As a mom who struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression, I rarely feel calm or at peace. For years, I've tried to live with this uneasiness while parenting. My kids have felt the strain at times, unfortunately. No mom is perfect. But I don't want to raise my kids in a stressful environment! Studies show that long-term stress creates health problems and can even change your genetics! I decided that 2019 was going to be the year where I got my life together - and where my home is a peaceful place instead of a stressful environment. And so, off I set - to become a cool mom. What is a cool mom? She's not a regular mom - she's a mom with peace and a little bit of zen.
Get Your Life Organized
Yes, this is easier said than done. As someone who is generally disorganized and doesn't have her crap together, this one is really hard for me in particular. I've found that imposing what feels like a false sense of order and routine to my day helps me feel more on top of things. Some methods won't work for everyone, and that's okay! I did a modified version of Konmari to help sort out what I had and where it needed to live. Once I chose a place for something to live, I made a habit of putting it back every time it was used.
Treat Your Mental Health
No amount of organization and orderliness will create peace if a mama's mental state is unsteady. Since I have anxiety and depression, I use Zoloft to maintain an even keel. If your body doesn't make its own neurotransmitters, storebought is fine. Therapy is another useful tool to sort out mental health. You don't need to be in crisis in order to seek out help! As a busy mom, I rarely have time for my own appointments. I've used TalkSpace to access virtual talk therapy from home.
Start Your Day With A Plan
With little kids, a routine is crucial! Creating an expectation of what they can expect helps kids feel secure - and to be honest, it helps make my life easier, too.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Setting up a schedule and a plan for the day helps keep you in forward momentum, even when you don't "feel" like it. Instead of building something from scratch, it becomes a matter of simply executing what's already in place.
Meditate On Positive Thoughts
I feel hokey even telling you this, but I swear to you this has changed everything for me. Regular moms can get caught up in the negative aspects of their day - what went wrong, what was left unfinished. Moms often feel like they're not doing enough or that they're a failure as a mom. Combine that mental talk track with mental illness and you have a serious problem! I personally like to make meditation a part of my morning routine. It helps me start the day on a bright note. The Wysa app has helped me establish a routine of meditative thought. Wysa reminds me to meditate and provides a safe space to unload negativity from my day.
I've found that changing my perspective has had the biggest impact on my feeling of peace. Letting go of certain stressors, minimizing others, and accepting inevitable tasks (like dishes or laundry) has helped me establish a sense of calm in our home. And while I feel so much better, the best outcome has been the positive change in my kids' attitudes. I can tell they like me better when I'm a "cool" mom. And you know what? I like myself better, too.