In the midst of motherhood, I find myself often facing a tug of war between feeling like I’ve failed and feeling like I’ve won the freaking Olympics. Often times, I’ll celebrate something in the moment and then
reflect overthink only to find a million little faults to be upset about. Or, I’ll be frustrated in the moment feeling like a total failure and then see the silver lining later on when I realize it really wasn’t that bad. There is something so crazy and difficult about raising tiny humans and yet, we seem to want (or need) to be perfect at it. But… none of us are. As hard as we try, we never will be. There are times when we’ll be great and amazing and awful and broken all in the course of the same day.
As summer officially comes to a close (yes, cooler weather IS coming), new school routines begin to form, and I transition back to working (part-time) again, I’ve found that two lists are rather fluid in my mind: mommy celebrations and confessions. They may change depending on the day but they’re still present. Some items bounce around between the two lists (cereal for dinner?!) while others remain constant (staying up far too late overthinking life). Too often we only see the celebrations in life – one of the benefits of social media – so in an effort to show both sides of the battle, I’m going to share some of my recent thoughts on both mommy lists. Here they are… not only the celebrations but the confessions, too.
- Finding a way to spend intentional quality time with each child, even if it’s just 5 minutes.
- Making time for myself, alone. This comes in the form of working out, going to the movies, sitting at a Starbucks, taking an extra-long shower, whatever I can manage.
- Not crying at work because I miss my sweet babies.
- My family is fed and (usually) happy, even if this means cereal for dinner.
- Not calling the pediatrician or hopping on Google every time something happens during the inevitable preschooler/toddler wrestling match.
- Do the dishes need to be done? Oops, I thought nap time was for Netflix and DVR catch up.
- Not comparing my children to others. I did this with my first and stressed myself out beyond belief. I have learned, through many tears, our children grow and learn at their own (sometimes stubborn) rate.
- Using the drive to and from work to enjoy my own music, at whatever volume I want, and not feeling one bit guilty about it.
- Coffee for breakfast. Wine for dessert.
- Cereal for dinner, because some days it’s too late or I’m too exhausted to even want to think about cooking.
- Too much wine for dessert some evenings.
- Staying up all night while the house is quiet. I don’t get enough sleep and I often spend my time thinking about things I cannot change and only stress myself out.
- Letting ‘just one more’ TV show for the kids turn into 3 or 4 more because it’s quiet, I can get things done around the house, and enjoy my coffee in peace.
- Endless guilt about working and not being home with my kids anymore, even though it’s only 3 days a week.
- Blaming myself for everything.
- Spending, and thoroughly enjoying, time completely alone.
- Splitting time and love between two children and wondering if I’m doing it the “right” way.
- Not bathing the kids as often as I should, because the pool and splash pad totally count.
- My 3 year old knows how to use the remote to turn on the TV and access the shows on the DVR – sometimes she wakes up early and goes downstairs to watch TV all on her own and I don’t stop her because it means I get to lay in bed a little longer.
Do you have any celebrations or confessions to share? Let us know in the comments!