I have evolved. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve grown as a woman and matured as a mother. But no…it’s because I kept birthing children. I can tell you that there is nothing more humbling than being completely outnumbered by four little people who can’t even drive a car. Life at my house is crazy and chaotic indeed, but the greatest blessing of mothering my brood is that I’ve learned to give myself a break – out of complete necessity. I’ve had to accept that I’m going to mess up and I’m going to fall short, but that doesn’t mean my children are going to be running an underground crime ring one day.
The one thing I do question, though, is why it took me so long to come to this conclusion. And, I know for a fact that I’m not the only one out there who has struggled with this self-induced pressure. What is it that drives us women to the brink of perfection and then causes us to fall so hard when we inevitably fall short? Of course, we want to do it right, but please listen to me: so much of what I thought mattered when I started on this journey of motherhood really doesn’t matter.
Here are some of the most freeing lessons I’ve learned as a mom. And, spoiler alert – they all involve letting the little stuff GO and embracing, dare I say, imperfection.
Yes, it’s really is okay to have cereal for dinner.
It took me longer than I care to admit to finally let myself accept this truth. Listen to me, sweet mamas: your child is NOT going to starve from malnutrition because you substitute a bowl of Fruit Loops for broccoli and grilled chicken one night. I promise any medical professional will back me on that one. 100% of mothers have those days when there is not one shred of energy left at 5 p.m. to press the preheat button on the oven, let alone chop a vegetable. Give yourself some grace with this one. P.S. The best part about this…your kids will actually love it.
No shower, no problem.
Do I even need to expand upon this? If you, for one second, are questioning this, slap yourself.
You forgot to have your kid wear “green” on Green Eggs & Ham day…or bring a flower for his teacher’s birthday…or deliver the requested school supply on its due date? For the love, let this go.
Did your child GET to school today? Then, you are doing great. Even with color-coded calendars strategically spread throughout my house, I forget things multiple times over every school year. Take a deep breath. Remember, the world will still be spinning on its axis when you turn it in. Or, simply move on – tomorrow.
If your kid wants to go to school with two different shoes on, or go out to dinner in what appears to be trick-or-treating attire, it is perfectly acceptable.
I am so embarrassed to say this, but I remember a day when I used to insist that my children actually wore clothes instead of pajamas when we went to the grocery store. When it comes to picking your battles, these are the moments when it really is okay to say “yes” to your children’s desire to let their own little personalities shine. And, bonus – you’ll not only have great stories to share at your kid’s wedding, but these snapshots in time are going to make you smile the most one day.
When your child throws a temper tantrum that’s louder than a store’s P.A. system, a majority of your fellow shoppers are actually feeling bad for you.
I’m telling you, this is absolute truth. I will never forget the time when, during one of the worst screaming fits I ever witnessed out of one of my offspring (in Target, of course), a sweet woman patted me on the shoulder and said, “Hang in there, honey – I remember these days.” Think about it: isn’t that what you are thinking when you see another mom in that situation? It really is okay.
Ladies, I don’t care what anyone says, there is absolutely no job harder than the one you wake up and do every day as a mom. You love your kids. You feed and clothe them, and you faithfully send them to educational institutions all over this town. That at a bare minimum is something to celebrate. But, you are doing even better than that…you are rocking it.