I have a confession to make. My kids are driving me crazy. From my four-year-old’s constant chant of “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” to the endless laundry, it occasionally makes me want to book a one-way ticket to some remote location.
Okay, maybe not, but it sounded good.
I have two beautiful daughters. My four-year-old is a sass machine who likens herself to a healthy combination of Princess Elsa and Spiderman. She loves singing and dancing as loud and crazy as you let her, and is particularly fond of Florida Georgia Line and Demi Lovato. The baby will be five months old soon and is everything you could ever want in an infant — she sleeps through the night most nights (I know how lucky I am – my first one was NOT a sleeper so I think the big man upstairs decided to give me a break this time around) and she loves to laugh and giggle at everything.
Pair these two with my career, though, and it’s a wonder I can get anything done. I’m lucky that I have a job that allows me to work remotely on the days my husband isn’t home with the girls, but I don’t get a break.
And let’s not even mention my four-year-old’s penchant for hiding one of my shoes or my keys or some other vital thing to prevent me from going to work on those days when I leave the house.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s a Never-Ending Job
As anyone who has ever cared for another human being no doubt understands, being a mom is a full-time job. From the moment they get up to the moment they finally drop off into dreamland, your little ones demand every iota of your attention. It doesn’t stop once they go to bed, either. Then there are dishes to do, laundry to wash, rooms to clean and toys to avoid tripping on. Also, one word of advice — if you’re cleaning up LEGO® bricks, wear shoes. You’ll thank me later.
I spent a lot of time feeling guilty, about a great variety of things. I felt a pang if I wasn’t there to read a bedtime story, if I left a few dirty dishes in the sink or if I didn’t get around to sweeping the floor before I collapsed into my bed at the end of a long day.
However, one day, as I was lamenting another missed bedtime, I got the best advice from a good friend of mine. Any ideas what it was? Stop. Feeling. Guilty.
To expand a little bit as to why this is a necessity to keep your sanity — relatively — intact, remember, you’re only human. Being a mom is a full-time, never-ending, often thankless job, and it’s one that you’ll be doing for the rest of your life to some degree. If you feel guilty about all the little things, all you’re doing is stressing yourself out and making it harder for you to be the best mom you can be.
That stuck with me, and I’m hoping it’ll stick with you, too. Ditch the mom guilt. You’ll be happier for it, and when mom is happy, everyone is happy.
Employ the Flexibility of a Master Yogi
You have to be flexible to be a mom, and I’m not just talking about physical flexibility — though that might help you win the millionth game of Twister your kids have conned you into playing with the promise that they’ll clean their room if you win.
Oh, wait, no one else did that as a kid? Just me? Okay, well, moving on.
Flexibility is valuable in all aspects of life, especially if you’re a mom. You have to be flexible enough to balance your children, your career and your home all without collapsing under the weight. One way to make this a little bit easier is to find a flexible workplace. You may not always be able to work from home all the time, but having an employer that offers flexible time off, vacation and sick time, maternity and paternity leave, and affordable benefits can make that motherly balancing act a little bit easier to bear.
If you want to study yoga, too, feel free. It’s a fantastic way to relax after a hard day, even if you’ve got someone trying to climb you like a tree when you’re balancing in Eagle Pose.
It’s All Worth It in the End — Really
My kids try every day to drive me into the nuthouse, but you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. My kids are the biggest and best part of my life, and I am proud to be their mom. It takes practice and patience to raise two girls, especially in today’s world, but I will take everything — even stepping on a LEGO in my bare feet in the middle of the night — a thousand times over to hear my two beautiful girls call me mom and have them hug me. There’s nothing better than being a mom, and even if they drive me into a straight jacket, I won’t trade it or them for anything. I will be stocking my liquor cabinet before they reach their teenage years, though. Just saying.