I want to say we are made of confidence, strength, and ball busting determination… which is true… sometimes. But underneath all of that is a lovely plethora of stretch marks, floppy boobs, overactive bladders, uppers (coffee) downers (wine) and some type of guilty pleasure (reality TV).
We come in all different forms, and I don’t mean physically… although that is actually true anyway. Whether we have our own children the old fashioned way, adopt, or artificially inseminate. Stay home, work from home, work in an office. Have one or multiple. Start younger or wait until a more “mature year”. Planned or unplanned. We all have that one special title in common.
Mom. Mommy. Mama. Mooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm!!!
I’ve posted before about the lack of ‘momaraderie’ that exists in our modern world and how (at least I feel) this stems from the lack of self-confidence or just plain old insecurity that thrusts us into this competition to prove who wins BEST MOM EVER!!!
But, today… on this special day of the year… we celebrate us all. Because no matter how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we have to make since our kids won’t eat anything else, and however late we have to work and miss the bedtime stories or how many stale goldfish we have to pry out of our baby’s hands… we are mothers. And why do we hold this title so dear? Why do we want to be the best? What made us think of this as the most important job we have ever had? Because at the end of the day… our children won’t be children forever and we owe it to them to be the best mother. To them. Not to anyone else.
Now, with all of the research I’ve done (TV and social media), there are a few things that I think will help us achieve this goal. Let’s call it a top 3.
- Take time for yourself! Whaaatttt??!! How dare I even THINK such a thing!? Noooo it’s not selfish. Nobody is a better mom because their entire focus is their kids. If you don’t find something that’s just for you, you’re in for a lonely and boring existence once your kids aren’t home anymore. Plus, at least for me (a stay at home mom, raised by a stay at home mom) it’s important for your kids to view you as a human being and not a slave. To see you have passions outside of housework and Bubble Guppies. Oh you don’t have time? Make it! I get a lot done in a day and most days, something falls through the cracks… that’s life. But everyday I feel fulfilled because everyone is happy. Including me. And sometimes my kids are involved in them, which is great!
- Make your spouse a priority. Not because Suzy Homemaker said we need to be submissive… because of this… RESPECT. Also, if your kids don’t see a healthy relationship between their parents (together or not) they won’t expect much better for themselves. And honestly, if you’re happy, they’re happy. So make time for one another. And no excuses here either… we live where we have no family to help nearby and often our dates are popcorn and a movie on a Wednesday night. Or a righteous game of mancala or speed. Yes we are children.
- Stop comparing your successes and failures to other moms! Who cares if little Johnny next door speaks 4 languages and plays violin? Focus on what works for you, your kids and your spouse. I’m just glad my kid is finally potty training (present tense… still not fully there yet) and hasn’t hurt herself in the last 48 hours.
One thing I noticed growing up, and especially now that I have my own kids. No matter how much money we make, no matter how many home cooked meals or loads of laundry folded or deals sealed at work… kids just want our time. All they want is for us to sit and play a game or read a book or just be interested in them. So let’s stop beating ourselves up about what we didn’t do today, and pat ourselves on the back for what we did. If all you achieved today is that your children are still alive and ate at least one bite of cold dinner.. it’s a win!
So Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there who are just barely hanging on to your sanity and patience! Congratulations for whatever it is you achieved today or yesterday, or last week if that was the last time you didn’t want to slam your face in the refrigerator door. If you take nothing from this post, at least remember this…We have to learn to go easy on ourselves… leave the harsh judgment and raised eyebrows to Salty Sally. Her kid is probably an asshole anyway.
And if all else fails… if your kid(s) just went prehistoric on you all week and hope is a faint memory tucked somewhere behind your flat stomach and restful nights… here is a recipe Chris and I created together!
4 cups water
1 cup crushed Ice
1/2+ cup sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup tequila
Juice of 2 limes
Blend it all together and voila… you’re welcome.