I’ve got a deep(ish) motherhood post for you today, because so much mom-stuff has been on my mind lately. These posts can get really wordy though, and so I’m excited to be working on some brand spanking new videos for the blog! I can’t wait to share more mom-musings and DIY tutorials via video because they’re just so much fun! (But also so, SO much work…yikes!). Here’s hoping they’ll be ready soon!
Before our France trip last month, I’d found myself turning into a pretty mean mom: there was lots of yelling, impatience, frustration and I was really slow to appreciate my kids. We all get this way sometimes, and for me as a full-time SAHM (especially one who doesn’t send her kids to school…believe me, there are days I WISH I did – haha!) it can be really difficult to pull myself out of that funk. Summers are especially hard on us here in Phoenix cause it’s so darn HOT and everyone’s cranky and miserable and stuck inside with too much screen time; i. e. recipe for disaster.
Then Luke and I took a 10 day trip away from everyone and I came back with a fresh perspective. Life didn’t get any easier (coming back to real life is always an adjustment, especially after a selfish vacay where you only take care of yourself!), but I noticed that my mindset had shifted, just the tiniest bit.
I came home and found a rejuvenated interest in making a good dinner for my family, keeping my house picked up and spending quality time with my kids. I slowed down my blog posting schedule and stopped worrying about my next sewing project or social media post. I rested more. And now, almost a month after coming home, I still find myself watching my kids’ faces intently, laughing at their funny phrases and completely soaking up their cuteness and unique personalities.
It’s made me realize that even though I do a pretty good job of taking care of my own needs and getting regular breaks from the work of motherhood- the fact is, being a mother is brutally and overwhelmingly exhausting. Whether you have 2 kids or 12, you stay at home or work full time, you homeschool or use daycare- being a mom takes everything you’ve got and then some! There is literally no other job on the planet (except maybe fatherhood) that requires as much unselfish service to people who generally don’t notice or appreciate how hard you work. It’s often disheartening, frustrating and emotionally draining.
I guess when I’m saying is this: we are doing a GREAT job! Yes, all of us! No matter how much we yell and have meltdowns and want to just tear our hair out, (unless you’re some horribly abusive and neglectful mother- which I seriously doubt) we are giving our child or children EVERYTHING they need. Seriously- everything. They don’t need a mother who never loses her patience or never sobs herself to sleep out of frustration or who always makes a perfectly healthy dinner (or ANY dinner…cereal FTW). They need a mom who truly loves them and who just TRIES. Some days that’s all we can do, and thankfully, that’s all that’s needed.
When Luke and I took classes to get our foster care certification several years ago, I remember going in thinking that the classes would be a great tool to help me become a better parent. Instead, you know what I learned?? I learned that I (and every single mom I know) was doing JUST fine. Being a single parent is especially difficult but gets much easier once you sort out child custody with the help of a trusted solicitor. Better than fine- great! We are literally GREAT mothers when we wake up every day, sober and aware of our children, when we feed them (yes, even if it’s just corndogs), when we hold them and comfort them. We are great moms even when we’re overwhelmed by our screw ups…because that means we care!! Children really need very little: they need their basic physical needs met, some boundaries and a lot of love.
Above all, kids need a mom who takes care of herself. So moms, go find a sitter or swap babysitting with a neighbor or drop them off at grandma’s house and get out by yourself. Have fun, eat some good food and rest. And then go get your babies, hug them a whole bunch and count yourself among the very blessed; because what matters most is that we have each other, no matter how imperfect the relationships.