Motherhood Is All-consuming But Also Fleeting (Which is Why I’m Thankful for Every Moment)

Motherhood is all-consuming but here's how to find joy in it all

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My older son turned 4-years-old last month. Holy smokes, that went fast. The day-to-day is so exhausting. But I also look back and I don’t know how he got so old. It’s crazy how all-consuming motherhood is, but then when you get a moment to take a breath, it’s also fleeting.

The speed at which motherhood seems to be flying is one reason why I’m so thankful for this crazy work-at-home mom life. 

I frequently get invitations to interview for full-time traditional jobs. You know, the ones where you couldn’t possibly work with two toddlers running around. The ones where you spend your days in meetings until the sun sets and you find you have little time for the things that really matter.

But all that said, I do miss that world. I was good at it. I thrived on climbing the ladder. And I showed tons of potential.

For now, my work is at home as a freelancing mom who finds passion in the early hours of the morning before many people wake up and then become your standard stay-at-home mom somewhere around 8 a.m. when my littles wake up.

Is it crazy? Yep! Is it fleeting? It doesn’t necessarily feel like it until I stop and think about it. 

The Days Are Long but the Years Fly!

Between cleaning up from mealtime, driving to and from preschool, naptime routines, bedtime routines and silly moments on the playset outside, it feels like there is no downtime. And yet some days still feel incredibly long.

So how is it that everyone tells you that the days are long but the years are short? I think it has something to do with the fact that little ones develop so rapidly. What’s challenging for them today will be super easy tomorrow. And if you aren’t paying attention, you can miss the triumph and the journey. That’s why I’ve chosen to stay home for now doing this exhausting yet meaningful work. 

I know when I leave my boys in their first college dorm room or apartment, I won’t regret this time with them. I won’t regret pushing them in the swings for the 10th time today or helping them put their shoes on to head to a quick errand with me. While these minor tasks might feel grating right now, they’ll be the little things that I’ll miss.

Watching my older son develop has been wild. He’s an incredible big brother, social butterfly and vocabulary whiz. He said to me the other day “Mom, I caught a visual of a bunny.” And when I looked at him bewildered, he smiled and said “I saw a bunny mom.” He just has a knack for hearing a word or phrase and using it perfectly in context and as a copywriting mom, that makes me super proud.

How to Make the Day-to-day Work-at-home Mom Life Less Stressful

How can these all-consuming days of motherhood and working feel a little less exhausting? Here are my tips for taking it in stride and finding the energy to do it all.

1. Shift Your Mindset

A positive mindset can do all things. So view motherhood as beautiful, even the messy, challenging parts.

2. Exercise and Nourish Your Body

When your body is at its best, repeat tasks and frustrations won’t bother you as much. You’ll have energy for cleaning and doing all that it takes to maintain a household while maintaining a job. So exercise and focus on high-quality nutrition so you feel your best.

3. Reflect on the Day

At the moment, it’s hard to be grateful for cleaning up another mess, zipping up another tiny jacket (gosh, I miss summer!), or setting a quiet scene for a work call that could unravel at any moment. But if you reflect on it all at the end of the day, you’ll likely end up with a positive mindset and focus for your day ahead. 

4. Find Little Ways to Treat Yourself

For me, this is an afternoon game of Sudoku where I keep my mind active so it doesn’t feel like all I’m doing is toddler puzzles. It’s also going for a run, rollerblading or weightlifting. I find joy in these things and they help me feel like myself despite my life being mostly for my little ones.

5. Ask Others About the Improvements They See in Your Children

In the day-to-day, it can be easy to miss the independence and small ways your children are growing up and doing things for themselves. That can make it feel like you’ll be tying shoes and serving lunch for all eternity. So ask an outsider about what they see that’s changed in your little ones over the last few years. You might be surprised by what they tell you.

6. Evaluate Whether You’re in the Best Place for You

Every mom and family dynamic is different. Maybe you’re facing overwhelm because this life isn’t for you and that’s OK. Evaluate whether you might need to make a change and go back to traditional work. Perhaps freelancing or working from home with your children is leading to too much stress and you can’t enjoy anything. If so, your path and where you find joy in motherhood might look different. Don’t let the influence of others lead you to do something that isn’t right for you and your family. It’s appropriate to constantly be evaluating your work arrangement and childcare use.