Mom with baby

How to Find Motivation When You Don’t Want to Mom

Some days, it just works and you find motivation when you don’t want to mom. Maybe your little miraculously slept through the night. Maybe your morning chai is giving you life. Maybe things are going well at work. Maybe you’re serving a look in your outfit today. Every now and then, the planets align and you find yourself in the perfect state of mind to be a force for your family and crush that mom game. 

More often than not, it’s not this easy to find the motivation to be a mom.

Many mornings, you may find yourself inert and in a fog. We all love hanging out with our kiddos, but let’s face it, some days, naps can feel few and far between. You’re not alone if you feel a little sluggish. Doing double duty with homeschooling during the pandemic only adds to this drag and you may feel like you’re running on fumes.  

First of all: it’s OKAY! We’re all only human and mommy-ing demands so much – physically and psychologically. Ideally, we’d be getting enough sleep and pampering ourselves regularly, but alas, mommyhood doesn’t usually allow us to rely on these kinds of things consistently. Here are some tangible changes to help you find the motivation and that you can incorporate into your day to feel a little more like yourself and hopefully get the boost you need:

  1. FUEL UP. Remember that pep in your step as you sipped your favorite smoothie en route to work? Or the way your ponytail bounced after you picked up your post-lunch iced chai from that cute little corner café? We’ve lost some of these simple mood boosters since working from home became the norm. Whether it’s piping hot coffee first thing in the morning, green juice in the afternoon or sleepy tea before bed, be intentional about working in your favorite beverage. The benefits are multifold. Not only will the familiarity of the habit elevate your mood, but the ritual of taking that first morning sip or zoning out as you steep your tea bag the same number of times every night can help ground your anxieties, center your thoughts and give you clarity.
  2. GET GLAM. As someone who admittedly doesn’t know a make-up brush from a paintbrush, I certainly don’t mean to glam up Kardashian-style; although, if that’s your everyday look, more power to you, mom! Follow a short routine of getting yourself dressed before you clock in for the day. It’s okay to resort to “chair clothes” all week – we all do it. But to shake things up, try wearing something that makes you want to take a fire mirror pic. It doesn’t have to be jeans – try a matching lounge set or a cute crop top and jogger ensemble. It may even motivate you to sneak in a quick work out! Take a hot shower – often a luxury for busy moms. Sleek ponytails, headbands or topknots are great options if you haven’t been able to wash your hair in a minute. If your skin care routine is taking a backseat today, at minimum try to moisturize your face and splash on a quick lip color to help you feel a little more like the fierce mom that you are. 
  3. PUMP UP THE JAMS. Listening to some music can give your day just the about-face that it needs. Music is a proven stress reliever and mood lifter so it can literally be medicinal. If you find yourself running a little anxious, go for a serene chant or some mellow classical music. If you’re trying to combat lethargy, try blasting your favorite throwbacks (2000’s Bollywood hits are my personal go-to) to get you in the zone. If you don’t have alone time to rock out, incorporate music into your kid’s playtime – whether it’s a full-out jam session or just the soundtrack in the background. 
  4. PLAN AHEAD.  Spend some time when you first wake up or during your kiddo’s first nap to make a realistic to-do list for the day. Not just chores! Pencil in that ten-minute abs routine or a moisturizing face mask or a wine + movie night with your partner after the kids go to bed. Practicing self-care nap to nap is a risky game and often means your own needs fall to the wayside. Knowing ahead of time what you’d like to accomplish that day for yourself will help you better prepare for it and actually make it happen. You may find that prioritizing yourself in this way can give you the jolt of motivation you need. 
  5. TALK IT OUT. As much as you want to be everything to everyone, every moment of the day, it’s OKAY when you can’t. This may be stating the obvious, but be open with your partner when you don’t have the bandwidth to be your own version of  Supermom that day. Especially so if you’re the kind of person that takes everything onto her own plate. Allow your partner to take on the lion’s share of the workload for the day. Also, never underestimate the power of catching up with girlfriends. Take a moment to call or FaceTime an old friend. A few inside jokes and some belly laughs  can be the special sauce your day needs. 
  6. IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS. This is just a reminder to look inward to identify which habits (or lack thereof) seem to precipitate your anxiety and stress. Practicing introspection with regard to what you need to do to function at your best can help you to prioritize these activities as must haves for your day to go smoothly. It could be one of the tips above or anything else you’ve noticed puts you in a position to feel your best to tackle your day!

I hope a few of these pointers will help you find your mojo when you cannot seem to find motivation to mom. But mommas, remember to be gentle with yourself. Showing up the way you are, just the way you are, is everything that your little one needs from you. 

Written by Contributor Akshata Pandit Mehta, MD MBA. You can follow Akshata over at @humanbeingwell for her perspective on wellness, well being and for her well wishes on the daily.

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