Slow Down Super Mom – Taking a Break from Doing It All

woman like a superhero

The average stay-at-home mom works about 94 hours a week. Between cooking, cleaning, raising kids, doing laundry, taxing children from school to practices or appointments, shopping for groceries, and managing finances, the estimated 2013 salary would hover in $113,000 realm. Slow down super mom, take a break from it all!

The average working mom works 58 hours, on top of her away-from-home job. In addition to her yearly salary, she would earn and additional $67,000 a year for all the work she does at home.

Rosie the Riveter and Wonder Woman are iconic super-ladies who I admired as kid. They weren’t afraid of work, stepping up to the plate to get things done, and gave women a symbol in the world of heroes. But even Wonder Woman takes a vacation, so why can’t Super Moms and Super Women everywhere take moments for themselves?

One common reason I have found…guilt.

A friend who is a fellow mother confessed she felt “guilty” whenever she’d try to do something as simple as go to the grocery by herself. “I know how hard it is to be at home with the kids and trying to juggle multiple things at once. My husband works all day, so I feel guilty leaving him at home to take care of the kids and house.”

Another mother admitted, “My kids have separation anxiety. When I leave, for any reason, it becomes a mess of crying and attempts at soothing them. I feel bad leaving them when they are upset.

One common thread in these Mommy Problems is that we aren’t doing ourselves or our kids any good by succumbing to guilt. When we are around 24/7 to solve problems, provide comfort, or kiss boo-boos, we deprive everyone of embracing independence.

It was so hard, at first,” a mom of three shared. “I didn’t enjoy my alone time for a while. It was hard relaxing know a pile of dishes were in the sink. Eventually, I looked forward to the time and it showed in my ability to control my frustrations in the long run. I am happier and able to cope with things better. And those dishes…the world didn’t end because they sat in the sink and extra couple hours.

Another mom realized she lost her identity along with her part of her sanity in devoting every moment to her kids. “I spent twenty years of my life making sure my kids had everything they needed. I encouraged them in sports, clubs, and plays, making sure I was a coach, troop leader, or helper in some capacity. In making sure I supported them in every way possible, I lost who I was and what I wanted in life. Now they are grown, I don’t know what to do with myself. I have to rediscover who I am, and what I want. It’s daunting.

To give yourself a mental-health break try these tips…

  • *Life, even if you are a Super Woman, is about balance. Letting go of the reigns is sometimes part of achieving that balance. Sometimes, it isn’t easy, but start by giving yourself permission to be who you are beyond just being Mom.
  • *Schedule time for yourself out of the house. Trying to sneak away for a bath or to read a couple chapters of your favorite book won’t do.
  • *Remove yourself from a kid-infested environment routinely. If you only spend time away from each other on an occasional basis, it will be harder for kids to deal.
  • *Walk out the door with a smile even if they are crying. If your kids see you upset, it will only fuel their feelings. It may seem cruel, but if they see a happy mom walking out the door, the will be better able to accept this time as a positive thing.
  • *Don’t volunteer to do it all. It’s tempting to take the job when no one else wants to. Instead of jumping into take the responsibilities, volunteer to be a part of a group that will share the job. For example, “I don’t have the time to organize the entire classroom holiday party, but I can bring in a snack. Who will supply a craft project?”
  • *Tell, don’t ask. When you do undertake the lead role on a project, it is easier to tell people what needs to be done versus asking for help. For example, a baseball team’s mom/coach could say, “I created a schedule for the after-game snack. Each team member is responsible for one treat after every game. If you can’t supply the treat on the assigned date, feel free to ask another team member to switch with you.
  • *Just say no. Occasionally, you are going to hit a wall and your schedule will be packed. If you are coming close to over-committing, don’t try and convince yourself that small task could be squeezed in. It’s OK to decline. It doesn’t make you lazy or doesn’t mean you don’t care.

It might not be easy, but accepting you need a break and deserve it is the best step you will ever take for yourself and your family.

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  • I think Mom’s definitely need to cut themselves a break sometimes. Unfortunately, with social media it is easy to always think somebody is doing better- no, they are just posting more pictures!

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    That is why I go to the gym every day. I need that hour of me time.

  • Ahhhhh yes!!!! Only other moms understand this! My husband doesn’t get how I need an hour to unwind and be alone lol….

  • It took me many years, but just saying no is a real life saver. It’s amazing what people ask you to do when you are a sahm. They think we have all the free time in the world, so we should be their taxi, babysitter, etc. When I started saying no, a weight was lifted off my shoulders!

  • It’s like you wrote this post for me! Today I was telling a friend how overwhelmed I feel at the moment. I really need a break.

  • Catherine S

    I always have about an hour of quite while I have my coffee in the morning. Even only having an hour makes a big difference.

  • I can use a month’s vacation after the busy season I have had! These are wonderful tips, too.

  • I think everyone needs a little recharge time on their own each day. We definitely shouldn’t feel guilty over that!

  • Even super moms get to rest and enjoy life a bit. Rest would also be good just make sure that you have someone trusted to take care of the little ones.

  • I know that I just had a baby and being home from work for the past three weeks has been really nice but I’m also going little crazy.

  • Thanks so much for sharing. I have always felt guilty about taking time for myself, even now that the kids are grown. I feel I should be doing something with the grands instead :).

  • Stephanie Lee

    I agree that super moms really needs a break sometimes. They should have time for themselves like going to the spa and relax.. or treat themselves with a shopping break. Looks like i need to treat my super mom 🙂

  • I have taken many mental health breaks over the years. Mothering is truly a non stop job with no breaks 🙂 It is all worth it in the end.Love your tips and ideas.

  • Fi Ní Neachtáin

    Great tips for mothers. I think no matter how much we love our kids it’s still important to have our ‘me’ time 🙂

  • Those are great reminders. I am having hard time saying no and finding time for myself

  • These are crazy numbers. Moms definitely need to take time for themselves to recharge.

  • Hannah Staveley

    Oh wow fab post, sometimes I think i need to take a break .x

  • It seems we could all relate to the problems you mentioned! The over committing and the guilt are true pain points for women in general.

  • Guilt free me time here! It can be something as small as sitting outside for 20 minutes , going for coffee or going to the gym. It’s healthy for the whole family to have a mama that recharges too!

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