Motherhood can make you feel like you’re stranded on a deserted island like Tom Hanks in the movie “Castaway”. Your Wilson volleyball is your baby. You talk to your baby as if it’s going to indulge in conversation. You shake things that rattle. Play endless rounds of Peek-a-boo. You believe showing your baby a “black and white” book

When you walk into your home as a new mom, your maternity leave starts and perhaps never ends. Suddenly ten hours of your day are free for you to figure out what the F to do with your baby. Add in the couple hours where you used to grab drinks with friends. Now you have twelve hours on your plate. Then the hour when you took a SoulCycle class and the hour you watched Bravo and you have fourteen hours. Don’t forget your baby is awake most of the night when you used to be soundly sleeping. Oh yes, it’s the after-hours party you wish you never showed up for.

Before baby, you accomplished great things in your career, learned new things every day, and interacted with interesting people. Today, motherhood seems to rob you of these personal accomplishments. You feel unsatisfied and ineffective even though you’re exhausted and burnt out. It’s difficult to justify your day when you’re doing such mundane tasks. You’re desperate to make this day a bit more exciting but is going back to work the only solution?

Part of my problem as a new mom is I felt the need to entertain Brooklyn every second she was awake. The day had to be filled with activities or items that would create some kind of interaction between the two of us. The goals with these activities were to make her grow, thrive, learn, and feel stimulated. God forbid I leave her to entertain herself, otherwise I fell into the terrible mom trap. Honestly, I didn’t know that she could actually entertain herself and explore her world without me in her face.

I created so much pressure and high expectations based on outside sources. One day it was from an article I read, then I’d tap on my Wonder Weeks app, and the next I’d fall down the rabbit hole of a Facebook group about all the things other moms were doing with their babies. Thank God I wasn’t Pinterest-savvy. The guilt mounted in my brain if I wasn’t paying attention to her, playing with her, teaching her, and creating for her. I was a chaotic clown at a circus, exhausted from being “on” all day.

The personal neglect also contributed to my boredom. I wasn’t doing the things I loved to do before I became a mom. I still loved music, concerts, reading, exercising, being outdoors, traveling, art, restaurants, and binge-watching reality TV. I enjoyed getting dressed up, doing my hair and wearing makeup. Ninety-minute yoga classes energized me. Long walks by the river inspired me. Every single one of these things was put on a bookshelf the moment I entered my home as a new mom. My day consisted of at least twenty hours of baby. If I was lucky to have four hours of sleep that night. Or a shower.

It took time for me to realize that in order to alleviate my boredom, I had to take control of how entertaining my life was to me. There were things I simply didn’t enjoy doing, but felt too guilty asking my husband or someone else to do them for me. Bath time? Hate it, always have. But for some reason I wasn’t asking my husband to do it. Playing make believe? Loathe it. For some reason I felt guilty telling Brooklyn I didn’t want to do that, but perhaps we could do something different. After hearing mothers tell me that it’s OK to not enjoy EVERYTHING about motherhood, and it’s OK to delegate so I could do things I enjoyed, I started to find my groove. Reading and listening to mothers connect to THEIR passions and make time for what they loved to do made me comfortable carving time out for myself. And guess what? Brooklyn was just fine. She still is. The other day she wanted to do a tea party. Normally as moms we reluctantly get the tea set out, yawn and look at the clock the entire time. Instead, I told Brooklyn I wasn’t in the mood for a tea set but how about we make some new slime? I know, you’re sitting there reading that saying, “MAKE SLIME? IS SHE NUTS?” But I actually love making slime with her. Of course she’s obsessed so she was thrilled for the suggestion. Win-win.

Do I get bored as a mom still? Of course. Like anything in life, there are times of boredom. But I now hold myself responsible for my day and happiness.It’s a give and take and I teach Brooklyn that as well. It takes work but just do baby steps towards creating a life you can get a bit more excited about.Knowing that like life in general, it’s OK if you hate to do certain things or if something simply just doesn’t sound fun. You’re normal and it’s now time to create the life you want to live as a mother and as an individual!

With Honesty,

Michelle Mansfield Blog






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