‘If you love your children, you will take care of their mother.’ Unknown
I remember hopping into one of the many tricycles at the park few weeks before the lock down. I felt a sense of relief as my butt found a comfortable spot in the passenger seat. I was at least happy to be free from the scorching rays of the sun.
I let my thoughts drift and looked forward to a quick journey home. The driver started his tricycle and we hit the road. But, rather than going at that familiar speed I knew, he was going rather too slow against my wish.
I asked the driver what the problem was, his words were ‘nothing’. Other passengers also began to grumble at the snail speed of the tricycle. But in a split second, our tricycle came to a halt right in the middle of the road.
The driver was quick to announce to us at that moment, that his fuel tank was empty and that our journey had come to an end. We had been running on an empty tank all along.
To ignore your car’s low fuel warning as a driver is a very bad idea. And did you know that running your car on empty can cause serious and costly problems to your car’s fuel system?
This is the same way things can go wrong on this motherhood journey. Issues will arise when you choose to ignore the low level warnings in your motherhood tank. Not so many good things happen when you are running on an empty tank.
Every mother knows how it is with young children. You have a job and still have to attend to your children’s needs. You cook meals, do the laundry, help out with homework, while running the home and creating a safe haven to live in. All these things drain you and leave you looking like a mess sometimes.
And then, you begin to snap at your spouse and children. You get angry at the slightest things. You become ‘Momzilla’ in your own home, while losing time and precious moments with your kids.
When that light blinks on your dashboard, you know it is time to refuel your car. There are also beeping alerts to remind you as a mother, whenever your tank is getting empty.
The tired body and mental exhaustion. The frequent outbursts and untold anger. The nagging pain and emotional melt down. The daily tears and deep feeling of loneliness.
All these alerts show up in different ways and times, and are always there to let you know that it is time to take a break. What are those alerts saying?
It is Time To Refill Your Motherhood Tank
The saying, ‘You cannot give what you do not have’ is so true. A mother will only give and impact her children from the deposits she has stored up inside her. Imagine if her tank is empty, how then can she inspire, teach, build, love and support her children.
When you run on an empty tank as a mother, there is little or nothing to give.
You cannot be empty and pour out love, faith, hope and values into the hearts and lives of your children.
Your child needs a healthy and happy mother to thrive and blossom in this world. Your love tank need not get empty if you want to raise happy and great kids. So whenever you feel the levels drop in your tank, find ways to refill fast.
10 Quick Ways To Refill Your Motherhood Tank
1. Quiet Time with God
I love this part because it is in God that you can find your true essence. Not only as a mother but as a human walking and living on this earth. If God has given you the gift of motherhood, the blueprint of leading the children entrusted to your care is in him.
Do you feel like a mom on empty? Take out some minutes in your daily routine and get quiet with God. He is the ultimate guide in helping you win in every role or season of life. Shut out the noise, get still in God’s presence and let him speak.
An Affirmation is a declaration that something is true. Did you know that words are a powerful tool for empowerment? Words can encourage, uplift and ignite hope in a weary soul.
The right words, when spoken to one’s self as a mother can uplift your soul and help build your self- esteem. And what you may not know is that great things happen inside you.
Is your motherhood tank is empty? Then, get on the affirmations train and start speaking to your self. Commit to saying positive and empowering words to yourself as a mother every single day. Words have a way of making you believe in yourself. Words will build your faith and ignite hope in your spirit even in the darkest hours.
3. Movie Time
What is that movie that you can watch over and over again? For me, that movie will be the Indian movie ‘3 Idiots’. Movies have a way of refreshing your soul and mind, especially when it is a great movie.
In the low and dark moments of motherhood, creating time to see a movie can help refill your motherhood tank. Go ahead and pick out a collection of inspiring movies and make out time to watch them.
Don’t just watch the movie, see the movie within the movie. Learn lessons and let the stories inspire you. When you do, your tank will filled up with hope, life lessons and gratitude.
Resting has a way of rejuvenating the body and that can only happen when you create that time to rest. Moms generally start to sleep less hours from the very first day they become mothers. It is especially tougher for mothers of newborns, who have to wake up at night to breastfeed their babies.
And as the babies grow, your eyes are everywhere looking out for them, and trying to keep them safe. Getting proper rest becomes tougher and then the crankiness begins.
But here is what you can do, seize every little opportunity you have to rest. It could be that your spouse is available to be with the kids, use that spare time to catch some sleep. And as a mother, you may no longer get those your long hours of sleep. But you can take short naps and still feel refreshed to keep you going on this journey.
According to Webmd, “A lack of sleep at night can make you cranky the next day. And over time, skimping on sleep can mess up more than just your morning mood.” Create a little time to rest and fill up your tanks to full capacity.
5. Timeout with Friends
Staying home with your little ones all day and night can drive you nuts at times as a mom. And it gets harder, when you are a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes, a break is all you need. From all the noise, mess, diaper changes, baby food spills and vomit to catch a breath of fresh air.
Hanging out with your girlfriends can do the magic for some moms. The change of environment and sane conversations with friends does it for others. This may be all that you need to refill those motherhood tanks. So if this is you, call up those friends and pick a date to chat and laugh out loud.
6. Learn Something New
Is there a skill or craft that you have always wanted to learn? Learning has a way of building your confidence and helping you focus. In one of my low moments, I decided to quit giving excuses and start my blog. I went online and read up on domain names and web hosting.
I paid for web hosting and went on to design my blog all by myself. I also learnt how to design graphics for my social media posts and e-book covers. That joy of achieving has kept my tank level up.
I also discovered while learning this new skill, that all things are possible when you put your heart to do it. So, go ahead today and learn something new. You will discover gifts and abilities you did not know you had. This new discovery keeps you motivated and full.
7. Dinner/Lunch Dates with Your Spouse
Children come into our lives and change a lot of things. The focus turns from you as a couple to them. You spend a lot of time giving of yourself to the children. You also have to always be there for them and hear them out at all times. Your world will always revolve around them.
For some couples, the children actually drifts them apart. Mothers spend most of their time with the children. And most times, she gets exhausted physically and mentally. And her emotional tank dries up.
What then can she do? Mothers have to find ways to keep the love flames alive in their marital relationship. A happy marriage equals a happy mother who in turn gives love and models love to her children.
You can be intentional and make out time for dates with your spouse. Get creative and bring that restaurant experience to your home. Decorate your table for two, make a three course meal and have that special dinner date.
The kids are in bed and you can talk, laugh, cuddle and share memories of your journey so far. This will leave you feeling like a million dollars with a full tank of joy, laughter and love.
8. Start Journaling
Writing is therapeutic for some and a means of expression for others. I write to inspire and this gives me a lot of joy. Sometimes writing down how you feel can be liberating. And Journaling is a good place to start.
Journaling is a written record of your thoughts and feelings. Journaling helps you discover those things that make you happy, sad or inspired. It can help you identify negative thoughts and patterns. It can help reduce stress in your life. It can also help you get to know yourself better.
So whenever you feel that emptiness inside, pick your notebook and pen and start writing. Set aside a few minutes every day, either early in the morning or before bed at night.
You can start with your dreams and desires. You can do a list of what you are grateful for. You can write about your motivations and your struggles. Or you can write a letter to your future self. Do whatever works for you and fill up those empty places in your heart.
Gratitude is a great way to remind you of your blessings. Motherhood has its great, fun, hard and messy days. But staying grateful on this journey can help you always put things in the right perspective.
One thing that you can do every night before you go to sleep is to say a ‘thank you’ prayer. Give thanks to God for your family, husband and children, and for the privilege given to share in their lives.
You can also end each day by writing three or more things that you are grateful for that day. This has a way of lifting your spirit and motivating you as a mother.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous.
10. Get Intimate With Your Spouse
Every mother knows how children can get in the way of your intimacy with your spouse. Children get into your space all the time. They are so good at springing up early morning or late night visits to your bedroom unannounced.
We all know how motherhood takes a toll on the physical body. And sometimes low energy levels equals low sex drive. According to Dr Nandi, ‘Orgasms, hugs, and kisses release feel-good hormones that give you a natural high and a feeling of closeness to those around you.’
Intimacy builds trust. It strengthens emotional bonds and is a great source of pleasure in marriage. The deeper the intimacy, the fuller the love tank. A mother who feels loved will always have lots of love to give.
Be intentional about making more time for intimacy in your marriage. Hug more, kiss passionately and have great sex. You will see how full your love and motherhood tank can get.
Which of these tips will you be trying out today?