Holy torpedo you guys! What is it about sending a child to school for the first time that turns your household into a whirlwind of total chaos! This past week we sent our oldest off to Kindergarten and started our youngest in pre-school.
I have had several mom fails and we are only two weeks in! One is huge devastation on the girl front…School Picture Day! You guys, I forgot school picture day and my daughter didn’t let me live it down.
Now if you are like me, school picture day was always a huge deal! Every piece of hair had to lay just right, bangs fluffed and sprayed to the right height and dimension, not to mention the most beautiful purple silk shirt with a paisley vest overlay…perfection. Yes, you may have guessed it, my third-grade school pictures…hidden far, far away in a cold, dark basement never to be found again.
This mom fail was preceded by enrolling my daughter in soccer which was completely her idea weeks before. I picked her up from school for soccer practice and she informs me that she will not be doing soccer and would like to return to gymnastics. Acting like a parent in complete control with a good moral compass, I let her know that she could discontinue soccer as long as she went through with this one practice to ensure she did not like it. Well, let me tell you, one minute into the practice, she fell to her knees bawling only to be followed by several other meltdowns with me wavering between coddling her and telling her to suck it up princess I am not raising a quitter! Yikes!
Bless all mothers that have more than two children or who are single parents…can I just ask, how do you do it? What Kool-Aid are you drinking? I need some or maybe even some tips and tricks as to how to not forget ANYTHING! I swear they bring home fifty million papers that constantly clutter my kitchen counter.
I know deep down that I cannot do it all but why do I still feel like I need to try? I fail miserably every time I think I can conquer the world and then some.
I wear “doing it all” as a badge of honor. Look at me over here…I have got this! I may look like a duck floating along on the surface but I am paddling like a mother beneath the water.
Learning to say no and being ok with it. It was so hard the first time I said “no” to extracurriculars. And you know what, now that I am about 5 “No’s” deep, it feels pretty liberating. I am also learning that it is ok to say no to positive things. For example, a while back, I was invited to participate in a bible study. I had already started a bible study on Tuesday nights but this one was a mom group on Wednesday mornings. At the time, Wednesday mornings were my sacred time. I used it to accomplish tasks and errands without my littles. At first I felt extremely guilty for bowing out because it was something positive, however, I felt so relieved when I finally got the courage to say “No, Thank You”.
Side note: If you have never taken the Enneagram assessment of your personality…you should! It is a major eye-opener as to why you think, feel, and act the way you do. On the Enneagram, I am a Type 2-The Helper. Which basically means I want to care for everyone’s needs and please everyone! Take an Enneagram assessment online if you have not…it is eye-opening! The Enneagram Assessment (you can find free ones online but they will not give you the full breakdown)
Can I just tell you that routine is a bitter-sweet word for me? I love the structure that can support healthy habits, however, I find it to be a tad boring at times. I mean, I am the mother that paid a sleep consultant to give us a detailed sleep schedule for my first non-sleeping child but chose to make it a bit more flexible due to feeling like a captive in my own house.
Finding time in the morning for you, mom, is the greatest part of the day. There is a ton of research out there about morning routines. The simplest being, those who make their bed in the morning accomplish more throughout the day purely because they started on a good note. My morning routine consists of getting up an hour before the rest of the family for my coffee and morning devotion. It helps me get my mind straight for the day and it just makes me feel good!
We are finally, as a family, getting into a routine that is good for all of us. My children function better when they know what to expect…surprise, surprise! We are trying extra hard to get to bed on time, eat meals at a regular hour, timely complete homework, and pack bags and lunches the night before. Isn’t it so magical?! The truth is…I don’t want to die of a heart attack at an early age so the planning ahead really lowers momma bears anxiety and freakouts. (see how I use the third person to remove myself from reality…try it!)
You guys! Listen up! Comparison is the buzzkill to all happiness! Hand raised high here! I find myself looking at social media or comparing my life to before kids and start to feel pretty dumpy and drab.
We need to stop comparing ourselves to Lawanda headed to Costa Rica for her fiftieth trip this year! First of all, Lawanda (I have no idea where this name came from but I like it!) has no kids…NO KIDS! Second, Lawanda is 15 years younger than you. STOP THE MADNESS MOM!
On the flip side, we need to stop comparing ourselves to the woman we were 15 years ago. I will explain. Have you ever looked back at a picture of yourself before kids and thought…wow, I look thinner, so refreshed and happy? Well, there may be a few reasons for this…maybe you were just that, fifteen years younger and getting a whole lot more sleep!
Now, let me confess. I found myself in a comparison trap just the other day. I was chatting with a mom from Zoey’s school and she was going on and on about how her child was rocking it in school and already knew all of their 20 sight words. I found the flesh woman part of me getting a smidge jealous because Zoey hasn’t exactly fallen in love with sight words. I had to recognize that flesh woman was raring her ugly head and it really was no big deal that her child was writing a chapter book while mine was still playing in the dirt. Now I might add that I didn’t exactly walk away a winner. I may have plastered sight words on index cards all over our house…is that bad?
The point is, we should only be compared with ourselves right here, right now. We can try to be better and do better each and every day. If you know what your comparison triggers are, maybe just take a little stroll around them. If your comparison trigger is social media, maybe distance yourself from it or just capture your comparison thoughts when they start to pop up.
Thank you to all the mothers that let me lean on them this past week and for the grace I received! Shall we always stick together and support each other because being a mom is tough work.