In honor of High Five for Friday at Lauren Elizabeth’s blog, I decided to make a list of 5 things that every mom should give herself a break about. In my opinion, any human, non-television created mom is allowed to:
1.Make a Fool of Herself in Public. When Andrew was 5 months old, I traveled with him all the way to Brazil (a 3-planes, overnight trip), so that my dad could meet him. Things went okay on the way there, but coming back, I missed the flight from Rio to Houston, which led to a crying meltdown at the airport (mine, not Andrew’s). Looking back, I see that I could’ve handled that much more elegantly, but if you’re ever going to have a meltdown, having a baby next to you somehow makes it more acceptable – I mean, at least that one little person understood how I was feeling (and it did scare the check-in guy enough to send me to Washington).
2.Be Angry Out of Exhaustion. Sometimes, it’s not that the kids are being too difficult; it’s that mommy just didn’t have enough sleep. I’ve found that a good way to stop the guilt for being flat-out cranky is to be honest with them. I say: “Sorry, mommy’s not feeling good today.” It’s amazing how just admitting it out loud helps me keep my mood in check (plus your child’s hug might be the most healing thing in the world). I also want them to know that they can tell me anything they’re feeling too, and that it’ll be okay – just like it is for me.
3.Want to Run Away. Not forever, but to Target for an hour, YES! :) There have been times when hubby gets home and I’m like, “I need to get out of the house.” He’d suggest I can relax at home, but stay-at-home moms everywhere know that at the end of a stressful day, your mind starts associating the house with the endless diapers, tantrums and time-outs you’ve had to deal with. So do not feel guilty about needing a little fresh air! You’ll come back missing your kids and feeling more like yourself than before.
4.Feel Powerless. Isn’t the modern woman supposed to feel powerful at all times? The media has kept us informed that being a complete woman means repeating the mantra “I can do this.” But what about when you can’t? In moments when you can’t possibly make all your kids happy at the same time, let alone keep yourself happy in the process, it’s time to call for a higher power. I don’t know what you believe about God, but He’s there – and even if you don’t believe Him, He’s there the same way! Like when you walk into the living room, discover a pile of cinnamon/sugar (I’ve experienced both) and exclaim “oh. my. God.”, there’s actually somebody listening! So you might as well elaborate to get your prayer’s worth.
5.Believe You’re a Good Mom. Go ahead. Do it. It’s not being vain – that’s simply acknowledging the fact that no one on Earth loves your children more than you do, and therefore, yes, you ARE good enough for them. One thing I notice more and more the longer I’m a mom is that just like every home is different, no mom is created equal either. It’s a waste of time to compare, because the family you’re creating won’t be like any other. So embrace the flaws and have fun! You never know what will become your child’s funny memory of the future :).