Motherhood is a beautiful, fulfilling calling. It can also be frustrating and guilt-ridden. Moms often feel like they have to be everything to everyone and they forget to take care of themselves, leading to burnout. Here are six things you can do to take care of yourself so that you will be happier and more fulfilled. 

1. Be gentle with yourself. The importance of your work will pressure you into feeling like you have to be "perfect." You don't! It is impossible. Work on:

  • asking for help when you feel exhausted
  • forgiving yourself when you make mistakes
  • allowing yourself to say "no" 
  • seeing challenges as learning opportunities
  • being willing to share the work with your spouse (even if they do it differently)

2. Take care of yourself. It is easy to focus on your children, especially when they are young and so needy. Put yourself first because no one can serve from an empty plate. Even taking a few minutes here and there can make a big difference! You can:

  • arrange from some quiet time during naps
  • meditate
  • listen to your favorite music
  • take walks with your children
  • journal or draw
  • get babysitters or swap kids with another mother
  • go to the doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, eye doctor, etc.
  • eat healthily - remember that your body is not a garbage disposal so don't finish off your children's plates!
  • take a bath
  • read

3. Don't compare. This is a huge issue among mothers. You might feel "less than" if your child doesn't look or behave the same as another. You may think that your meals aren't healthy enough or that your house isn't clean enough. Remember that what you see on social media is not accurate. You are a wonderful mother doing the best you can. No mother is the same. No child is the same. No home is the same. If you find yourself comparing, stop. You will be much happier! 

4. Create a "tribe." Have you ever heard the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child?" The more people you can have in your corner, the better off you will be. If you are feeling lonely:

  • strike up a conversation with the mom sitting next to you at the park
  • find a local playgroup (there are all kinds of websites to help you do this)
  • call an old friend and arrange to get lunch
  • ask for help from an older mom

5. Do some homework. There are a lot of wonderful "mommy" blogs out there that are extremely positive. They have some great posts on being happy, improving yourself, losing the "mommy" guilt, etc. Be careful to stay away from any blogs or social media that make you feel worse about yourself. 

6. Get the support you need. If you are feeling overwhelmed:

  • invite daily hugs from friends and family
  • connect with other mothers 
  • seek help from a professional psychologist, especially if you are experiencing severe anxiety or depression
  • make eye contact with your spouse and children multiple times a day (this actually makes a big difference) 

The next time you are feeling overwhelmed, start working on one of these six things. Good luck! 

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