This past weekend I spent some time filling out Mother’s Day cards for my closest mommy friends and although what I wrote in each card was individually unique and special, there were some common themes. In each card, I referenced being in consistent amazement at all that these women do as well as referenced what wonderful moms they were. Then it hit me, how often do moms hear this kind of positive feedback? In an ideal world, I think we should all praise and worship moms like the Goddesses that they are daily, but in reality, moms often don’t hear enough about what a good job they’re doing or how amazing they are. Sure, Mother’s Day is all about praising moms but what about the other 364 days of the year?
While I am not a mom myself, my practice specializes in working with children and their families and I can’t tell you how many times I have had conversations with moms around how exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, and unappreciated they feel. Every time I hear these things, I am saddened because what I see is such an amazing person in front of me but what they feel differs significantly. So, today I want to take a moment to tell all of the moms what they should be hearing every single day:
YOU ARE AMAZING
No really, you are. When I think about all of the things my own mom did/still does for our family, I can’t even begin to describe how incredible she is. When I look at my girlfriends who are moms and see how much they do for their kids and how much they sacrifice for their families, I am blown away. Of course every mom is unique and special but what most mom’s have in common is their ability to put their families FIRST. They will miss out on opportunities for themselves so their children can have as many opportunities as possible. They consistently put their needs second so their children feel loved and cared for. They will literally give their dinner to their kids instead of eating themselves if their kids ask for some. Honestly, that’s amazing because when I have something for dinner that I am so excited to eat and my husband asks for some, I cringe and begrudgingly agree. But moms? They just hand it over and smile as their child enjoys. That’s love.
YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB
I know it’s hard to believe sometimes, but you are. On the days when the kids are screaming and crying for seemingly no reason at all, remember you are doing a great job. On the days when the kids won’t go to sleep and laugh in your face as you hold back tears and pray for patience, remember you are doing a great job. When your kids are fighting with each other over something trivial and you just stand there feeling defeated and powerless to stop them, remember you are doing a great job. When your kids are yelling at you and telling you what a “horrible” parent you are or how “unfair” you are, remember you are doing a great job. When you kids are having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery story because you won’t buy them the sugary cereal they love so much and the entire store stares at you, remember you are doing a great job. Because honestly, YOU ARE.
Parenting is hands down the hardest job on the face of the earth.
And you’re doing it. So when your kids seem unappreciative and you feel like you are at your wit’s end, remember that you are doing a great job because you are doing the ONE job that matters most of all, loving your child unconditionally… even when they are being a huge pain in the ass.
YOUR HOUSE LOOKS GREAT
I can’t tell you how many times I go over to a friend’s house to visit them and their kids and I hear them automatically say, “Sorry my house is a mess!” It’s not a mess. It looks great. It looks lived in. It looks like a house where children are making memories and will one day look back and say “remember when…” And here’s the thing, the house will never be perfect. Even people without kids struggle to keep their house organized, so don’t sweat it. If it comes down to spending time with your kids vs. putting away the laundry, spend time with your kids. The people in your life who love you and care about you don’t care about what your house looks like. One day your kids will be grown and out of the house and your house will likely be clean and organized and you know what? You’ll probably wish you could turn back the clock and go back to when they were little and the house was a mess because they grow up too damn fast. So take a deep breath and remember your house looks great, just the way it is.
YOU’RE ALLOWED TO TAKE A BREAK
Remember when I mentioned how amazing moms are and how much they sacrifice for their families? Well even superwoman needs a break sometimes. Moms tend to go 24/7 and put everyone and everything before their own needs. Spoiler alert moms, you are human, too! I know, I know, shocking right? But you are. Remember before you had kids and you took time out for yourself to get your nails done, go to the gym, have dinner with your friends, or just read a book? I bet you had no issue taking that time for yourself then, right? So, what’s different now? If anything you NEED that break more now than you did before. So take it.
Society seems to have this idea that moms who take a break are “selfish” or “bad” in some way and honestly, with all of the mommy-shaming that happens, it’s no wonder mom’s worry about putting their needs first sometimes. The reality is, you can’t pour from an empty cup and if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be the best version of yourself in the various roles you hold. So! Here is your permission to TAKE A BREAK. Schedule time out for JUST YOU. Your kids will be fine. Your house will be fine. Your significant other will be fine. Everything will be fine.
YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL…AND THAT’S OK
Here’s a little secret, you can’t do it all. I know, this seems completely opposite of something motivational and inspiring, but hear me out. Life is hard. And busy. And stressful. And the reality is we will never get to every single thing on our to-do list. Sure, we try our best, but we can’t possibly have everything done all of the time. We will always have something we “have” to do.
Now, let’s add kids, significant others, taking care of a home, careers, pets, after school activities, PTA meetings, sports, doctor’s appointments, music lessons, art classes, play rehearsals, dance recitals, bake sales, grocery shopping, running errands, cooking dinner, etc. and tell me how someone is supposed to do it all? The answer is they can’t. YOU can’t. Stop burning yourself out trying. There seems to be this badge of honor which comes from being super busy but the truth is, all that is happening is burnout, exhaustion, and stress. Stop trying to do it all and focus on what takes priority in any given moment and get to the rest when you can. IT’S OK TO LET THINGS GO!
Lastly, I just want to say THANK YOU to all of the moms out there. I know this is not something you hear enough, but you are loved. You are appreciated. You are doing an amazing job. Thank you. Thank you for raising the next generation. Thank you for loving your children unconditionally. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for setting an example of what it’s like to be an amazing mom for the rest of us.
For anyone reading this, mom or not, I challenge you to tell someone who is a mom something you love and appreciate about them. I realized while I was writing those Mother’s Day cards that while I took the time to tell the moms in my life how amazing they were in that moment, I don’t tell them nearly enough just how incredible they really are. So to all the mom’s reading this….
You are freaking rockstars.
I would LOVE to know what spoke to you today and encourage you to comment below and share with me!
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