There’s no kind of tired like mom tired. We, moms, are expected to do well in every hat we wear despite the huge load and little amount of sleep, so we are bound to feel depleted any time during the day.
It’s easy to say “rest” and “take time off,” but with a home to manage and a career to pursue, how can it still be possible to be a present mom to a baby or kid who largely depends on us?
I am a work-from-home mom and our home is my battleground day in and out. In this article, I share tips and tricks that work for me, so I keep myself on mom-track every day.
I used to make sure my daughter’s needs were met before my own, and that meant she should have eaten breakfast and taken a bath before I even had my first spoonful for the day. Unsurprisingly, I am already tired and ratty in the morning, my favorite time of the day, always waiting for the second I could enjoy my own meal. Later on, I learned that my baby and I could actually have breakfast together! That’s when I looked forward to mornings again, and breakfast became an unhurried and enjoyable time for both of us. It’s worth noting that I already get to be a present mom right at the start of the day!
Some days at work are light and easy, and some are plainly heavy. When my day’s the latter, I remind myself to deal with the biggest rocks first so they’re out of the way as early as possible. Otherwise, the thought of doing them lingers throughout the day, and it gets in the way of me being fully present whenever my baby needs me. I chose to work from home since I don’t want to miss out on her milestones and I don’t want to deny myself of this privilege by always making my hands full.
First-time moms like me are prone to play every day by the book, to the point of unnecessarily exhausting ourselves. For example, I am aware of the dangers of screen time to my baby, and my husband and I did our best not to give her it until recently. On days that only my baby and I are here at home, I graciously allow her some screen time so I can quickly attend to important work matters. It’s also my way of stepping back a little from the scene to breath in and out before returning to child-rearing with much more focus.
I thought I was done with my crying phase during the first three months postpartum, but from time to time, I honor my body’s way of releasing heavy feelings through crying. I still also keep a journal so I have my thoughts and emotions in check. When my big, negative emotions are out, I become more aware of how my daughter feels.
…or your baby, ever. Comparison puts a strain on our well-being, and even if we’ve read or heard this enough, sometimes, we just need to be reminded! Comparison robs us the time to be fully present to our kids as we are consciously or unconsciously working our way to be at par with other moms. It also makes us more tired doing of things we aren’t supposed to be paying attention to in the first place.
Since my daughter was in my womb, I’ve always talked to her as if she can fully understand every word I say. Now that I can literally talk to her face-to-face, I still do the same! I share with her what I am doing, and I explain to her whenever I need to do something first. As soon as I’m done, I give my full attention to her through playing, singing, or reading a book.
Every day, I strive to make sure my daughter learns the value of hard work through what I do. However, I don’t want her to see me as an example of a disconnected mom because I allow myself to be everything at once. Sooner than later, she will take after me. I still have a long way to go, and on my hardest and most exhausting days, I remind myself of my priority to be a present – not perfect – mom that my daughter needs.