Spread some happy

Have you ever heard the term mom stuck? Until recently I hadn’t either. It makes so much sense though. Simply put, Mom stuck is that feeling that moms get when you just feel the weight of repetition.

Its not that you don’t love your life. Its just that when every aspect of your existence is so much about your kids and your family, you get a little stuck on what YOU need. You forget, or don’t prioritize having hobbies or goals for yourself

I kind of love that this feeling has a descriptive term. It takes an abstract feeling we have all felt and recognizes it. You’re just stuck on building goals for yourself. MOM STUCK! You need a little push to get going on something. And that something can be anything. Painting, organizing, working out, reading, writing, learning a new language.

Being Mom stuck is kind of like being in a Mom rut. Its really important to again re-emphasize that being stuck does not mean you are unhappy. Its that moment when you just hit a wall as you change your millionth diaper, or prep the same lunch bag or shop from the same grocery list. And you think, I’m really bored and I don’t want to do this today. I want something to challenge me in a different way.

So here you are, Mom stuck. Hanging out in a rut. What do you do to fix it?

mom in a rut

Its not a quick process.  There are little things we can do to alleviate stress or focus on our self care. Check out my articles on 12 tips for self care. I wrote it in regards to self isolating but its applicable at anytime. Or relaxation through hydrotherapy. These things can help turn a day around or regenerate a little energy, but they don’t address the larger issue.

What Can I do to become Mom Unstuck?

1.  The first thing you have to do is identify what’s really weighing you down.

For myself, I can pretty consistently break it up into three areas

PROBLEM
  • Monotony – For me, this is the most common. Your life gets so scheduled with activities and your family’s needs that it gets very repetitive. Get kids to school, run errands, make meals, drive to activities, clean the house, repeat. Its my life and I love it but I get a little bored sometimes. 
SOLUTION
  • Goal Setting – In my post Goal Setting with Kids, I talk about the importance of Goal setting as a family. Kids need to see their parents setting out on goals and following through on them. When you life gets a bit repetitive, its important to refocus on something you want to accomplish for yourself and then etch out a bit of time each week to work towards it.
PROBLEM
  • Lack of Social connections –  In my free guide of finding happiness as a SAHM, I talk about mom friends. It can sometimes be a very tricky area of our lives to navigate. Even if you have the most amazing spouse in the world, which I do, you need friends. They help and support in different ways.
SOLUTION
  • Reach out, just force yourself and reach out. I make a lot of excuses to myself on reasons why I can’t be social, but I always feel better when I go out and do something with friends. Going out for a coffee or play date is a quick picker upper, but try to commit to something more regular. Set up something weekly or set small goals for yourself to reach out to people more frequently.
PROBLEM
  • Personal Neglect – This is something that builds up over time. Fatigue, weight gain, poor nutrition. How many of you have been guilty of feeding your kids a super well balanced healthy breakfast and then you shovel in something convenient and unhealthy on the way out the door because you forgot to include yourself? Or you cancel a doctor or dental appointment for yourself because you have too much going on? It adds up and you can find yourself a lot less healthy than you intended to be. I know I have.
SOLUTION
  • Prioritize your health…..please! – Mommas, please please please take care of yourselves. Make those doctors appointments right now. Make a plan for your health right now. Start on those small changes you keep putting off. See a nutritionist, find a walking buddy, buy an apple watch, or download a meditation app. Don’t leave it until something needs to be fixed, be proactive to keep healthy.

2.Once you really focus in on what area is troubling you, make a game plan

After looking at the problems and solutions, can you actively make a game plan? Something you can do today?

Can you find 30 min to map out a game plan over the next few months to make time for yourself and what you need to accomplish to get you unstuck?

Do you have a sense of accountability or do you need to enroll someone to help you? I can hold myself accountable for certain things no problem but in other areas I am the queen of making excuses. I use a friend or my husband to hold me accountable to things.

3. Find a way to realistically make that game plan work

This last September I had mapped out a full game plan to join a gym. I was super mom stuck in my fitness goals. I have been that way for a long time. So, I checked out their child care, worked out a budget and made a schedule of what days I would go. My husband took a look at my plan and asked me if it was realistic. The closest gym with good childcare is a 30 min drive. By the time I drive there, check the kids in, work out, shower, get the kids and come home it takes about 2.5 hours minimum. Was I Really going to do this 3-4 times a week? Plus with the membership and the childcare it was going to be close to $200/month. Was is really that practical or for that price was there another option?

He suggested a new game plan. A Peleton bike. I wanted one for a long time but they seemed crazy expensive. We did the math and with their 0% financing and membership, it came to $185/month. And it includes all of their other classes as well as the cycling ones. With this plan, I am able to put our toddler to bed, set the boys up with a snack and a show, do a workout and I’m showered by the time my husband is tucking them into bed. I Can say goodnight too and have the rest of my evening. So much more realistic.

4. I like to give myself a list of questions before I start on an unsticking mission.

So if my mom stuck has developed because I haven’t been being very social, I would give myself this questionnaire. This may seem ridiculous. But first, I love filling out forms and second it helps to put things down on paper. Call yourself out a bit. About a month down the road, answer the same questions again and re read your old ones. See how you are feeling and how you’ve been doing.

  • How many times have you reached out to friends in the last two weeks?
  • How many play dates have you arranged?
  • Did you get out of the car at drop off or pick up?
  • Is there one friend in particular that you aren’t seeing that’s bothering you?
  • Did you set something up with someone and then cancel for any reason? Did you reschedule?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you right now?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how motivated are you to engage in social activities

Again, this may seem a little silly but this is my reality. I find initiating being social very difficult, but over time I’ve recognized that its something that makes me feel a lot happier and healthier. So if I have to create a weird system to encourage me to be social then what’s the harm? 

5. If after a month, you still feel like you are not quite getting your zing back, start back at step 1.

Maybe you have an area that you need to identify that I don’t have in my list. Or maybe you aren’t identifying the source of your mom Stuck correctly. Just keep pushing and trying. A more motivated and content you is just around the corner, you might just need  a stronger push to get there.