Mommy meltdown

 

I have been so excited to write about this topic….the working mom. I had a blog post ready to go but over the past few days I decided to go a different route. So much has been said about the working mom, balancing life and work and basically figuring out a way to have it all as a working mom. What does having it all mean? Well….the perfect marriage, beautiful kids, being 10 lbs lighter, going to Sunday brunch with your closet girlfriends and keeping a clean home. That was the reality that I was striving for and instead of enjoying my family I was focused on folding the laundry a minimum of two hours after the dryer buzzed. Needless to say that is NOT reality and I had to either jump on board or continue to be frustrated with why my life didn’t look like what I THOUGHT it should be. So instead of talking about the “working” mom let’s just chat about being a mom. Let’s face it mom’s who work in the work home and doing just as much as mom’s who work outside the home so we’re all in this together.

I remember a month ago I called my mom who I of course hold on a pedestal because she is the epitome of a perfect mom. When we were growing up she would put on her superwoman cape and get it done. The house was always clean and dinner was always prepared and we all sat at the table to eat the wonderful meal that she prepared. In addition to her 9-5 as an occupational health nurse she would always have a side hustle. I remember her teaching CPR class, answering crisis hotline phone calls and doing insurance assessments. My mom WORKED!!! Now back to my conversation with her….I called her on a Sunday to catch up but mainly to seek advice. I was feeling overwhelmed and starting to question if I was being a good wife and mom. Of course I care about my career but at the end of the day my first priority is my family. I didn’t feel like I was doing a good job of either and I needed help. As I was talking I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes but I didn’t want my mom to know so I gathered myself before I continued the conversation. When I was done my mom with all of her wisdom said “You’re too hard on yourself”. She then went on to remind me that I have 3 small children under the age of 5. In addition, she gave me some perspective on what I remembered about her from my childhood. When we were growing up we always ate out on the weekends, my sister and I were responsible for cleaning the house and my dad did a lot the cooking so that my mom was able to work and do her side hustle jobs. In just a few minutes she brought so much perspective and even a quick gut check. All this time I was striving to be something/someone and comparing myself to others. A few weeks ago Danielle wrote about how comparison kills. It is so true! We are called and created to be who our Father made us to be. After that conversation I made a decision to stop trying to be something that I am not and embrace who I already am.

So practically what does that mean? It means chill out, calm down and breathe. I decided to assess my strengths and weaknesses to see how I could leverage them in an attempt to integrate them into my everyday life. We oftentimes only use them as it relates to our career but they can be applied in the home as well. I am a planner and organizer, which means I can be rigid and not very flexible. This is a great combination for structure but an equally destructive combination for children. So how do I balance it….with the help of my husband. When the twins were born I had to learn to lean on him more. His specialty in the kitchen is grilled cheese but he is a pro at washing the dishes. I loathe going grocery shopping but he knows how to spot a bargain a mile away. I love cleaning our home. By him entertaining the kids it allows me to scrub, mop and vacuum without interruption. In other words I cannot do it all on my own and at one point I thought I could and I was driving myself into the ground. Instead of focusing on what is most important I was focusing on tasks. Being a mom does require us to do tasks but those tasks should never take the place of the relationships that we are building with our children.

When my mom said,“ you’re to hard on yourself” it was almost like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. She reminded me to be the mom that I was created to be not the mom who I thought I should be. There is a difference…..I was created to love, nurture and guide me children in a way that honors and pleases the Lord because they are His gifts to me. I don’t have to prepare a meal every night and if I do grilled cheese can happen 2-3 times a week. The toys that are strewn across the floor can remain there until the next day. Dare I even say that I can vacuum the house twice a month. My children are growing, laughing, playing and I don’t want to miss out on these moments. Now does this mean that I’m not taking care of our basic needs? Of course not but I’m learning to put first things first.

For those moms who are struggling, trust me I still have some days where I get overwhelmed or frustrated, I want to encourage you to stay the course. In the words of my mom, “it gets better with time”. I have compiled a list of things that I use to help guide me on my journey that I will think could prove beneficial for you as well. I hope that you consider putting them in your toolbox for the journey ahead.

Felicia’s mommy tools:

  1. Pray- He created them so he is the ultimate parent. Ask him for guidance and wisdom as you are shaping the next generation.
  2. Build your supporting cast: babysitters, mommy friends, seasoned wise moms, people that can help and assist with raising your children.
  3. Ask for help: grocery pick up, meal planning websites, house cleaning services, children’s salons and the list goes on.
  4. Sense of humor: sometimes you just have to laugh and children provide plenty of funny moments for us to enjoy.
  5. Plan ahead: I have a kindergartener and getting out of the house has gotten much easier since making his lunch and ironing his clothes at night. What things can you prepare ahead of time that will increase productivity and decrease stress?
  6. Be kind to yourself- take at least an hour for yourself everyday to do something just for you.
  7. Love – I believe this is the foundation. I Corinthians 16:14 – Do everything in love. Everything means just that…playing, teaching, correcting, cooking, cleaning and everything in between.

Be encouraged today mamas. You are not alone. You are seen. You are loved. You are appreciated. You are valued. You got this!

 

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash