11 common mom ruts (and how to snap out of them) Here are the common ruts and problems we moms face and some easy solutions for stopping them.

Oh, mommas. You are so loved and underappreciated and frazzled and I feel for you.

Truly, I do. I’m right there in the thick of it with you.

After ranting it out about how my kid cries at drop-off and I never pee alone and I haven’t ironed a shirt in almost two years, y’all were like AMEN! HALLELUJAH! and I knew we were onto something. We’re all feeling those ruts and most folks think of “mom ruts” as just our looks and vanity – not losing the baby weight and having Michelle Duggar’s haircut. But ruts go far deeper than that – they can seep into our work life and our cooking and our sex life. Then we feel even more awful and rut-stuck and it’s a vicious cycle that keeps repeating.

So here are some awful ruts we moms face and here’s how we say “WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT” like Twisted Sister:

Your man wants to…you know

And you don’t want to…you know. You know? Maybe it’s that you’re touched-out for the day or just tired or frumpy and feeling unsexy, but the last thing you want to do is the limbo under the sheets.

Solution: Do romance instead

This takes talking between partners. Explain to your man that he’s sexy and you love him, but you need some pre-heating that includes XYZ. Be specific. For me, it’s a drink and a hot shower and a foot rub. It also helps to have regular date nights that remind us WHY we are spouses, not just parents.

You feel stale at work (or at home)

So you’ve found yourself singing “Same ol’ sh*t dawg, just another day?” every morning? That sucks. I’ve been there.

Solution: Branch out and try something new

I’m not talking a complete career overhaul (although that’s possible – I did it this past year!) but ask your boss if there are any new projects you can help on. She or he will appreciate the initiative. If you stay home, join a new playgroup or sign up for swim lessons – something new and adventurous!

You feel frumpy

People. I wore this out in public one time. It is the epitome of the frumpy mom with no dial-tone on what is stylish. We’ve all been there and we can all make it out to the other side.

Solution: Read fashion blogs

There out there a’plenty. Just Google “fashion blogs” and within moments, you’ll be knee-deep in the current nail polish colors and deals on fall boots. Try taking items from your wardrobe and creating similar outfits to the ones you like on the fashion bloggers.

You feel like you eat out too often

It’s fast. Everyone can pick something they like. There’s no clean-up. Let’s face it, there’s a bunch of appeal to eating our or picking up curbside.

Solution: Pinterest

Search Pinterest for easy, yummy recipes. There are tons of casseroles that take under an hour minutes to prepare and cook.

You can never, ever get your house clean

It’s like brushing your teeth while sneaking your toddler’s Halloween candy, right? The floors are always sticky, the counters have last night’s dinner on the backsplash, and you just stepped on a Lego. Ouch to your feet and ego.

Solution: Small fixes

So what if the house isn’t HGTV ready? Wipe down your counters every night, keep fresh flowers on the kitchen table, and keep the toys relatively picked up. Just those three changes will make a world of difference and only take 5 minutes each.

You never get a moment’s peace

You just want to pee alone. Or finish a cup of coffee. Or not listen to Fresh Beat Band in the car.

Solution: Small treats

Grab that $3 magazine next time you’re in line. Then lock yourself in the bathroom with it and a glass of wine for 10 minutes. Or do the drivethru at Starbucks. Or give yourself one day per week where you don’t clean or work at nap time, but instead dust off your favorite book or nap.

Your kid is going through the I WANT DADDY phase

It’s painful, isn’t it? You birth them into this world and then they want the father. You’re with them at 3am with cough medicine and they ask for Daddy when they wake up. It’s a phase but man, it is a hurtful one.

Solution: Plan a special Mommy and Toddler day

Kick Daddy out the door for a round of golf and have a day of solo momma and tot time. Hit up the park, have lunch together, snuggle on the couch with a movie. Uninterrupted momma time is the best remedy for reminding your toddler that hey! mommy is cool too!

You look like crap

I haven’t had my hair trimmed since February of this year. My underwear is threadbare and my toenail polish is still “Tequila Sunrise” from this summer, but it’s so chipped that it’s more “Drunk off Tequila.”

Solution: Get something new

It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a new nail polish or lipstick, or a new shirt or pair of shoes. Whatever makes you feel pretty.

You always feel tired

Fourth cup of coffee? Having trouble falling asleep? Getting groggy mid-afternoon? That’s motherhood for you.

Solution: Vitamin D

Whether it’s by sunlight or by pill, make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D. It can boost your happy-thoughts and help regulate sleep. Also try light therapy in the winter and exercise.

You feel overworked and constantly plugged-in

It’s like we can never escape the pressure of motherhood, to be the best and the most pin-able and the most put-together in the preschool line. Not to mention always being reachable by phone, email, Twitter, etc. It’s exhausting on top of our regular duties!

Solution: Have a Girls’ Night Out

Call up your best girls and meet them for drinks and appetizers. It doesn’t have to be expensive and four-hours long – even just a coffee date after the kids are in bed is a nice way to unwind with a girlfriend.

You just feel plain ol’ sorry for yourself

I feel you, sister. You’re overworked and under appreciated and feeling like something the cat dragged in last night. You want to curl up in bed and disappear into a pillow or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Solution: Volunteer

Do a 5K for your favorite charity. Drop off old blankets and towels at the local animal shelter. Help with the preschool food drive. Just do something outside of yourself and your family – it feels darn good.

P.S. Protect yourself from the coming data-powered panopticon by getting a VPN.

Beth Anne Ballance is a born and bred Southern Belle, blogging at Okay, BA! and using words and pictures to celebrate the challenges of motherhood and the joy of life.

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my situation was a little different I hit little ruts like here & there, but I really hit mine when my kids left for college. It wasn’t empty nest syndrome, it was more of when they did come home, you hear more about what you didn’t do for them or what they feel they lacked during their chldhood. Most times it is said jokingly or in fun, but it does start to sting and weigh on you. Especially when you know you did the best you could. I know they are not intentionally trying to hurt my feelings and they love me, but suddenly I find myself in a rut that is mostly experienced by new mothers. I know this may sound silly, but as I read this article, I could so relate to it all…. Thanks for letting me rant a little…..


I struggle with “quality time” as a working mom – I feel like I never give 100% to anyone, ever, including my child, my husband, my job, or myself.
Solutions? Uh, none. I feel like we’re stretched too thin. I do try to let a lot go in favor of grabbing a stolen 10 minutes to actually conversate with my husband or play a game with my kiddo. Also I guess letting go some expectations of “family life”, like all of us eating dinner together every night. It’s not pleasant or a reality with my particular 3 year old – so we eat dinner first then feed her. That way we get to chat for a hot second and then we can attend to her eating stuff. WE’ve tried things like “every night after she goes to bed we beeline for tea and conversation” but we’re too tired to force it! So… I got very little on this front.