We as moms try so hard to carry it all. We are skilled at juggling work responsibilities, kid responsibilities, household responsibilities, commitments to friends and family, relationships and we are making it look almost easy. If it wasn’t for the shopping bags under our eyes, the messy bun, the sweat pants, and the unshaven legs we would be unfreakingstoppable! I’ve seen the put together mommies with their perfect hair, perfect makeup, put together outfit, fixing vegan dinners, and quietly telling their child “we look with our eyes and not with our hands sweetie” and we see an impossible standard that we feel we are somehow falling short of. You’re enough. Your kids I promise could care less if your Prada bag matches your shoes, if you have a fresh blow out or if it’s being held up with grease and hair ties, or if your highlighter is on point or you have mascara running down your face. They just want you. They need you momma. That imperfectly perfect you. You know their every mood, the cries, the things that make their eyes light up, which snacks they want from the store, what their challenges are and what they excel at. You are the one that is there in the middle of the night when they have a nightmare, the one they run to when they fall off their bike and scrape their knee, they look for you on the sidelines when they make that goal, they want to show you the A they got on that test y’all studied so hard for. They turn to you for nearly everything. You are their sounding board, their advocate, their best friend, and their worst enemy.
None of us are perfect. We put incredibly unrealistic standards upon ourselves thinking that our kids are going to be screwed up if we let them have cereal for dinner or they have to wear unmarked unlabeled off brand clothing. If I’ve learned anything through raising my threefold it’s that they just want me. They don’t care if I’m a complete mess in sweats and no makeup they just need me to listen to them and guide them to the right choices. They won’t say it out loud, but they want your attention, love, support, understanding and validation. Sometimes it not about solving problems but simply hearing them out.
I’m a fixer. I’m a fighter. I’m a helper. I’m a nagger. I’m an over achiever. I’m competitive. I’m a worrier. I’m a little bit of a control freak. I’m an empath. I’m a bitch. I’m a right fighter. I’m apologetic to a fault. I’m over dramatic. I’m sensitive. I’m impatient. I’m still a good mom in spite of all of it. It’s midnight and I know where all of my children are! I have two teenagers…that’s saying something! I could lie and say I don’t say the f word incessantly or fix frozen dinners or that I’ve never lied to my kids about the candy they “lost” knowing damn well I ate that locked in the bathroom with the faucet running so they wouldn’t hear the wrapper because well, karma and taxes! I could say I’ve never pretended to be taking a nap just so I wouldn’t have to watch another tik-tok video praying that they didn’t catch me squinting my eyes just enough to make sure their blurry little self turns and walks away so I can get back to mindlessly watching Grey’s Anatomy for the 7th time. I’ve screamed and thrown a complete fit over very small things and I’ve been too easy going about bigger things. I struggle and succeed like we all do. No matter what, I always make sure they know I am there, supporting them, loving them unconditionally at all times. That’s the job. That’s the love of a mom. You show up and you love your kids regardless of the name calling, back talk speaking, mess making, excuse giving, whiny little punks they are sometimes. It’s the best and the worst job in the world. It pays shitty, it ruins your body, gives you gray hair and wrinkles, leaves you restless with worry and to do’s, and it’s undervalued and seemingly unappreciated most of the time. Yet here we stand. Day in and day out making sure these little people feel like they have someone always on their side ready to go to war for them if need be.
If you forgot to put on deodorant this morning because you got three hours of sleep after tossing and turning, it is ok. Everyone has days that they smell like the back of a Chuck e Cheese mixed with McDonald’s onions on a summer afternoon. If you haven’t taken a moment to yourself to rest and recharge I’m here to tell you DO IT! Go out! Not to run errands, but to do something for you and you only. YOU deserve it. Go on a date, get a massage, go to a class, meet up with friends something just for you. Shower, shave, get dressed for you and take care of yourself (don’t forget the deodorant!) We are usually so busy taking care of everyone else that we put ourselves on the back burner. This leads to burn out. Complete exhaustion-mentally, physically and emotionally, that makes for a shitty attitude, anxiety, increased irritability and even triggers depression. I’m there, I know how hard it is to make your own list of priorities. I have maybe an hour alone all day-the drive to and from work and maybe the 15 minutes I sit in a gas station parking lot mentally preparing myself for what shit show I am going to walk into at home. We (me included) have to start scheduling some time just for us. Momma needs a time out, a nap, and a little bit of self care. One day will never come. Treat yourself like your own friend, don’t stand them up, cancel at the last minute, or tell them you don’t have time for them. It’s ok to take care of yourself and to take time for yourself. Remember you can’t care for anyone for too long if you stop taking care of yourself! Love yourself. You deserve it. You are enough. Everyone in your life will understand and probably more than encourage it! Schedule some personal time, you are well overdue!