the weather is cooperating and it turns into an opportunity for me to get out of the house and even do things I enjoy, like taking pictures of my babies. If you just don't feel like going outside, that is probably a good enough reason for you to force yourself to do so. You won't regret it!
11 Give Someone a Call or a Text
I'm going to be honest, some days at home with my kids can either be super overwhelming, or really boring. Either way, I find myself falling into a slump when these type of days are unfolding. It has helped me in the past to send text messages or give outsiders a call just to see what's going on in the unknown. Because let's be real, if you stay at home with your kids, you have, for the most part, lost connection with the outside world.
Talking to other adults helps me avoid going crazy when I am pretty close to the brink of insanity. If you feel yourself slipping over the edge, just give a loved one a call or text to see how their day is going. This almost always works to take your mind off what's going on and refocus your day so that you can be a better mom.
In my current state of mind, I'd rather puke twice and die than to exercise, but there are some days that exercising actually makes me feel a lot better about myself.
Whenever I get the slightest bit of motivation to move around a little, I try to take advantage of it! According to a new study from Princeton University, exercise appears to change the chemistry of the brain by causing the release of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps quiet brain activity and minimize anxiety.
I know this suggestion won't always work because some days, you can't even find the motivation to crawl out of bed, let alone get up and do jumping jacks, so just try to incorporate this one when that tiny bit of "get up and go" finally hits you!
9 Do Something Nice For Someone
You can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as you start throwing yourself a pity party because of how sad you are, you will feel about ten times worse. I know that I am the world's worst for wallowing in my feelings and nine times out of ten, my feelings are mainly overreactions that I have created in my own head.
Therefore, when I realize that I am worrying too much about my own situation, I try to focus on other people in my life. Do something nice for another person in your life. Don't expect anything in return except for that person's happiness.
I know that I am a selfish person despite the fact that I have no desire to be that way. However, if my mind was constantly thinking about helping others, like it should be, then my selfishness would slowly start to fade and soon be replaced by feelings of contentment. Sometimes we just need to stop thinking about ourselves in order to be truly happy.
8 Clean the House
Whether my house is just a little messy or needs a serious deep cleaning, it puts me in a foul mood. While it is pretty much impossible to keep it clean with three kids and a messy husband (I never make messes), I try to stay caught up on the housework because it makes me feel much better.
When the house looks like a cyclone came through, I can feel myself getting and anxious and aggravated, and it's true that sometimes I don't feel like lifting a finger, but I try to force myself to do at least one little housekeeping task. If I am lucky, that task may domino effect into completing more chores.
I don't really understand it, but a clean house just makes me feel better about life. I still haven't figured out the psychological reasoning behind this.
7 Take a Shower or Bath...If You Ever Get the Chance
Busy moms can go a long time without taking a shower (Maybe that's just me) and this can take a serious toll on their self-esteem and can most definitely send them spiraling into a mom slump.
If it has been a bit too long since my last hygienic experience, I personally try my best to take advantage of the kids' naptimes, and sometimes, that means taking a much-needed shower. When my husband gets home from work, I will sometimes take an hour or so to take a nice, relaxing bath. If I have the time, I will even take a book with me or watch a few minutes of my favorite show just to get a few moments of peace.
It may seem like a silly claim that taking a shower or bath can make a woman feel better about herself or even put her in a better mood, but try asking a mom who hasn't taken one in two days, and you might change your mind!
6 Go For a Ride
I have zero shame about climbing into my minivan, rolling down the windows, and listening to
dubstep"The Wheels on The Bus" whilst cruising down the road. You're not truly cool until you've done so. And not only do I enjoy this, but my kids do too.
Every now and then we will go to a restaurant and have lunch together or visit my parents if they aren't working that day. Any reason to get out of the house is a good reason if you need a mental break from things.
5 Play With Your Kids
I tend to spend too much time rushing around the house trying to complete little tasks instead of taking the time to stop and truly enjoy time with my kids. I have found that when I stop what I am doing to play with my boys, I instantly feel better and so do they!
They become happier and my mind wanders away from my to-do list, which really isn't all that important anyway. I get to interact with them in ways that I would have otherwise missed if I were trying to get a set number of things done.
The "Mom slump" becomes pretty much non-existent when I am putting 100% of my focus on my kids...Or at least 80% of my focus (Who can actually zone in on their kids 100% of the time?) My little ones especially love it when I sit down to paint or draw with them. They love doing all things "artsy", so being able to take time with them to create things together is pretty cool, regardless of how messy it becomes.
So, if you're feeling a little "slumpish", chill out and just play with your babies. It's a win-win no matter how you look at it!
4 Check out "Body Positive" Pins on Pinterest
When I am feeling down about my baby weight gain or overall self-image, I venture over to Pinterest, and type "real mom bodies" into the search bar. Seeing other women who share the same struggles as me and do not look like the fake images we see plastered on magazines and on our TV's is such a refreshing thing. It reminds me that I am human, my body is just fine right now, and that a little extra weight isn't the end of the world.
One of these days, I will become motivated to start back into a diet and exercise routine, but for right now, I just want to be okay with the way I look. I don't want to see image after image of a "perfect body". I want to see real bodies. Bodies of women who don't dedicate every waking hour to their diet and fitness. Bodies of women who eat the unhealthy stuff from time to time. Bodies of women who didn't "snap right back" after having a baby.
Comparing any aspect of your life to another person's will guarantee you an invitation to the "mom-slump pity party". So, do yourself a favor, and stay away from the things that make you feel bad about yourself, and gravitate towards the things in life that make you feel happy. It's really that simple.
3 Buy Yourself Something New
I'm not saying that you should go and spend a buttload of money on a new car or wardrobe, but you should go out and buy a little something that can brighten your day.
For example, I love getting things for the house. Something as simple as a new scented candle puts a little hitch in my giddy-up. I could seriously go to the dollar store and buy completely random things like extension cords and dish towels and go from being Ms. Hannigan to Mary Poppins in about 2 minutes. That's pretty sad, I know, but hey, it's the little things in life.
Are you stuck in a rut, mama? Well, get out there and buy yourself some dish towels! ; ) Or if you're a normal woman, go buy yourself some new perfume or a new shirt! It's bound to make you feel better!
2 Indulge in Some Junk Food!
Yeah, I know that consuming processed foods is bad for your health and that you should eat a balanced diet of fruit, veggies, and meat, exercise daily, and blah, blah, blah, blah! But, from time to time, it just feels good to eat a dang candy bar! Any person who says food doesn't make them feel just a little bit better, shouldn't be trusted!
Oh, and speaking of food, another great idea to help you ease out of the "mom slump" would be to cook with your kids! Let them help you make supper or bake and decorate cupcakes. Your kids would love to be involved with that process and when everything is finished you can
eat all the cupcakes by yourself have a little picnic outside with what you made together!
If you're a health guru, do me a favor and just skip this tip, okay? ; )
1 Try to Think of Better Days
For as many days that you have felt down and out, there have been just as many that you have felt great. Keep this in mind when you're at your lowest low and let it serve as a constant reminder that this time will pass and that happy days are ahead. You already know that life is a mixture of good and bad days, but do your best to focus on the good and remember that there's always some extension cords or dish towels that desperately need a home. ; )