I’m sure many of you can relate to this post just from reading the title. Our lives are constantly being pulled in 1,000 different directions. We all want to end each day feeling accomplished, but without the burnout. When I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom I had grand visions of all that I could accomplish during nap time. I imagined a picture perfect house and a garage brimming with DIY projects. I saw myself making the bed every morning, showering and fixing my hair. All of this while keeping up with my favorite shows and regular exercise. Now, I’m laughing at myself. Maybe some women can pull all of that off, but that is not me. Most mornings I drink my coffee in an exhausted stupor and don’t get going until Baby Girl goes down for her morning nap around 10.
I’m usually overcome with guilt in regards to my lack of “Productivity” but one of my personal goals for this year is to get over myself. There are more important things than being overwhelmingly busy. Like spending a relaxing evening with Jesse. Or taking the time to crawl on the floor with my baby. And they mean so much more than being productive. For my own satisfaction, I do have small goals for each day, they are just less lofty.
I’ve been reading a book about French parenting, Bringing Up Bebe, and the author (who is an American living in Paris) talks about the amount of guilt that American moms carry. She shares a story about visiting an American friend who proclaimed over and over again “I’m a bad mom.” These proclamations were for things like not feeding her child an all organic lunch or not involving him in enough extracurricular activities. While reading those words makes me roll my eyes and think that lady needs to take a chill pill, I have to admit I say those words myself way too often. Just after New Year’s Day I had an awful cold, possibly a sinus infection (I never went to the doctor) and spent two days in bed. As I coughed up a lung I kept thinking that I was failing as a mom. I wasn’t paying attention to my child enough and she needed me. Mara could have cared less. She was happy spending time with Jesse. I know not every mom can relate to “taking a sick day” for many that’s not an option, but the point still remains that we are often too hard on ourselves. Jesse has gotten in the habit of saying “You’re a good mom” or “You’re a great wife” instead of I love you. He thanks me for all I’ve done around the house or for dinner. And I can hear him in the other room say to Mara “You’ve got the best mom”. These words mean so much to me. They make me pause, and think about the fact that I am a good mom. My child is loved and her basic needs are met. I’m doing pretty good.
So to all my mom friends out there, YOU’RE A GOOD MOM! Thank you for all that you do. Even if your kid wore mismatched socks to school today, or you had fast food for dinner last night. That doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is another day. Today you survived and so did they. Great job!
And even if you aren’t a mom, this applies to all women. It’s ok if you don’t cook or skipped the gym today. As long as you are trying, that’s all that matters. You can do it, you just may not be able to do it all at once.
I’d like to encourage everyone to give themselves a break this week. Carve out 30 minutes somewhere for yourself. That can be 30 minutes at the gym if you’re one of those crazies that relaxes while working out. It can be 30 minutes in the bathtub with a glass of wine. Or my personal favorite, 30 minutes laying on the couch watching tv. It’s only 30 minutes and you deserve it! You can’t make time for it all, but you can make some time for you. Treat yo self!