Slow Down, Mama

Does anyone else get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work, school, extracurriculars, and life while feeling so overwhelmed and then realize that 6 months or a year has passed you by? Your babies are no longer babies. Your toddler is now a small child, and you just feel like you missed it?

Slow down, Mama.

The days are long, but the years are short. We’ve all heard that before and it’s so true. So, what do we do?

Slow down, Mama.

But I need to have a clean house so that others don’t judge me and my children have to play every sport to stay active and we have to go to all the birthday parties so that our kids can have friends. It’s never-ending.

Slow down, Mama.

But I have to have fresh, home cooked meals without chemicals and toxins and dyes, and I have to decrease my kids sugar intake and I have to be healthy and exercise. I just want everything to be perfect. It’s so stressful.

Slow down, Mama.

We live in a society where moms are expected to work full time, be an over-achieving mother and wife, keep a clean house, be a room parent, exercise, be fit and healthy, and so much more. It’s not realistic.

Let me tell you something. Read this closely.

You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. It. All.

It’s okay if the laundry waits another day. It’s okay if your house is messy. It’s okay if you take a break. It’s okay if you don’t send a holiday card. It’s okay if you miss a birthday party.

You know what’s important? Health and happiness. Stop and ask yourself. Are you happy? Are your children happy? That is what matters most.

Here are some tips that have helped me improve my mental health and my mindfulness in my family life. I hope these tips help you too.

  1. Take time for yourself each day. You have to fill your cup up first so you can take care of others. Like they say on the airplane, you have to put your mask on first before you put on your child’s mask. Self care is the same way. You can do this in small pockets of time or better yet, block it on your calendar. Maybe it’s waking up before everyone else and having a cup of coffee in silence on the back porch. Maybe it’s exercising at the gym or doing a home workout video. Maybe it’s a 10–20-minute walk at lunch in the fresh air. Do something every day just for you.
  2. Focus on being present. Enjoy the moment you are in. Being mindful entails paying attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally. I often have to stop myself in my tracks and say ‘Slow down. Stop cleaning. Take a break. Be present.’ One example of being mindful is, instead of just reading the book at bedtime, pay close attention to your child’s reactions. When they ask you questions when you’re busy, try to slow down and give them your full attention.
  3. Include the kids in your ‘have to do’ activities. I have found that the kids love cooking with me and washing the car with me and doing those things I ‘have to do’ with me.
  4. Make chores into a game. My two-year-old loves helping me with the laundry. He loves taking the small items and hurling them in the air to reach the dryer. Sure, it takes more time than if I were to do it myself, but it is adorable and it’s less time-consuming than a meltdown for mommy’s attention. By slowing down and incorporating the kids, I am able to spend more quality time with them.
  5. Do less. (This one is my favorite). Sometimes less is more. If I do 10 things a day, the quality of each task/event decreases, and my stress level increases. If I do 1 task/event a day, my stress level decreases and the quality of the task/event improves because I put all of my focus and energy into that one thing. If you have to or want to do 4 things, that’s fine too. I recommend trying to be as mindful as you can during those events. However, there is so much beauty in doing less.

All of these are examples of how to slow down and be more present in our daily activities. The moral of the story is that we are all just doing the best that we can in a crazy world that often demands too much. Sometimes slowing down is exactly what we need to refuel our body and our mind in order to create a happier and healthier family life.

About the Author

Rachael lives in Kenner with her husband Steven and her two sons, Wyatt and Sawyer.  After graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University, she began working as a Speech Language Pathologist. Her current focus is with adults with neurological disorders. When not at work, her favorite place to be is on her swing in her backyard watching her kids play. From the outside, people think she’s the organized, crafty mom, but that is far from the truth. Like most moms, she’s doing her best to survive the chaos of this crazy, beautiful life of motherhood. In 2023, she dreams of living a more minimalistic life and really focusing on the present.


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