Finding balance and dealing with mom guilt

Since the hubs has finished school and started his new job, we have done a lot of adjusting and settling into our new family schedule. I have also done some assessment of my activities and time obligations. We lead busy lives, both working full time, me teaching classes, and us both tending to two energetic little bambinos.   My goal is always to maximize my time with the babies, but I also feel that making time for my workouts, and adult social time is important for my mental health and well-being.  Which ultimately helps me on the Mom front as well.

Since becoming a momma, I have really struggled with momma guilt and taking time for myself.  For a long time, I was really hesitant to do anything that I felt unnecessarily took me away (workout, go see friends, date nights) unless it was after the babies were in bed for the night or was planned for during their nap time. I still try to plan workouts and activities when they are asleep if I can, but I have come up with a few strategies that have helped me feel less guilty about taking time for myself.  These techniques have really helped me to feel better about my me time and have improved my life balance.

I am by no means an expert, nor will I pretend I have it all figured out.  I have days where everything else falls to the side because a baby needs my attention (or I need my baby snuggles).  I also have plenty of moments where I feel overwhelmed or feel like there are a lot of other things that need my attention.  For example, the huge basket of laundry that is currently staring at me as I type.  However, I do my best to prioritize fitness for my health, and adult activities for my overall well-being (and because I love my friends and family!).

These are a few things that have helped me.  If you have any tips to share, I would love to hear them!

1. Schedule your me time activities – I am very much the type that if it is on my calendar or to-do list, it will get done.  If I am just thinking about it, not so much.  When I want to take a class or grab a bite with a friend, I schedule it.  I also check in with the hubs about it and we come up with a plan. For example, I have a Zumba and yoga class that I like to catch each week. They are evening classes, that start after my little miss is asleep, but require the hubs to put our son to bed.  I put them on our family calendar so they stay in both our minds.

(Photo credit: Laraloveinme)

2.  Emphasize quality time – I used to be pretty bad about having my nose in my phone all the time.  Recently, I have been trying to break that.  when I am with the babies, I try to really focus on being with them by putting the phone away and enjoying my interactions with them. I am not perfect at this and sometimes the smart phone siren song catches me, but I try.

I also try to make chores or routine things a time to connect.  We chat and sing in the car.  Both the babies love playing sous chef and hanging out with me as I cook.  They are also starting to help out as they get bigger, which is so sweet to see.

3. Stress reduction – Working out and socializing is a huge stress reliever for me.  I definitely feel like I am more patient and just generally at my best if I have been getting my workouts in.  A dinner date or brunch with friends is also a mood booster for me.

4. Consider how important hobbies or passions can be in your life.  A few months ago, I was marveling at my babies unfolding personalities and interests (little dude’s passion for cars cannot be matched). It is amazing to see and I would hate for them to give up on their passions or interests.  It occurred to me that my mom probably felt the same way about me and my siblings and that it would not be the best example if I gave up on my interests because I felt guilty taking a little time for myself.

Friends, what are your go to self-care or stress relieving activities?  Mommas out there, how do you fight the mom guilt beast?


36 thoughts on “Finding balance and dealing with mom guilt

  1. I love this, it really is hard to find that balance. I love what you said about using time spent doing chores / driving to connect, I totally agreet! This is so much of our daily lives, why not try to make it a little more meaningful / enjoyable? It can definitely make things take longer, but I try to do that when it’s possible. For stress relief, I really try to take one of my little guy’s naps on Friday and just read outisde instead of doing housework etc., I always look forward to it!

    1. Taking some time to read every Friday afternoon sounds like a great way to relax and take some time for yourself! It definitely takes a little longer to get things done with baby helpers, but I fee like those are the moments I will remember and miss the most.

  2. Mom guilt is tough! I think finding a balance is always changing as they grow and life changing. I am big on maximizing time. I make sure I get homework, and chores that are tough to do with him awake at nap time. I also find getting up early is a must for us. It starts the day off so much easier. Last week I just started taking a class at the gym. It is 5-6 and the gym in only 5 minutes ago but I am still dealing with the guilt. The guilt of going away for me and the guilt of my husband getting home and me leaving.

    1. I hope you are enjoying your class! It is hard to make time for yourself but I think it is worthwhile. I am totally with you on getting up early, I feel like the whole day runs smoother if I have a few moments first thing in the am.

  3. I’m a stepmom but that doesn’t mean I too don’t get full on mom guilt! I have dropped a lot of the stuff that I loved doing (dance classes, yoga) to focus 100% on my kids. My stuff has been overtaken with kids baseball and basketball games. The thing is I love doing stuff with my kids, BUT I know I need to find some balance too. Thanks for the tips. Super helpful.

    1. I do wonder how are schedules will change as the babies get bigger and have more of their own activities. Hope you can find a little time for your favorite activities as well 🙂

  4. This is all so true! I am terrible about putting myself last & need to stop that! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. That’s so cool that you play the piano! I used to play the violin and miss it a lot, I have been saying for years that I want to pick it up again, I need to get on that.

  5. Love this! Mom guilt is real – and never goes away! I’m 21 months in, and now that she’s talking more it’s almost gotten worse 😉 I always try to remember that she deserves the best version of me, and if that means I leave to workout or go socialize, then so be it!

    1. It does get worse as they get older and can articulate what they want. My son told me the other day to stay home and cuddle him instead of going to work and I was choking back tears. I think that taking a bit of time for me allows me to be my best for them though.

  6. LOVE THIS POST! I have major mom guilt and only have a dog – I can only imagine how much it will intensify once I have human babies….
    Thank you for being so real and sharing this with us!

    1. Thanks friend! The dog Mom guilt is real too, when I first got Moglei, I used to go home every day at lunch because I hated the idea of him being home alone all day.

  7. You’re certainly not alone there. A think the majority of moms feel that’s mom instinct to want to be with the babies and take care of them first! But you’ve got to make time for yourself. Happy mom, happy home. 🙂

  8. I have NO mom guilt, haha. I have super high me needs and no guilt associated with it. I’m a pretty kick ass mama and there’s no shame in needing more time for ME to be a good mom! My husband is understanding of this and we work it out. I also make my fitness a priority and THAT relaxes me a ton, so I just make that happen when I can! I also travel, but that usually stresses out my husband, so I’m trying to scale that back 🙂

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