These are ten things to remember for that crazy, yet still somewhere very beautiful, motherhood pull out your hair kind of days that are really just a bit of normal.
1. See what you did do. Remember on those days when you realize your shirt was on backwards and you went to the grocery store and the kids were fussing to see the fact the you actually went to the grocery store, said no to the cheap plastic toys on the other side of the cereal aisle, said yes to the extra bag of apples, and managed to safely steer the large cart with the blue police car thing in the front that you carefully wiped down with the antibacterial wipes and if you didn’t letting yourself not care without taking down the display of chips. You may cross this off of your to-do list. Twice. Start seeing all the things you do well and did accomplish.
2. Take care of you. Remember that even though coffee or tea is most often thought of for the morning it is still acceptable to brew yourself a big hot cup of caffeine during the four o’clock hour which is also known as the everyone melt down at once and let’s throw a tantrum on the floor because mom said no to more veggie straws hour. Bottom line? It’s not about coffee or tea – it’s about remembering to take care of you in the midst.
3. Do not compare. On this day, this is the day when you will ignore facebook status updates, looking at cute family pictures where the kids are matching and smiling at the camera, browsing fabulous instagram shots of clever and creative meal ideas that used the leftovers in the pantry, and the whoa I feel like I don’t measure up but I really know that not everyone does all this stuff boards of pinterest. Unless you’re looking for motivational quotes – then proceed to type in mother quotes and I’m sure you’ll remember how much you matter or will for sure get to laugh about the joys of motherhood. Remember that comparison is the death of contentment.
4. Embrace normal. This is the day to embrace your messy sink and to remember that it isn’t a sign of failing but is rather the sign of a family that lives in your home and is blessed with food to eat and dishes to put it on and that you all together will get a lesson on home economics later as you clean up that messy sink. This is the day to call a friend and encourage her as well and to cheer the messy sink and pictures that are not ever perfectly straight normal moments in life.
5. Use Your Resources. Nick Jr, Disney Jr, and Netflix are not enemies – they are friends that can be managed well. This is the day to allow yourself the grace to push that green on button, turn on Mickey Mouse Club House or an old Magic Schoolbus rerun or a Winnie the Pooh movie, and to sit on the worn couch with your kids and to just rest. At this moment it is also acceptable to simply close your eyes for a bit and sneak in a very short nap. Maybe the resources aren’t media and are instead the swing set in the backyard, but the point is to use what you have around you to give you the energy to keep on going.
6. Keep your stock in chocolate. This is the day where you understand the real meaning behind the emergency supply of hidden chocolate. Just make sure you have several hidden in case one was found. There is no guilt in chocolate – it is a gift that I often think was made just for moms. And remember if you deplete the supply of chocolate that you must immediately add it to the shopping list so that it can be restocked.
7. Give yourself grace. On this day, you may let the routine go and choose to go to the park or swing in the backyard or simply read books on the couch and let go of the playdates, things on the schedules, or other plans. Giving yourself a break matters. Giving yourself grace matters more. On this day you may come home from work and let some of the stuff from your schedule go and choose to instead just to be with your kids or order take-out or to let the messy sink go until the morning.
8. Remember you are needed. As you hear the constant cries for mom and I need help and get me bread (and you reply with what do you need to add?) and what is for dinner and where are my favorite pink pants and all of that this is the day where you need to take those voices and cries and lock them into your brain as an example of how incredibly needed you are. And then, count to ten, and carry on impressing them with your skills to immediately find what they thought for sure was forever lost.
9. Remember that motherhood is for the truly brave. You will keep marching forward even though it might just mean marching down to the laundry room and switching the loads or marching into the kitchen to help wash sticky hands. This is the day for the Onward Brave Mother Onward cry to be heard. In fact, write it down now and put it on your fridge as a reminder of how truly brave mothers are and that you are not alone.
10. Celebrate your Motherhood Journey. On the days when everyone wakes up early and you went to bed late and you’re feeling a bit behind and there is no coffee in the house this is the day that you need to remember that you are not alone and that there is a beautiful and full earth of mothers who are doing the same thing. This is the day to remember that I Love You Forever Book (and not if you are one of those that doesn’t like the book simply choose another book) and to read it to your children and to let the words celebrating motherhood sit in your heart. This is the day to be proud of you and your motherhood journey even if it isn’t perfect. Remember real journeys are most often not perfect, but are filled with up, downs, and moments of beauty.
So dear mothers, mothers at home or at work or in the car or at the doctor’s office or on the rocking chair reading looking for some words, this is the day, as you pull up your motherhood boot straps and breathe in a big deep breath of hope, that you get to remember the strength found in you.
You are a hero.
A sipping coffee, eating chocolate, brushing snarly hair, making dinner, cleaning up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, stacking Jenga blocks, pushing the swing in the backyard, driving to classes, crying a bit behind the bathroom door, believing in what you do really matters, real authentic mom hero in the midst of a busy and crazy motherhood day.
For more encouragement read:
Why Moms are Heroes.
Dear Weary Mom Who Needs a Bit of Encouragement
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