Moms, It's Okay to Not Be Balanced ALL The Time

Oh the dreaded bedtime shuffle. The cuddles, the stories and the endless amounts of “get back into your bed.” I’m going to be bold here and admit that putting my kids to bed is legit my least favorite time of the day. Don’t judge me just yet, just hear me out.

“Mama I am sooooo thirsty.”

“Mama can you rock me and cuddle?”

“Mama I need oils!”

“Mama I picked a booboo.”

“I have to potty.”

“Mama can you rock me and cuddle me?”

It NEVER ends. It’s like an hour long debacle every night with my three year old and it has been this way for over a year. And before you get ready to give me your advice, or advice on discipline, thanks but no thanks. NOTHING has worked, but that’s not exactly what I’m hear to talk about anyway.

I’m here to say that I don’t like bedtime. It’s my least favorite time of the day for me as a mother because it gets a little chaotic and unfortunately my mind starts lingering with all of the tasks that I need to go do and I also know that there is a big bathtub calling my name. I get super antsy and ready for my people to just be asleep already.

You see, I’m writing this to be vulnerable here because I am not perfect. I am not supermom who never has bad days and I’m surely not always as patient and kind as I want to be. I’m a mom, just a regular mom who can also say, “I’ve had enough.”

I think as mothers sometimes we believe that we have to be completely balanced emotionally and always in love with each part of every day. God handpicked us for these sweet children, surely if he thought we were cut out for this then we should show nothing but praise and joy. But the truth of the matter is that sometimes we just don’t convey our love so “joyfully” because we are exhausted, frazzled, annoyed or just overwhelmed.

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It can be hard in the midst of a chaotic bedtime routine or in the midst of a hectic ride to school complete with 21 questions about if lizards have babies to evoke joy. Like sorry kid, but I can’t always answer your questions and sometimes you talk SO much that my head is spinning. But you’re totally cute so there’s that…

It’s okay to yearn for bedtime simply because you need a break and then it’s okay to dread bedtime simply because your toddler is a werewolf who comes alive with the full moon. It’s okay to get frazzled.

It’s okay to not be balanced ALL.THE.TIME.

I write a lot about living intentionally and simply and savoring the small joys in motherhood. I believe in that wholeheartedly. But I also believe in finding the grace to forgive ourselves when we feel like we’re unbalanced, annoyed and “over it.” I believe in the ability to say that this is “okay” to feel this way and then to find your reset, your grace and your fresh start later. Whether it’s minutes later, a few hours or the next morning, you’re back to being “super mom” and you’re tackling your precious job with joy and oomph.

So mamas whether it is the bedtime routine that drives you bananas, or the fact that your kids fight like banshees or the toddler who is into EVERYTHING, it’s okay to not be your best at every moment.

We are so often not our best, and yet God loves us more than ever and gives us his mercy each day. It’s the same as a mother. Our kids can be a werewolf and yet we love them more than ever. And we move on and we forgive when they don’t listen and we find grace for them AND for ourselves when we fall short.

So moms, remember that you are enough even when you don’t feel like you are. You don’t have to be balanced 24/7 and your supermom cape can rest sometimes. It’s okay to not have your shish together all the time and it’s okay to even say, “I’m over it.”

If motherhood was perfect it would be easy. But it’s not perfect and we all know it is not easy! Motherhood is a journey where we learn as we grow and we discover all of life’s lessons on love, joy, forgiveness, grace and so much more.

I may not be a fan of bedtime, but I sure am grateful to have these babies to put to sleep into their beds each night. I may not be a fan of bedtime, but I sure love when they sneak into my bed and cuddle up next to me. And I sure as heck love to kiss their faces good morning as they sleep peacefully with the glow of the new day beaming in.

I can find my balance by admitting my faults. I can find grace by having mercy and I can love to the depths of my soul. All because I am a beautifully, imperfect mother taking care of some beautiful, imperfect children who are occasionally cute, little werewolves.

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Moms Who Don't Like Bedtime

Taking the Reins to Live Intentionally and Simply

 Gray Photography

Gray Photography

When I was a little girl I dreamed about being a mother and a wife. I was like most little girls and clung to the role of mommy with my baby dolls. As I got older, I dreamt about my role as a wife one day too and started to crave that home full of feet running around and bacon frying on the weekends.

Modern day lifestyles are vastly different than the past decades. Our time in this world goes by quicker and our lives are filled with so much stuff, so many obligations and so much static and noise. Sometimes it can feel as if all of the noise takes us away from the simple joys of things like mothering, homemaking, front porch sittin’ and so on.

I know of so many people who say they’d love to live back in a simpler time, back in the good ole’ days. I tend to be one of those people sometimes as well too; but like so many others, I’m also grateful for so many modern day things.

Here’s the thing though. As I’ve grown as a mother and a homemaker over the past year, I’ve discovered such a joy for carving out an intentionally simple life for my family. Creating a simple, peaceful home and lifestyle doesn’t have to mean that we jump into a time machine and head back to the June Cleaver days, it just means that we take initiative of our lives and the speed of them.

Living Simply and Intentionally

We take control of our schedules, of the stuff accumulating around us and we find joy in the mundane. Something as simple as a crisp fall day with the windows open and a soup simmering on the stove is something to be joyful about. It’s something to stop and take in for a second. While the task of cleaning the home may seem so exhausting, it’s something to be grateful for. A home. And while for the homemaker or stay at home, cleaning may seem so exhausting and tedious - it’s our “work." It’s the home that you make for your family whether you work in it or away from it.

If we want our lives to slow down, it’s up to us to make it happen. It’s up to us to let go of obligations and to turn down some invitations. It’s up to us to do less of what we don’t enjoy so we can do more of what we do enjoy. It’s up to us as parents, as mothers and fathers, to determine how many nights a week we eat together as a family or how many Sunday mornings we sit in church together.

Weaving Christ throughout your life, throughout your day, your marriage and throughout your mothering, makes things more peaceful. That feeling of being together in church on Sunday where you’re meant to be, is the best. That moment of a Sunday nap or a Sunday on the front porch is where life can shine. Where you can feel the joy of His grace because you are resting and being intentional with those around you.

Living Intentionally

I’m all for the extra curricular and the date nights. I’m all for the trips to the zoo and the library and for the occasional night out on the town with your friends. But the key to creating a simple, peaceful life that you long for, is all found within your hands and the hands of the Lord above.

Don’t look at housework as a burden, it’s your way to serve those around you that you love. Involve your little ones in the tasks if you want and absolutely do the tasks together with your spouse if he’s the kind to chip in, but don’t relish on the burdens of it all when it’s part of what makes your life and the lives of those you love function so beautifully.

Find joy in your tasks, no matter how repetitive they may be. Pull out the mixer and bake something from scratch with your children. Take afternoon snacks to the porch or take the kids outside for star gazing at night before bed. And find time to steal those few minutes for just YOU. Find ways to do more of what you love no matter how hard that may be. And always, always find more time to be together to enjoy the simple moments.

Some things to consider to make your life and moments more intentional:

  • Eat meals together with no distractions as often as you can

  • Limit extra curricular to where you’re not on the go each night

  • Let kids be kids

  • Cook for your family, it’s rewarding for you!

  • Serve your family with a peaceful, joyful heart rather than with the burdens of having to “do it all”

  • Ask for help when you need it, because life sometimes requires it ;)

  • Find your grace in the messy moments

  • Remember that even the most perfect moms have bad days

  • Have a power clean hour

  • Pick your home up throughout the day or before you leave each time

  • Carve out a few minutes of the day for yourself (mine is the mornings and nap time)

  • Play outside as a family

  • If you’re a stay at home mom, limit your daytime errands and activities so you can be at peace within your home

  • Bake something

  • Color with your little ones

  • Take up gardening/plants! (seriously!)

  • Stop to find the beauty of your day and relish in that moment

  • If you work away from home, find the support you need to enjoy the moments that you have when you get home (also let go of any guilt you have for this - you’re an awesome mama!)

  • Limit your weekend activities and obligations - it’s okay to say NO

  • Read and pray over the Proverbs 31 woman - the noble wife

  • Pray (for real!)

Living Simply

Life is a story. It’s a steady picture reel going on day by day. It’s up to us to determine how to write that story and it’s up to us to determine how those pictures will look. It may not always look as planned sometimes and other times the paths of life may change and we won’t understand them as we experience heavy burdens and pains, but somehow we have the ability to continue on and to create a simple, peaceful life of joy through it all.

Don’t look at the reels of someone else’s life and wish yours looked like that - make it happen. Find your peace, your joy and your God. He’ll shine the light on your days and somehow, he may even slow down the time as it passes so you can linger in the beauty of his grace.

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Living Intentionally and Simply

The Postpartum Blues + What They Don't Tell You About Your Second Baby

 Me pregnant with my second, who shook my world a bit. Copyright, The Mushy Mommy 

Me pregnant with my second, who shook my world a bit. Copyright, The Mushy Mommy 

If someone would have told me prior to having my second born, that I'd have experienced bluesy days, I would have laughed at them. I was born to be a mother. I was born to rock motherhood and have babies. It was my thing, it's what I blogged about and dreamt about. 

But I am here to tell you that no one quite prepares you for the fact that having a second baby can totally and completely flip your world upside down for a bit, even if you imagined that it would never happen to YOU. 

Just when you start to find comfort in your role as a mother to one child, you get those exciting blue lines to let you know that baby number dos is on the way. You're probably ecstatic. Maybe a little scared. You probably ugly (happy) cried too if you're anything like me. And then you sat and at all the cookies because #eatingfortwo right?

Having a baby was never scary to me up until that baby actually arrived. Having a baby never seemed overwhelming or emotional until that baby was lying there. Having a baby never seemed like a reason to ugly (sad)'s supposed to be ugly (happy) cry right

You can read articles here and there about preparing for a second baby and you can purchase big sibling all of the cute (and over priced) "Baby is on the Way" books from the hospital gift shop, but none of it can prepare you for the unexpected.

There's no book out there on "expanding your heart for another baby" or at least I wasn't given one. 

You see, my precious and perfect baby came and joined my world in a glorious birth. We're talking drug free, Kourtney Kardashian style complete with me pulling her out myself. Tears of joy streamed down my face because another healthy baby just came out of my body. She was here FINALLY and she was perfect. Heck, she even peed on me during skin to skin (total irony to who she is as a toddler too if you know her). 

But eventually the craziness of after birth calmed down and I let them check her out in that little clear baby box, and I stared at her. For the first time she wasn't in my arms or in my belly and I stared at this little human who I had grown to love so deeply over the last nine months. Emotions flooded my heart and fogged my mind and I was so unprepared for them.

"How on earth could I love another human as much as my first born?" Didn't I already love her? What was going on?

My first born was my world and now all of a sudden I had another daughter to make my world as well. It seemed hard in that moment to comprehend that, almost as if I was cheating on my first born. 

I hated myself for all of the thoughts and emotions that flooded me right there. I pushed them away and hoped God didn't hear them. 

We were going to be okay, or so I thought, but heck she didn't even sleep a wink that first night (again more irony). But time went on and we had a short hospital stay that ended late at night (with a truck that wouldn't start -- again irony to the days following). I didn't want to leave that hospital. I wanted to stay because I suddenly feared going home and doing this mom thing. 

You see, I wasn't technically a new mother. This wasn't my first rodeo. But in so many ways I WAS a new mother because I was now a new mother to two children. There were now TWO humans that I had to take care of, wipe their butts, rock to sleep and so on. It sounded glorious but in so many ways it sounded so freaking scary, overwhelming and exhausting. 

I was scared. I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I would NEVER be able to do this. And I don't know why. Maybe it's because my heart was still so flooded and twisted. 

I sat on top of so many emotions for a few weeks because I was afraid to admit that something was off. I felt an overwhelming fear that I just legit couldn't do this. I told no one. I held tears in each and every time I felt them coming out in front of others. There were so many times I wanted to cry to my own mother or to my husband and just say, "help me please." But I didn't because truthfully, they were already helping and I had to pretend like I had this. I was made to do this, right? 

But I didn't have this. Raising two babies all day just was going to be hard. I mean, for goodness sakes there's TWO OF THEM AND JUST ONE OF ME. 

So I kept the emotions bottled up and I just worked through it myself; I even pushed visitors away. I did everything that you're not supposed to do. I cried alone. I felt alone. I kept my mouth closed and I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't do that. 

But I've moved on since then and thankfully for me, it was only a very short season. But it's still one that I look back at and hate because I wish I could make it different. But I can't because you know what, that's part of postpartum sometimes. It's a familiar battle that unfortunately many face. 

So I'm here to tell you that it's okay. It's okay to feel these unexpected emotions. It's okay to feel like you're never going to survive this season of motherhood. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel. It's okay to question your heart and to feel foreign from a person who you shouldn't feel that way with. 

And it doesn't make you a bad mother. 

That little girl that I looked at thinking I couldn't love the same, has completely stolen my heart. I love her fiercely and find her to be utterly fascinating. My heart is SO full because of her and because of the third child right behind her as well (and I was fine postpartum after my third thankfully). You truly just never know how your body, hormones and emotions will be following the birth of a child. It's not really anything you can prepare for or prevent. 

So mama, if you're scared of raising one, two or three or 131 humans, I'm here to tell you that you can (okay maybe not 131). I'm here to tell you that YOU WILL ROCK THIS even if you cry a lot and even if you need help. And mamas, I want you to ask for help. I want you to speak to someone because it's important; don't do what I did and keep it to yourself. Don't be the girl ugly crying all of the emotions out in the dark hallway while her husband showers a few steps away and her baby refuses to sleep. Thank gosh he didn't walk in on that way, but man how I wish sometimes that he would have. Because then, I wouldn't have been alone. 

But the truth is you're never really alone if you just let them in. There is always someone to reach out to, even if it is your doctor. There's always someone to turn to and say, "please help me." And when you feel like there's no one around, turn to Jesus. He's there and he's waiting to help you.

You're not broken, you're not a bad mother and you're not the only one facing this battle. 

You were made to do this.

Your heart will grow and expand and grow leaps and bounds with each child you have; somehow it just happens. You were destined for this role that God so cleverly saw us fit for and you will fulfill that destiny even when you feel like you can't or you won't. You may feel like a hot mess most of the time and even years later you may still ugly cry for random reasons, but you'll do far better than you ever dreamed you could. And your heart will experience the deepest love you could ever imagine. 

YOU WILL BE OKAY, I'm rooting for you. You were made to do this. Now, go ugly cry to someone and eat all of the cookies because #hormones. 

*I don't use the term postpartum depression in my post because I was never diagnosed and quite honestly don't know if it was quite "bad enough" to be diagnosed as that anyway. It was luckily a short season for me that only was touch and go after. But please seek help no matter if it doesn't "seem that bad." At least talk to a close friend or spouse and go from there. Talking is sometimes cure enough. But there's always more. Lastly, my essential oils helped me tremendously after my third and I credit them to a large reason why I was so healthy postpartum. If you'd like more info, I would be happy to help. 

Postpartum Blues and Second Baby

Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos.