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I Love My Kids, But I Miss My Life: Real Moms On Surviving The Pressure Of Motherhood
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  • Motherhood is a juggling act. You may think you’re fully prepared for the task at hand, but you’ll only be able to understand it once you fully experience it yourself.

    How to deal with the realities of momhood

    While every parent experience periods where they are overwhelmed, it’s also important to take care of your overall well-being. Here, three moms get real about the challenges of parenthood and share how they manage the pressure and responsibilities and prevent the stress from spiraling out of control.

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    Schedule some downtime

    It can be hard to give yourself a break especially when you have a lot on your plate. Maintaining a day job while attending to your baby’s needs might make you think that maybe it’s best to postpone date nights, an international trip, or anything fun until things slow down.

    But having some time for yourself without the kids is vital to becoming a happy and thriving parent. You deserve to prioritize self-care, have hobbies, and create goals outside of being a mom. Remember that being a mother is just one facet of who you are, not your entire being.

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    As a new mom, Cheska Josue-Castillo, 23, grabs any opportunity to have alone time because dealing with 4-month old Juanito can be quite a handful. “I like my alone times — it keeps me sane. Honestly, I consider my banyo moments as a ‘me time.’ It's precious because I can relax from everything I've been doing since the day I gave birth," she tells SmartParenting.com.ph.

    "Sometimes, even if there's no occasion or anything at all, I'll put on makeup just because I want to feel good about myself. Or I scroll through online shops just to see what I want.  If there's an opportunity to have ‘me time,’ I take it,” she adds.

    In the same way a good nap lets you recharge, take a few minutes – maybe 30 minutes to an hour – to simply focus on yourself. Do whatever you like in these moments – watch your favorite K-drama, pamper yourself in the shower, paint your nails, or write on your journal.

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    If setting aside “quiet time” during the day is impossible, try to schedule something once a week for a longer period. Leave the kids with hubby, or ask grandma and grandpa, or the titos and titas, to babysit for you!

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    Make time to exercise

    One of the biggest challenges of being a mom is not having enough time to do everything. So how do you expect to squeeze an hour for exercise or even just to take a walk outside without the kids?

    “When you're a mom, you always wish there are more than 24 hours in a day. There's a lot of things you need to do but so little time. I think that was my challenge,” shares single mom Rebie Asistio, 34, to Reo Benjamin, 10, and Zee Ellana, 8. “What helped me is going back to what I like doing which is singing and dancing. I also learned how to box and bought my own punching bag. Once every week, I make it a point that I have at least an hour just for myself to either turn the music up and dance or box my stress away.”

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    Raising kids will take a physical, mental, and emotional toll on you, so you have to be in tip-top shape. Just think of it this way: exercising releases happy hormones!

    Don’t overanalyze it

    When overwhelmed by momhood, you begin to question yourself — are you really cut out for this? Or you might feel intimidated by other parents who seem to have it easy. Before you spiral down, look around and think about your day and make a mental note of the things you’re grateful for. It could be as big as leading a dream work project to small things like the pretty lipstick you’re wearing for today. Remember: What you’re experiencing is normal, and will pass.

    “What I can advise new moms in coping with their new lifestyle is to always keep in mind that this phase is not going to be forever. They will all grow up someday and you will long for this very moment,” says Janca, 30, mom to 1-year old Leona Maxene. “At one point, I thought I lost my identity when I became a mom. I didn't imagine how exhausting it was especially for the first year, but as time went by it became more and more rewarding for me slowly realizing how blessed I am to have my daughter.”

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