You know all about the five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing but what’s this elusive sixth sense you sometimes hear people talk about? A key to being a happy mommy in this crazy world is creating a sense of accomplishment.
According to some, the sixth sense is a psychic ability or (in more down-to-earth terms) a gut feeling that helps you understand the world. Chances are you’ve had a run-in with your sixth sense – whether you knew it or not.
So what is your sixth sense? What triggers that inner voice?
For me it is accomplishment. Getting shit done. Excuse my French.
One of the biggest producers of stress for me is going to bed feeling like I accomplished nothing all day other than spinning my wheels, cleaning up toys, doing dishes and changing diapers. Anxiety is sure to arise after an unproductive day where tasks are beginning to accumulate. When that happens, it is almost impossible to relax and shut off the world for the night. Believe me, I have days like this.
On the other hand, when we end the day with a sense of accomplishment, we can exhale, breathe deeply, relax and sleep soundly. Our minds are free to focus on other pursuits, other dreams, and we wake up feeling re-charged, healthy, in balance and ready to face another day.
Before we had Madilyn, I stumbled on this book called The Secrets of Happy Families.
I love all of the messages in this book and after I read it, I realized that Brian and I are in charge of the dynamic of our family. Our kids behavior and happiness is pretty related to the way we parent and the values that we uphold in our home. I realized that I can accomplish so much every day even being home with my girls.
Now that my girls are older (Madilyn is 6 and Juliana is 3), I feel like I am finally in a rhythm. I can get stuff done. When my girls were newborns I was lucky if I showered everyday. I was a nervous wreck. I barely slept. I totally had postpartum depression. Now, both girls sleep like champs which means I can sleep too. Oh heavens, yes. I have some time for myself again and it feels good. I feel like this time is my reward for those newborn months. They were TOUGH.
Looking back, though, I am realizing that I DID accomplish so very much when I felt like I wasn’t. Being up all night walking the hallway with a crying newborn, cleaning up Cheerios all over the floor, not yelling at my girls when they destroyed the playroom yet again… these ARE the real accomplishments of motherhood. No, they are not glamorous. No, they don’t always result in a pat-on-the back. However, these accomplishments are the most important work. They are the moments we will be proud of. They are the moments we will miss someday.
I am one of those people who always needs a project. I love the feeling after the project is done. I thrive on the feeling of success.
By implementing a few simple time management strategies, I have gotten in the rhythm of creating a sense of accomplishment every day, no matter what life throws at me. I now give myself that sense of accomplishment by giving myself credit by doing little things during the day: getting to the gym, taking the dog for a walk, doing laundry, making a homemade meal, etc. Believe me, I am not perfect at time management. However, these couple things have helped me stay sane as a new momma:
- Make a list. For me, I LOVE the feeling of crossing things off of my to-do list. Oh, the little things! When my girls are asleep at night, I go through my list. I mentally tell myself that I am proud of all that I did today.
- Ask yourself, “What is one task that I can complete today, or make significant progress towards completing, that will make me feel better about myself, my day, my job, my health, etc.? What achievement would make this day a success?” This task may not be the one you want to do. In fact, it may be the one you have been procrastinating on the most. Today, I went through all of my girls clothes. Sigh. What a job.
- After the girls are asleep, I hang out with my hubby, watch a couple shows and think about tomorrow. This is when I work on prepping food for the next day, thinking about what needs done, etc. I find it MUCH easier to work on things at night compared to having my girls at my feet.
That feeling that I have accomplished something keeps me going. It keeps me focused. It reminds me that eating well, feeding my girls homemade food, exercising, taking our dog Charli for a walk, is all worth it. I give myself credit all day long as I accomplish the little tasks of life. Today, I gave my dog Charli a bath. She is happy. Momma is happy.
Think about it: When you exercise, do you ever regret doing it? Nope. Not only do you benefit from the exercise itself but also you get that great sense of accomplishment that makes you feel great and leads you to make other good choices.
What did you accomplish today? It’s OK, give yourself credit for all that you do. In fact, it is healthy.
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