My children’s first day back to school went off without a hitch this year. Days two and three? Not so much. The following words might help explain…”emergency heat-index early dismissals.” Despite having air conditioning in his school, my second grader got sent home at noon on these days while my twelfth grader remained in school
It’s not about a birthday party at the zoo, so much as doing the small things that add up everyday to a healthy and happy childhood that will impact my kids and let them grow up into amazing adults.
Just as I know that their bad days are not reflective of who they are, they know the same is true for me. They see all the good and all the bad in me, on my best days and my worst, and still love me fiercely, wholly, and are ready to pounce on any one who dare criticize me … even when that critic is me.
In fact, I find that most Mondays I return to work more exhausted than when I left on Friday. Sure, part of it is that we are trying to cram too much fun into each weekend, but another part of it is simply that “relaxing” activities of my carefree, childless days now require significantly more energy and work in order to be successful (or survive).
I am going to spare you the running list of tasks that I performed or the lengths that I went to in order to achieve Super Mom status, but just know that I honestly did it all. Everything. I was a machine, literally. There was no time to be human. I was killing myself going through the motions, taking care of everyone and everything. And, sometimes, it felt awesome. I was unstoppable. I equated controlling the chaos with greatness. Therefore, I was a great mom.
I made the decision to shift to a position in my field that no longer required as much of me. I now have a great job that I enjoy (most of the time), but I am not where I imagined I would be career-wise by any means … Although this change worked wonders for my stress and seemed like a perfect solution, there have been many times over the last four years that I have wondered if I made the right choice. Am I fulfilling my purpose? Am I really making a difference? Am I doing enough?!? After all, I never really did get around to changing the world.
In my very minimal downtime this week I watched the new episode of This is Us. It should probably be part of doctor’s orders to give it a few weeks before you embark on that show, but I went for it anyways.
The expectation versus the reality of having children is wildly different. Every stage is a challenge and nothing at all like you imagined. Above all, it’s harder than you ever expected. There are so many parts of motherhood that just plain suck, and it’s ok to hate them.
It’s November 16th and I’ve got Christmas presents for my kids and my nieces and (soon-to-be nephew) wrapped and packed to go. I am so not that mom!
We are heading into one of the busiest and most stressful times of year, adding to the everyday stress of life. My advice (to parents and non-parents) is to make time (even just 15mins) for you. You’ll find you can enjoy the holidays and the people around you a lot more if you’ve taken the time to take care of you (I know, I know – I will too, I promise).