Grab your cafecito, enjoy the sunshine that has graced us finalmente and join in on the chisme!
Estoy. Cansada. Yup, asi pasa – even mamas poderosas get tired, and that’s okay! We have been so busy en la casa fixing up our basement into a JiuJitsu (martial art) gym for mi esposo, who trains and is so talented. We have all sorts of activities going on with the kids, familia events, playdates and of course nuestra vida. Life can get so busy. So. Busy. You’re not the only one feeling it, mama. There’s not enough days, not enough hours in the days, the minutes fly by and forget seconds, because everything happens way too fast. So how do we keep up? How do we do it all?
I get asked that ALL the time. La verdad is, I don’t know? But what I do know, is that we communicate, prioritise, support, take breaks and have fun. We can’t do it all, at least not in one day. It took me a long time to learn that though, and it may take you some time as well, and that’s also okay!
I used to believe, expect, and challenge myself to do it all every day. The laundry, the cleaned up picture perfect rooms, the cooking, filled up pantry and fridge, playing and teaching the kids, getting out at least once a day and spend time with mi amor. Mi mama lo hizo, so of course I would too. You know what happened? Yeah, I was a hot mess. I was doing it all, but was I enjoying it all? Was I doing everything effectively? Was I happy? The answer is, no.
Fue demasiado. I was stressed. Everyone would tell me, you need time to yourself, you need “me time”, and honestly, I didn’t even know what that was anymore. Motherhood can be very overwhelming, like I’ve mentioned before, it changes you. But you have to keep some of yourself too. I mean, that’s how you even became a mother in first place, because someone fell in love with YOU. Who you are, what you like, how you treat people, how you smell, your hobbies, everything that was YOU. It only makes sense to keep that around.
It was only with time, patience and falling in love with myself all over again that I was able to improve on this weakness I gained from becoming a mother. A weakness sounds a bit harsh, but it was – taking on too much was ultimately negatively impacting me and my familia. As much as my acts were selfless and they were to benefit those around me, I was letting myself down. If you let yourself down mama, everything else will slowly start to crumble, because you are their estrella, la luna, el sol y el mundo entero to your familia.
I would get suggestions from mi esposo and mi papas, join a gym, learn something new, go wander the mall, go have a tea somewhere and be alone. SOLA?! Sounds like a dream now, but then, that gave me even more anxiety and sounded like a waste of time. A WASTE OF TIME. Can you even believe that?! Ay, mama. That’s genuinely what I thought, it was a waste of time. I have so many other things to do, to worry about, to take care of, to accomplish, how am I going to go wander the mall?! For what?! I would just think about everything I could be doing that needs to get done en la casa. I was so hung up on making sure I felt accomplished and efficient. Everything I did had to be something to check off the list. Not fun. Don’t let that be you. Eres mejor.
I also just didn’t want to have to do yet another thing. Adding this “me time” into our already busy every day life felt like another to-do thing, another chore, another thing added to my already long list. I didn’t want that, and I procrastinated on actually doing anything about it for a long time. Too long actually, because I didn’t know what I would like my “me-time” to consist of.
Take some time, mama. This whole “me-time” thing is very distinct for every individual. Everyone has their own idea on what that should consist of. Open yourself up to different people who know you, and see what they have to suggest. But don’t feel disappointed in not being overly thrilled about their ideas either. Solo, be open. I got all kinds of suggestions and none seemed to get me excited or motivated to follow through, pero puedo decir that by attempting some of them it became more clear what I wanted that “me-time” to look like.
As for conquistando all the things en la casa, we worked together. I opened up about what I needed more help with, so that I in turn, could let go of some. We came up with a chore schedule, yes very teacher of us jajaja, so that we made sure we got all of them done, but wouldn’t feel overwhelmed trying to keep up. This was huge for me, because I could visually see that there was time for it all to get done, and I wouldn’t have to keep a mental list of it all. Plus, I knew that mi esposo knew what he was responsible for as well. Eventually, we didn’t even need to refer to it, it just became a routine.
Routines will help you and your familia thrive. When we have routine, we know what to expect and what is expected of us. This is MUY importante!! Create a morning routine, a day routine, an evening routine and a bedtime routine. Do the same things every single day. It sounds boring, but with young children, it will set everyone up for success. Eventually, like the chore chart, you won’t have to direct your familia with what is to be done to run your household as a team. Our chamacos love this and have learned age appropriate responsibility, become independent and helpful little beings.
Say no, and don’t feel guilty for it. Jajaja. If only it was that facil right? You can practise this by prioritising with your partner what is important to you and your familia, and how you want to spend your free time. Let’s face it, there’s not a whole ton of it and our time has become SO valuable. Make things that matter to you, familia, amigos, salidas, vacaciones, whatever it may be, a priority for your familia. The special part of these priorities is that they possess magia to shake up your boring, but successful routine you’ve so deligently maintained. Esoooo!
The magia of priorities, is that they can interrupt your routine. Things come up, emergencies happen (I can attest to this as you will learn), birthdays and anniversaries happen, la vida happens – with or without you so be ready & enjoy them. The routines can be put on hold, forgotten of and rescheduled in order to live our favourite parts of our vidas with our familias. This is good, mama, because it will teach your chamacos, and yourself, how to adapt and be flexible when needed. Let them stay up past their bedtime once in a while, eat that cake for breakfast if they’ve (or you) already indulged, leave the dishes in the sink to go play outside because the sun decided to come out, do what makes your corazon glow.
Don’t do it all sola. You have your little familia to work as a team and support one another, but they’re not your only resource. Find support in those you love, respect and trust. An abuela, a tia, a comadre, an amiga, una vecina – as long as you feel comfortable reaching out to them, I can almost promise you they will be there for you. While we’re at it, let’s change this word “support” to que te de la mano. When I think of support, it makes me feel like I can’t do it myself, like I’m not good enough to do it by myself and like I need someone under me to hold me up. Si, ya se… so negative. *eye roll* Pero es la verdad! Que te de la mano – means they lend you hand. I like that a lot better, because I’m also still acknowledged in doing what I’m doing, but also that I may need an extra hand in doing it. Asi que, que te den la mano, mujer!
Lastly, take some breaks y diviertate! La vida sola hay una, so you have to really enjoy what you’re doing and have some time to sit back and admire what you’ve accomplished. There’s no point in only getting things done over and over again if you never take the time to appreciate all that you do, and soak in those corazon melting moments with your familia. Acknowledge yourself, appreciate and validate yourself, and siempre love yourself. Because you, mama, are a chingona, even if sometimes a chillona. Todo con ganas, siempre.