Let’s just put this out there, Motherhood is EXHAUSTING! Whether your are a mom to one or 10, there are always days where we have given so much that our energy and drive is completely gone. The daily mundane tasks that go into taking care of kids and a home can leave us feeling on empty. If you are struggling to feel “normal” or to enjoy your life, there’s a good chance you are in a mommy rut. We all love our kids and family, but there is only so much we can give before we need to refuel. If you’re feeling low, here are 25 ways to get out of a rut!
25 Ways to Get Out of a Rut
1. Get up and get dressed
And I mean put on some real clothes (no sweats/exercise clothes which I live in most days),and do your hair and makeup. Yes, your kids might ask you where you are going, but you will feel 100 times better than if you stayed in your grubby sweats all day.
2. Buy something new
For me it doesn’t have to be big or expensive to make me feel better. Even just a new song for my ipod or a new shirt or outfit. It’s okay to splurge on yourself every once in awhile. We spoil our kidsall the time, why not spoil ourselves just a bit.
3. Do something fun and new with the kids during the week
Why wait until the weekend to have a movie or game night? Mix things up and bit and do something fun and spontaneous midweek. It will give you a mid-week boost that can help you get through to the weekend.
These are our current favorite family games:
The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a DayWe all know that sometimes our kids just need a time out. But what about us? I think we all would like quiet time each day but if we don’t actually schedule it in, it most likely won’t happen.
Find quiet time for reading, meditation and just time to think without having to listen to screaching kids in the background. If you absolutely know that quiet time won’t happen during the day, get up a bit earlier, stay up later or schedule someone to come in and watch the kids while you take your “time out”.
My new favorite thing to do is take 5 minutes and write in The Five Minute Journal. It keeps me focused on the positive things that are happening in my life and helps me to keep things in perspective. And I love that it helps you cultivate gratitude, something that is very hard when you are in a rut!
Yes I said it. That dreaded E word. After I had my last baby and finally finished 3 months of bed rest and the mandatory 6 weeks after of doing nothing (I had a really bad delivery and was told to do absolutely nothing for at least 6 weeks) I was so excited to be able to get out of the house and move my body. It’s amazing how much better you feel, physically and mentally, when you exercise. Our bodies were made to move. If you normally exercise, mix it up a bit. Take a new class, exercise with a friend or go for a hike. Your body and mind will thank you.
6.Reconnect with an old friend
In today’s world of Facebook, Pinterest and tweeting we forget about that old contraption called the telephone. Pick up the phone and call an old friend. If you’re worried about bugging her with a phone call (how busy have we become that we don’t take time for conversations anymore?) then schedule a time to get together. Plan a girl’s night out. This is important for all moms, but especially moms of all boys who are surrounded by a constant cloud of testosterone. Having the chance to just have fun and be girly can get any mom out of a rut.
7.Hire someone to clean the house
Yes, I mean someone that is not YOU. When I feel myself getting behind on my house I get overwhelmed and I start getting very grumpy and on edge. It’s not good for me and it’s definitely not good for my kids to have a mom who is a ticking time-bomb. So hire someone to come in and give yourself a break! Even if they just clean the bathrooms or the kitchen and help you get caught up. Having someone help with the house does not make you a bad mom. In fact there is no reward in heaven for the person who scrubbed the most toilets (although maybe there should be).
8. Crank up the music and dance!
Pull out and dust off your old CDs from high school, crank up the music and just DANCE! Your kids will think your nuts or might complain about your choice of music like mine do, but turn up the tunes and have some fun. Now, dancing is not one of my talents and I won’t be inviting you over if I choose to bust a move, but who cares? You don’t have to be good at it to have some fun and it might release some of the built up tension you’re feeling. Or, put in Just Dance and get your kids involved!
9.Break your normal routine
If you always shop at the same stores, try somewhere new. If you always walk the same route every morning try a different route. Our daily routines make us feel safe but sometimes breaking out of that routine can be invigorating.
10.Find an opportunity to serve someone
When you serve someone in need you almost always end up being the one who receives the most from that service. Find someone lonely to visit or take some cookies to a new neighbor. Take your family around your neighborhood and be on the lookout for someone to serve, whether it’s pulling weeds, picking up trash or just being friendly.
11.Redecorate a room
This doesn’t have to require power tools and a huge bill. Just moving around the furniture or the wall hangings or painting an accent wall can be a great way to put your pent-up energy to use.
12.Learn something new
Take a class, learn to sew, ride a horse, or just do something you’ve always wanted to do. Instead of spending hours and hours pinning things that look fun and exciting to do, actually do them! Go onto your Pinterest account right now and pick out a project that you would like to do. If it involves sewing and you don’t sew, schedule a class or ask a friend/family member for help. If it involves power tools and you don’t use power tools ask someone for help. Don’t let your limitations keep you from trying something new.
Craftsy is my favorite place to turn for learning new skills! They have over 1000 classes so they are sure to have something for everyone.
13.Plan a date night
Don’t wait around for your husband to surprise you with a night out. Plan something you’ve been wanting to do. At least that way you’ll get to eat at the restaurant of your choice and watch a really cheesy chick-flick if you want. Then maybe he’ll be better at planning the next date night, wink, wink.
14.Clean out your closet
Go through your closet and get rid of all of your clothes that are too big, too baggy, too maternity (if you’re not), too small (when you lose that weight you’ll deserve new clothes anyways) or too old (high school anyone?). Fill your closet with clothes that fit, are stylish and make you feel good about yourself. Donate your other clothes to charity. When you give to others you make room in your life for receiving even better things.
15.Go for a drive, turn up the tunes and belt away
Take out the Kidbopz or Silly Songs CD that your kids insist on and listen to your own music. There’s nothing that boosts a mood more than singing to your favorite tunes on the radio. And then DRIVE!
16.Talk to someone who has been in your shoes
We tend to spend a lot of our time with moms who have children the same age as ours, but there are a lot of things that can be learned from moms who have been there and done that. Talk to older moms about your frustrations or how you are feeling just blah. It’s more than likely that they will have some great advice for you.
17.Look at pictures of your kids as babies
When you do, you’ll realize just how fast the time has gone and how before you know it they will be gone. I know that when I realize that I only have a few more years before my kids start leaving home it makes me appreciate the little moments I have with them more.
18.Catch up on your sleep
When I really feel myself falling into a huge rut, catching up on my sleep can make a world of difference. Go to bed extra early for a couple of nights if you can or try to sneak an afternoon nap. A little power nap can make a world of difference.
19.Read a frivolous novel
There’s nothing better than a fun book that can absorb you out of reality for awhile and put you into the middle of another world. Find a book, a quiet spot (mine is in my closet with the bedroom door locked) and curl up to a good story.
20. Get out into nature
Spend time in the garden or go on a hike. Take a drive to the mountains or to the beach. Being in nature has a way of calming your soul.
21.Spice things up in the kitchen
Spend some time trying a new recipe. Instead of the same old, tried and true chicken casserole try something fresh and new.
22.Take time for your hobbies
We all had them once upon a time, back in the days before kids. Take some time and spend it on a hobby that you love. Pull out your old scrap-booking material, make some jewelry, play the piano, paint a picture, etc. You might find you had lost a part of yourself to motherhood, so reconnect with the old you.
23.Change your look
There’s nothing more fun, or to some more scary, than getting a new haircut. Be adventurous and have some fun. After all, it will grow back. While you’re at it, get your nails done or get a massage.
24.Keep a journal
Grab a journal and record the good and the bad and everything in between. Sometimes things don’t seem so funny in the moment but reading back over them down the road can help you learn to laugh at the little daily frustrations we have. Plus, keeping a journal is a great way for your kids to know what they were like when they were little.
And last but not least…
25.Remember to count your blessings
No matter how hard life seems, there are always things to be grateful for. Take out a pen and paper and just start writing. You’ll be amazed at how many, many things you have been blessed with. When we can see our children as a blessing and not a burden then we have more energy and motivation to make our life with them anything but ordinary. We see our role as their mother as one in which we get to create new and exciting adventures for these little people who call us mommy and in creating these adventures we realize that our life really isn’t so mundane after all.
What ways to get out of a rut have helped you? Share your tip in the comments.
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