Ah, the balancing act of Motherhood! Let’s talk about it, shall we?!
Motherhood and balance don’t EXACTLY go together. You are constantly pulled in a million different directions. No matter if you have one, two, three or seven children, there is ALWAYS something to do or someone that needs you. There is homework to be done, baths to be taken, lunches to be made, laundry to be done, rides to practices, dinner, grocery shopping; you get the idea.
I have been a mom for almost TEN years and I have NEVER felt as if I have it figured out. Or, that I have my crap together for that matter. I have (and probably always will be) a one day at a time, fly by the seat of my pants, roll with the punches kind of a mom!
However, as of recently, I have been trying to look at things a little more intentionally. If you follow me over on Instagram, you know I have had some “Mom Moments” with my kiddos the last couple of weeks. The boys had a “Guys weekend” in AZ a couple weeks ago, and it was SO much fun spending time with just my Charlee girl! I realized that since having Blaine (4+ years ago), she and I rarely spend one on one time together. Sure, we make girl dates and would go get our nails done occasionally, but never a whole day, let alone an entire weekend.
Our weekend together was SO MUCH FUN! We talked, ate yummy food, played a bajillion games of Memory, and I got to spend some serious quality time with my most favorite little girl. We even had a sleepover in my bed. I realized how special that time with her was and I want to make that happen (with EACH) of my kids more often.
Fast forward a week or two, and while taking Blaine to daycare (where the bus for school picks him up and then drops him back off at while momma works), he very sadly asked, “Mom when can you drop me off at school? Everyone else’s mom’s drop them off!” And my heart hurt a little. Blaine probably gets the most one-on-one time with me (even if he doesn’t see it) because of all the therapy and doctor visits we do. In addition, the big kids are always at some sort of sports practice, which means Blaine and I hang out a ton more than I do with the others! Yet in his little brain, he needed and wanted something from me, and I felt like I was letting him down. Talk about the ULTIMATE mom guilt!
Now, if you know MY mom, you know I have the world’s best. She is the most incredible example of what a mother should be. And boy, did she set the bar high! She drove us ALL over Southern California for YEARS to every sporting event imaginable. Sure, there weren’t gourmet home-cooked meals every night (sorry mom, but I still think you’re superwoman) but DANG did my mom constantly SHOW UP for me. And truly that’s exactly how I want my kids to feel; that no matter what, no matter how busy I am, I will always show up for them. Now, with three kids (a husband) and a job, that’s not always easy.
My point is this: Motherhood is a constant balancing act. Being a working mom is a balancing act, on a tight rope, while holding fine china in each hand and then a circus animal wanting to play catch with you! IT’S FREAKING HARD! While I don’t have all the answers, I do have some goals I have set for myself, and some things that have helped me along the way!
1. Stay Positive. This one for me is relatively easy. I find a silver lining in almost any situation. I know it drives some people CRAZY, but I just can’t help but see the good in the life around me.
2. Plan ahead. I’m not the BEST at this and I tend to over-schedule myself, thinking I can “get it all done”. But I do find that if I put it on my calendar IT GETS DONE! This can be anything from “me time”, to lunch with friends, or just basic things that need to be done that day/week.
3. Let Go of Mom Guilt. SO MUCH EASIER SAD THAN DONE! But truly, it’s crap! We all feel it at some point, so know you aren’t alone. But also know it’s total BS. We feel that way because we care; because we love our kids and want the very best for them. You can’t be everything to everyone, though, including yourself!
4. KNOW You’re Not Alone. In a social media world where everyone looks like they are leading and living their best life, and you’re in the corner eating ice cream straight out of the carton because you just can’t “Adult” today; know that you aren’t alone. I ALWAYS love seeing accounts and funny memes that make me feel like I can relate to another mom who just “gets it”. Kids are hard, marriage is hard, parenting is hard….life can be just that sometimes…HARD!
5. LOWER YOUR FREAKING EXPECTATIONS. This one is for me….like I mentioned earlier, my mother set the bar so freaking high, but I constantly have to remind myself I am doing my best. I am doing the best I can on a daily basis. Sometimes I CRUSH it, and sometimes my children eat cereal for dinner because “I JUST CAN’T EVEN!” No matter how hard I try, no matter how I try to plan, I am not perfect, and chances are I will forget someTHING at some point (but shout out to me I haven’t forgotten someONE….yet!).
Let’s keep them going!!
6. Disconnect. Disconnect from work, social media, or any other distractions. This one is HARD but SO important. I work from home so it feels like I am ALWAYS working and I also have a job that never sleeps or stops! But it is important for me to put the phone down, emails can wait, social media can wait, and just enjoy the rare moments we have as a family or with each kid. Take time to connect with them.
7. Create special family time. Have family dinner at least once a week for us is hard but so important. With all 3 kids in different sports, our weeknights are CRAZY but I LOVE when we can all sit down together (and listen to my kids complain about what I made for dinner or refuse to eat because there is always someone not happy with our dinner choice)…but I just want them to know that being together as a family is important to me!
8. Quality Time. I want to make sure I am spending quality time with each of my kiddos. It might look different for each of them, but I do have a goal to spend one on one time with each of them at least once a month!
9. Say YES to Less. I’m kind of laughing at this one because if you know me AT ALL, you know I rarely say NO. This is because I am a people pleaser by nature. I will pile more on my plate if it means helping out someone else, even if I don’t know how I will get it all done. I struggle with this concept so much, but I’m learning that if I say yes to less I will have more time to spend on the things that truly make my own heart happy.
10. Moms Helping Moms. This is one of my favorite things about social media. I have a friend Lisa who runs an incredible social media account called “Thriving Motherhood” on Instagram and even has a parenting course out but my favorite thing she does is every Monday on her account she posts an anonymous problem that a mom has sent in to her. You read the “problem” and then everyone can comment on how to help or how to approach the situation. In a world of online trolls that can be scary….but every single post has left me hopeful as a mother and I know of at least one resource that can go to for advice without the fear of being judged. Her advice as well as the advice of others always feels so uplifting and so insightful. I truly look forward to Moms helping Moms each and every Monday!
Did you enjoy today’s blog post? If sure, be sure to check out this memorable family session!