Sometime ago I subconsciously decided to spend less time on the internet.
No, no, I'm not one of those propagators of the "Internet is Evil" chant.
It was merely a feeling that my back was facing my babies more than my front. And the sink was starting to stink.
Focusing more on being a mom has taught me a few things. Most prevalent is that being a mom is freaking hard work. For me it's the cleaning. I know for some moms it's the playing with the kids that's tough as nails. For other's its the being-home-all-day. And a hundred million other things, as well. Sometimes it's a bit of everything for me.
I've tried a lot of different things to help me get it together. I'm a red personality, always looking for the better way to do something. Always looking to perfect my many, many weaknesses (and always falling short of that perfection.) To change whatever isn't working into something that does work.
But, while some of those theories worked for me, I have found that it's more about attitude than lists. Maybe there are some moms out there drowning with me. It's for you that I share whatever tid bits I've learned. Because I always appreciate when other moms share with me.
First, find your motivation. I don't mean motivation like, "If this house doesn't get clean I'm going to go on a murdering rampage."
While that does motivate one to clean...it's probably not the healthiest way to go about it. Not to mention, no one wants to be friends with a serial killer.
I mean what motivates you in general? My first advice would be to find out what "color" you are, and then learn what motivates those colors. If you don't have time for that, I'll just break it down for you. Do you feel motivated by: organization, fun, peace or serving your family. Or anything else that sparks motivation in you.
For me, I'm motivated by organization and serving my family. My family feeds me with mad praise whenever I clean. It sounds pathetic ("Wow mom! You cleaned!) But seriously, it makes me want to serve them more and more. But more than that, I love having an organized home. Disorganization makes me frazzled and grumpy. My husband knows whenever I start shouting, he should just start cleaning, and I'll automatically calm down.
So...let's take a "for example" from daily life of motherhood. Hmm...let's say, oh, laundry. I'm probably the only one who occasionally dreads the breathing pile of laundry that procreates by the second. But let's just assume you do, too.
I find that motivation. I think about past experiences when my doing the laundry has pleased my family. And then I think about how good it feels to have it done and put away. Everyone has clothes. Clean clothes. And I can see my laundry room again! Yay!
Focus on those motivations. Every shirt you fold, every sock you search relentlessly for, focus on that motivation.
Next, leave presents for tomorrow you.
Sometimes I really hate yesterday me. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and give her a hard slap and steal away her soda and t.v. remote. But when yesterday me behaves, future me is mucho happy. I seriously think, "Tomorrow me is gonna love all this scrubbing I'm doing in the bathroom!"
In that stream of thinking, give thanks to your past self. Revel in your hard work. Take your husband around and elicit "Ooohs" and "Ahhhs" from him. Point out the piles of dishes that are put away. Give your past self a fist bump. Plan on showering your future self with more presents.
I think the best advice I've ever received was from my main man. It was while we were snowboarding (well, he was snowboarding, I was imaging which of my limbs would don a cast tomorrow.) He told me to act like I knew what I was doing.
Basically...fake it 'til you make it. And I have to say, it really works.
I don't know about you, but I was not given a manual when I became a mom. And since I was a normal teenager, and my mom a fairly normal mom, I pretty much took for granted every little bit she did for me and our home. So, sans the manual and any past experience to draw from, I've pretty much just been faking it.
Oh, I read articles on motherhood (knowledge is a red personalities source of drive). I watch other moms and think, "Nope, not gonna do that." Or, "Wow, I really want to be a mom like her." And then I try it out. I try to remember what it was like when I was little. When my parents yelled at me. How I felt. I try to remember what it was like to be hugged as a little kid. How fun it was to play with my dad. I try to remember those things, and then I act on it. I mean, I was the kid in those scenarios. Not the parent. So...I act like I know how to do it. And pretty soon, it becomes who I am.
(P.S. There are Gospel principles throughout all of this, but for the sake of the audience I'm just keepin' it simple. But I don't want to claim any credit for any revelation I've received that's made me better. I have to give all credit to my loving Heavenly Father and his Gospel.)
Last but CERTAINLY not least, have realistic expectations.
Seriously, we don't have to live in a Pottery Barn house. I don't want my kids terrified that they'll get yelled at for leaving clothes on the floor. My old Relief Society President said, "Cleanliness is next to loneliness." And I can attest to that.
Suppress that murderous rage over wet towels not hung up and replace it with a good bed time story. Go to the park in place of doing that extra load of laundry today. Keep it simple, yo. Even your future self will thank you for that day at the library as she's cleaning yesterdays breakfast dishes. And if she doesn't, she's just uptight. Ignore her.
And remember to always try to find that joy in motherhood. Well, Marjory Hinckley says it best:
“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley