I talk to myself. Don’t worry. It’s not in the need-to-be-worried-because-I’m-crazy-way. No, it’s more about pumping myself up for the task at hand. Let’s face it. Motherhood is a tough job and one that on somedays I’d like to quit. Or at least take a leave of absence. Okay, well maybe I just want a long, paid vacation. Right. And since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I’ve realized I need ways to keep myself positive and stay sane. Hence the talking to myself. I’m like a cheerleader in my head.
I call these talking points, Mommy Mantras.
They’re the positive thoughts and phrases I recite to myself. The life-giving Bible verses I memorized 20 years ago. The uplifting song lyrics I sing. The recordings in my head I cling to like a life preserver to keep me afloat.
Our minds are powerful and what we say to ourself matters. What are your Mommy Mantras? What do you say to yourself when your child is losing it and you’re trying not to? Or when you’re feeling down and not sure why. How do you pick yourself up, mentally?
Here are some of my most-used Mommy Mantras. I bet we have many in common, but I guarantee you have a few I’d love to hear. Please share with the rest of us in the comments below.
Here’s to talking to ourselves, keeping our sanity and loving every minute of it!
IT’LL TURN UP
I’m a mom of four kids, which means in my house, we lose things. Lot’s of things. I say it’ll turn up almost every day. Even the kids say it. And then my next saying to myself is, I’ll buy another one. This is the reason I have eight pairs of scissors, five brushes, a handful of Scotch tape rolls and four staplers. When I say to myself, it’ll turn up, I remind myself it’s not a big deal and eventually the lost item will turn up. I let it roll off my back and this eases my anxiety and frustration – most of the time.
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES
In a fast-paced, overly-scheduled world, how often do we stop and smell anything? At least anything that smells good. When I’m pushing the stroller, or walking the dog, I’ll remind myself to stop and smell the roses. I don’t really smell any roses (unless there are some around,) but I do slow down and take in my surroundings. If there’s a fragrant flower around, that’s just a bonus.
LIFE IS GOOD
My husband and I tell each other this often. When we’re stressed out over the little things, we remind each other that life IS really good and we need to chill out. Life is a roller coaster with ups, downs and all arounds. If we can’t relax and enjoy the ups, then how the heck will we get through the downs, because there will be downs. A daily reminder – life is good.
DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
How much of what we get anxious about is small stuff? For me – it’s a lot! What if our ability to handle anxiety is like a muscle we can work out? If we work it out and train it, it’ll be a lot stronger for the things which really matter. Experiencing the small things, which use to make us anxious will be like lifting feather weights. Then when it comes to the big stuff, we’ll be ready. So when some little annoying thing happens, tell yourself, don’t sweat the small stuff.
DON’T MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLE HILL
Are you surrounded by a mountain range? Have you forgotten how to prioritize the stressors in life? I’d much rather face a mole hill than a mountain. Stop making a big deal out of everything. (I’m talking to myself.)
LET IT GO
This isn’t just for Elsa. When we tell ourselves to let it go, we can diminish a lot of our irritations in the day. Why hold onto something that just brings us down?
DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY
I think there’s an anti-stress theme here. Why worry when you can choose to be happy? Easier said than done, but still a great reminder and a great song.
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN IT’S PLACE
This mantra helps keep me organized. Everything in the house needs a home. When I take my tennis shoes off, I put them back in their shoe slot. When I use the scissors, I put them back in the kitchen drawer. If only my kids would do the same thing, I wouldn’t have to rely on the it’ll turn up mantra because nothing would get lost.
IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’LL WORK OUT
I probably heard this for the first time from my own mother. She’s always had a positive attitude about life’s decisions and how to make them. I want to pass this along to my own kids and teach them if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
What a great reminder. Whatever the circumstance, it’ll pass. Time is a gift in that way. Nothing stays the same.
IT’S JUST A SEASON
This is more of a running joke in my home. When I was first married or had my first child, it was easy to say in rough circumstances, it’s just a season believing that around the corner, things would slow down or get easier. Fast forward 12 years, I’ve realized every season is full and there isn’t a season anytime soon where life gets easier. It’s all in perspective and my reactions to the seasons of life.
I tend to say this one to myself in the car. Maybe because I have a few moments by myself when I’m not chauffeuring kids around. I tell myself to just breathe and then literally take a few deep breaths. How often do you focus on your own breathing? Thank God it’s not up to me to remember to breathe because I’d forget!
JUST DO IT
Yeah yeah…Nike coined the phrase, but we make it happen in our lives. We teach our kids to just do it, and we hopefully show them by our actions how it’s done. Whatever dream you’re holding back on because of fear, let it go and just do it. That’s a twofer.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
I use this one at the gym. When I don’t want to do another squat or sit up – I say no pain, no gain. Results don’t come easy and pain is part of the process.
LIFE IS SHORT
This is my favorite mantra. It’s easy to get caught up in the day’s events and think we’re invincible. But we’re not. Not to sound morbid, but our days are numbered and frankly, we don’t know when our last day will be. When we get stressed out, we have to remind ourselves life is short. How often have we heard older moms remind us to enjoy it because it goes by fast? Do you know one day we’re going to be that mom who tells the younger mom with a screaming toddler to enjoy it because it goes by fast? She might roll her eyes after we walk away, but she’ll get to the point when she realizes it’s true. So the next time you’re postponing an outing with your child or are too tired to go in and say goodnight, remind yourself life is short. Savor every moment while we can.
This is my daily, go-to Mommy Mantra. If I had wheel ruts in my brain for every good train of thought that rides by, this Bible verse has made the deepest ruts and is a well-traveled road.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Who doesn’t want peace in their world? What mom doesn’t want to “not be anxious about anything?”
Whichever mommy mantras you use to get you through your days, keep it up. Combat the negative thoughts with positive ones. Thankfully every day is a new day and a fresh start! Maybe I’ll add that to my mommy mantra list.