Question for you stay at home moms (and retirees). Do you ever go through periods where you lack motivation? Perhaps more than when you were working and somewhat programmed into a daily routine?
I’ve always had difficulty maintaining motivation. This often comes as a surprise to new friends because my personality is creative, fun-loving, and optimistic. But, there is a difference between a vivacious personality and physical motivation. That difference may be caused by autoimmune disease. For years, I’ve struggled with debilitating symptoms associated with endometriosis, PMDD, hypothyroidism, EBV, CFS, and (most recently discovered) the MTHFR mutation.
Leaving the workplace, before becoming a foster parent, was a bittersweet experience for me. No longer did I need to peel myself out of bed, apply makeup and wear nice outfits, every day. Like most stay at home parents I experienced the beauty of flexibility. It became so much easier to maintain doctor visits. Exercise during my peak energy times. Get a full night’s sleep (even if I had to catch up with a cat nap throughout the day), etc.
But, here’s the problem…
As a stay at home mommy, I am rarely in the public eye. (Probably why I enjoy blogging and instagramming, to stay somewhat connected.) It’s been too easy for me to fall into a mommy rut. Sometimes, I’ll altogether stop wearing makeup and styling my hair. I’ll wear pjs or sweats throughout the day. Then, next thing you know, I’m craving homemade chocolate chip cookies and wondering why my “nice” clothes don’t fit even when I try to get dressed and go out. It can be a vicious cycle.
To add insult to injury, my life is as backward as it can be. While many stay-at-home moms return to work after raising their children, usually before their forties, my life has gone in the complete opposite direction. I’m an older stay-at-home mommy (in my forties), and a young stay-at-home retiree (in my forties). Not sure if this has anything to do with the lack of motivation and imbalance of my life.
Am I alone, here?
I want to feel more productive. All the time.
I want to look my best and feel my best. All the time.
I want to have more stamina. All the time.
I want to fit into the majority of my clothes in my wardrobe. All the time.
I want the structure and discipline I had throughout my career. All the time.
Recently, I’ve consolidated a few ideas and tricks I’ve learned throughout my years. It’s time to put them all together and take action. Who’s with me?
Stay at Home Mom Hacks for Those Lacking Motivation
Fill Your Calendar with Monthly Obligations and Projects
One thing that always keeps me on my toes is having something on my calendar. Something to look forward to or work towards. Like a special occasion or a specific goal.
Special occasions such as weddings, vacations, even short weekend trips away, typically keep me on my toes, in the eating healthy and exercise department. At least I know that once I’m at a wedding or vacationing somewhere special, I’m certainly going to kick back and eat liberally. It gives me something to look forward to and I see it as an incentive. If I have a few months with nothing planned, forget it! I’m going to end up in a mommy rut. So, I try to be intentional in planning special outings, even just once a month!
At the beginning of each month, I try to determine a monthly project that I can accomplish in four weeks. It’s usually a large project in the house. Such as going through old clothes and making a trip to Good Will. Spending a day cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures. Reorganizing a space, etc.
There’s just something about having it on the calendar that keeps me motivated. And, there needs to be something every month! So, think about some things you want to accomplish and try to fill up each month with a project goal and at least special night out to serve as an incentive!
Plan Obligations for the AM Hours
I will be the first to admit, I am a slow riser! Sometimes I don’t get out of my pjs until noon. I am seriously trying to work on this, but I am certain that the whole stay-at-home-mom routine is to blame!
Still, I’ve realized that unless I get out of my pjs sooner than later, I can end up wasting the day away. Therefore, if and when I have an obligation, I try to schedule it on the earlier side. Once I’m dressed and ready, I find that I can be more productive in getting errands and food shopping accomplished.
Stay balanced. Physically, Spiritually.
I don’t know what it is, but my physical and spiritual momentum go hand in hand. I find that starting my day off with my devotions (reading scripture and praying) keeps me on my toes to have a more productive day.
I wish I could say the reverse is true. But, nope. Fact is I can’t sustain any momentum without having a strong spiritual start to my day!
Spend More Time with Those Who Motivate You
I definitely gravitate towards those who have a strong energy. My friend Katie is super disciplined with her eating and exercising. She’s an early riser. Always has her day planned. And, therefore she is super productive. Have I mentioned she’s in her sixties? Yup. She puts me to shame!
However, I recognize that whenever I am in her company I feel motivated! It’s so true. The company we keep will influence us, in one way or another!
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
Designate Days for Feminine Maintenance
It’s not easy being a woman. I feel like every time I turn around, it’s time to get my nails refilled, shave my legs, exfoliate my skin, etc. Ladies, if we let one thing go, we’re in trouble!
I try to schedule a massage and nail refill, every month. The massage just helps me to feel rejuvenated, and of course this helps with motivation! The nails make me feel pretty and somewhat motivate me to keep my skin and hair healthy and pretty, as well.
I also enjoy planning spa days with my mom or a friend, once in a while. It’s just a wonderful way to celebrate being a woman and enjoy feeling pampered with no stress. No work.
In summary, motivation is not something we wake up with every day. We need to use whatever tricks or incentives we can to keep us from getting into the lazy mommy rut!
What tricks work best for you?