At first glance you may see a somewhat put together woman…
Take a closer look and you may find messy hair, dark circles under the eyes, un-manicured nails, and baby food splattered all over my clothes.
I am a mother of young kids.
Come into my home and you will most likely see toys scattered around the hall, laundry unfolded in baskets, children with messy shirts, and sticky finger prints in several places around the house. This photo was taken shortly after my toddler found the red ink pad and left his evidence.
Or you may just stumble upon my basket of UNMATCHED socks!! Yes I have an ENTIRE basket dedicated to these poor lost souls waiting to be reunited with their match. But for now it serves as a distraction and entertainment for my my 11-month-old as he loves to pull them out one by one.
Yikes I’ve been robbed! Oh no wait, that just happened while my 11-month-old roamed around my office pulling everything out of it’s place. And no, this is not staged and…yes, the letters spell out the word p-l-a-y right next to a book entitled, “Everything is Going to be Okay.”
The irony! 🙂
We all have those moments of self-defeat. And they are heightened as we scroll through our feeds and witness perfectly staged dinner tables with gourmet meals, children smiling and engaging in crafts, and stylish mothers with curled hair and blouses free from chocolate milk and baby spit up. It is in these moments, that we allow unnecessary chatter to begin in our minds and we begin thinking things such as, “I should really enroll my two-year-old in piano lessons. I should be a better cook. I should sew his Halloween costumes. I should have played classical music to my baby in the womb. I should loose 10 pounds. I should really read more to my child. I should be a better mom. I should. I should I should. Ugh. How? How can we do it all?
Why is there a universal feeling of guilt that all mothers feel from time to time? Guilt is defined as the feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation. Are we truly feeling like we are failing in our obligations? Or are we striving for that “good mom” status that is measured by the cleanliness of our home, how stylish our kids are, what reading level they are at, what extra activities they are engaged in, and how elaborate their birthday parties are? If so, whoa that’s a lot of pressure. Being a recovering perfectionist myself, I know the burden of trying to strive for the picture perfect world of motherhood. But is there really such a thing?
This Mother’s Day, I have decided to buy myself flowers and give myself a gift.
The gift of living GUILT and PERFECTION free by doing these 6 things:
The mere act of switching our language from “I should” to “I want to” will diminish feelings of guilt associated with the word, “should.” You will then feel more empowered and one step closer to actually achieving your goal. Try it and see how it feels. Remember guilt is a wasted energy we bring upon ourselves. Try putting your energy in accomplishing your goals without placing any judgement on them.
Every person, child, and family is unique and develops their own culture. It’s unreasonable to envy and compare ourelves to others and wish we had what they had because we are all different. Our interests are different. Our children are different. Therefore, our parenting should be different. As women we are given a great gift of intuition…use it!
Next time your child sings “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen for the millionth time- remember those words, “Let it go!” You CAN have it all. But just NOT at all the SAME time. There may be some things you have to let go of, so be real with your expectations. Are you expecting things that are not humanly possible? Sorry to break it to you… but you are a human. Let it go.
I have found that if I focus on the small successes through out the day that I feel happier and more positive. There is not enough room for doubts or guilt to creep in when I focus on the small positive things. Remembering to switch the laundry before it smells like mildew, sitting in the sandbox with my kids, surviving another tantrum, or getting an extra jug of milk before we ran out are all things to celebrate! Write them down in a gratitude journal!
Sometimes I have to laugh to keep myself from crying.
True story. Does your life ever feel like a hilarious sitcom? Taking the time to laugh at our mistakes or imperfections can cause relief from stress and guilt. Laugh with your kids. They will feel joy as they see your joy! So, tell your face to smile and laugh a little bit will ya!? We can’t take life that serious.
I once was told by a yoga instructor that the word “Namaste” means something similar to “I honor the divinity within you.” Do we honor and acknowledge our own inner divinity? We may not be endowed with all the talents and traits that we wish to pocess but we all sure have something to share that’s unique to the world and to our children. Write all those gifts down. Cherish them. Share them with your children. That’s not to say that we aren’t going to have moments of defeat, sweatpants, unwashed hair, and baby drool. And we may not have plaques, trophies, or awards hanging on our walls of our accomplishments- but our kids hold those plaques in their minds and hearts. They loves us unconditionally. We should do the same with ourselves.
Motherhood is not a race; it’s a journey.
Enjoy it… Remember to give yourself a break. You are doing the very best that you know how. And that’s all that matters.
Honor your divinity by saying out loud, “I AM a fabulous mother.”
Because you are.
Happy Mother’s Day.
For more of my thoughts and stories you can find and follow me at weedstowishes.com