Balancing a marriage and motherhood can be very challenging.  For many women, it often seems difficult to be great at one and still find the energy to be great at the other. And truthfully, the role that tends to suffer most is being a wife.

I think it’s possible for us to develop a sense of balance that allows us to be great in both roles.  Is it going to be easy?  Definitely not, but I think it is very possible.  The mistake that most women make is giving too much of themselves in an effort to make everyone they love happy.  They end up operating on a nearly empty tank because they try to meet every need that their child(ren) have, while also trying to maintain a happy marriage

I have a crazy idea, though.  What if you tried to put your own needs first? I know, I know… it sounds almost impossible.  How can a mom and a wife possibly put herself first?  Well, not only is it possible, but I think it’s the only way to balance all of your roles successfully while keeping your health (and sanity) in tact.

I do realize that telling women to put themselves first may seem cliché, but there is more to it than simply putting your needs first.  Surely you can’t be a great mom and wife if you are selfish, right?  The bigger picture is whether or not you are able to find a healthy way to balance your needs with the needs of your child(ren) and your spouse.  Are there things you can do to make it all work well?

Here are 11 tips that can help you find that elusive sense of balance you are looking for so you can stop ending your days feeling like you failed the people you love most.  And instead, end each day feeling like you are a good wife and mom.

Carve out time to spend with girlfriends who are in the same boat. I love all of my close girlfriends, but when I am struggling with issues around motherhood and being a wife, it’s nice to hang with women who are experiencing similar struggles.

Talk things out with your spouse.  If you feel like you are failing yourself or your family, you need to talk to your spouse.  It may seem obvious to you, but this man may not even know that you are struggling

Make a list of 10 personal goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year. If you focus your attention on what you want to accomplish, you are more inclined to make decisions that make you put your needs first in order to reach your goals.

Get a regular babysitter.  Whether it’s for a date night with your man, or because you need to get a mani and a pedi, having a babysitter you trust is a must.

If you lost your sexy, get it back.  Moms are infamous for letting themselves go, both after marriage and after having kids.  Don’t fall into the trap of being tired and letting yourself go. Maintaining your sexy makes you feel great (which makes you a better mom) and it makes your spouse very happy.

Plan a romantic getaway. It’s good for the kids to know how to have fun and be okay without mommy and daddy and it’s great for you to rekindle your love with the man you said, “I do” to.

Workout. So simple, yet so important.  It makes you happier and healthier and that ultimately improves the most important relationships in your life.

Spend time alone with everyone… including yourself. Going on dates with your spouse is important, but so is going on dates with your child(ren) and yourself.  Taking that time to connect makes all the difference.

Show your kids that dad does a great job, too.  One thing that many moms do is to show their children that they can do everything better than dad.  It’s not intentional, but it happens.  Children need to know that dad is more than capable of managing things if mom can’t, and that his way might be different than moms, but it’s not wrong.

Consider therapy, coaching or counseling. Part of self-care is making sure you are managing your emotional needs.  If you are feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed, seeking help is critical.

Pray… always. Pray with your spouse, pray with your children, pray as a family, pray by yourself.  Prayer works.