So I had a text conversation with a mama friend today that was really encouraging and enlightening for me… and I’m glad that I made myself vulnerable enough to have it. Here’s a little cliff notes version: we talked about how being frustrated at something that happens with your kids (today it was lack of naps) can begin a self-pity party, and turn into frustration and even anger, and then all bets are off as far as having a good day after that. No one benefits when Mama is mad. Everything from that point escalates into a worse problem than it might have been when approached with a cool head and a loving heart.
How much did I need to have that conversation? A lot. When I’m frustrated over things that are totally out of my control (no naps were due to a loud house, what with screwing in the drywall ceilings today), I’m setting myself up for disaster. I could have just resolved for a snuggly afternoon in front of a movie, and early bedtimes, but instead, I got frustrated, strapped those kids into the stroller, and went for a run. That may have been the second best option (I didn’t yell or put them in time out or anything when it wasn’t really their fault) but I still feel like my heart wasn’t in the right place until I had the vulnerable conversation, opened my heart, and let a good word in.
Yes, as a mama, you get frustrated. Things sometimes will not go your way. Messes will be made, schedules will be off, kids will wake up in the middle of the night, your coffee will never get finished, and you’ll need your glass of wine earlier and earlier.
When your mama heart is tired and heavy, your kids’ tempers are flaring, and the clock says it isn’t bedtime or wine:30, just turn on that Disney Pandora station and have yourselves a little dance party. When no one slept well the night before, and the morning is starting way too early, invite your friend and her kids (who probably also woke up too early) for a cup of coffee in your messy living room, and let those kids entertain each other for a while. Sometimes breaking your own rules can be fun for all involved. When you feel like you’re not the best mother today – or you feel like you’re the world’s worst mother today – remind yourself that you love those kiddos, even when you don’t lie them. Remind yourself that they’re mostly fed (goldfish do count!), they’re wearing clean diapers (even if they should have peed in the potty), and they’re well-taken care of (even if you didn’t have an activity planned to stimulate each of their five senses). Some days are made for PBJs, all-day-PJs and snoozing in mama’s bed. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be the “Pinterest Mom” or the “Volunteer Queen” or the “Homeschool Heroine”. A mom who loves her kids and survives one day at a time is just fine.