Ever notice one day that all the days are blending together? Like you’re stuck in the mommy version of the movie Groundhog Day? You’re overwhelmed and have so much to do, but you’re too lazy to do anything. Or, care about it, but don’t care to do anything about it (how is that even possible?). Everything about what you do or accomplish is mediocre, it’s just all so bla. It happens to me more there I would care to admit.
The other week I realized, I was in a funk. Sadly, not a cool disco funk, a mom funk. Living through a New England winter it seems as if it’s a given that by the time mid-March rolls around I should be checking the calendar for it. Unfortunately, it’s not just a long, cold winter that can set me down the road into a mom funk.
Life with two toddlers is endlessly pulling me in multiple directions, figurative and literally. All the activities we do, the obligations, social and work responsibilities, housework, and constant relationship work it takes to maintain a marriage, to say it’s a lot is probably an understatement. Compacting all these reasons that make life a constant treading water situation, motherhood can oftentimes feel like a lonely journey.
When I’m in a mom funk, the entire family starts to suffer from it. I become short with my husband and even worse, my kids. I interact with my phone more and my kids less. Housework starts to be put off with lame excuses and promises of ‘tomorrow’. I’ll recycle the same outfit a few times during the week, no one really knows besides me, but still…! Then, when everything does get checked off the list and a nice dinner is made it doesn’t feel like I did enough. Even when I’m doing everything and more, it’s can feel like I’m still not productive or just eh.
It doesn’t even make sense, what is enough?
As long as my kids are loved and still alive by bedtime the job is done. Sometimes the pressure of motherhood we put upon ourselves to do it all and be it all can be oppressive though. Not helpful to a mom funk!
What do you do after you’ve opened your eyes to find yourself in a mom funk? Typically, the first thing I do is let a close friend know. Admitting I’m in over my head to a trusted friend has the feeling of exhaling a breath I didn’t know I was holding in. I suggest talking to a close friend or your significant other, whoever it is that might lighten the weight of your shoulders.
Acknowledging you’re in a funk is the fastest way to get out of it. It might not be an instant release. Sometimes it can be, but by the end of the day I’m usually beginning to give myself some slack. Knowing that I’ve been unkind to myself by falling into a cycle of dysfunction, putting all the kid and house stuff first and myself last, I am can finally start to pull out of this funk. I can start to put some focus back into myself.
There are so many reasons we get into funks. What is this current one revolved around? Just like knowing which emotion we are feeling helps to get a handle on the emotion (sad, angry, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc.), figuring out the root of your funk can help you to work on ways to improve your situation and avoid another funk or worse, slip into a depression.
So think hard about might be weighing you down more than normal. Is it hard to push through what can be a very repetitious routine we as mothers set for our children? Routine is much needed for them, but can feel like a rut for us. Perhaps it’s the social pressures of trying to fit in with the moms in your area. That’s a tough one, for sure. Something that can also give moms a sense of mediocrity is a loss of identity, and from time to time we get sucked into the mommy vortex.
Whatever it is, it’s time to step back, get some perspective, and try to reset. If you can’t get out for a mom date then try to change up your routine by adding a special day with the kids by doing something that you want to do and it’s 100% for them. Maybe that means simply taking a bath or nap during nap time and letting dishes pile up or asking dad to take over when he gets home so you can savor the bedtime routine instead of getting sucked into the rush and craziness of bedtime. If your gym has daycare GO! Then read a book in the lobby! Anyone asks, you’re “cooling down” after a tough cardio workout. This may sound like an odd suggestion, but maybe watch TV with your children for a half hour, with them. Put the phone, book, cleaning aside and cuddle up. It can be really relaxing to stop the constant go, go go.
Please know, all moms and dads get down on themselves from time to time. Even if no one else In Real Life is talking about it. Parenting is a constant exploration of learning what works, what doesn’t and making adjustments. BUT, if these funky or blue feelings last too long (and especially if you have recently given birth) talk to your doctor. Being in a funk is one thing, slipping into a depression is another. If you aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to get checked, if not for yourself then for your family.
If anything in this post made you think “YES!” or “Exactly!” or “I totally get that!” Then I’m so glad. Glad I’m not alone and maybe now someone else knows they aren’t alone with this weight either.