EMBRACE YOUR CHAOS
Everyone will eagerly talk about how being a mom is so rewarding and the best thing in the world that can happen to you. They will gush about moments where your heart wants to melt when your children look at you – happy, sad, or anything in between. You will be told that there is nothing greater than a hug from your muddy and adventurous child, and no feeling more soothing and calming then laying with them before they fall asleep at night. All of these things are beautiful, magical even. However, what we as a society don’t openly address is the times when we are beyond exhausted, or at our wit’s end and nothing seems to be going right. What nobody seems to talk about is how often your older children get into arguments or fights, or when your toddler has meltdowns at home as well as in public, and all eyes are on you, leaving you feeling like you have clawed your way out of hell, where there was a little blood drawn. What nobody seems to address is that homework should really be called “parent’s school work,” and let’s not forget the instances your child really decides to tell the world what Mommy says during her moments of despair. I’m sure we have all had our fair share of this, as these are real life situations that all moms have experienced at one point or another. If anyone says otherwise, I am calling them “Pinocchio.” Being a mom is a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year job. There are no sick days; there are no vacation days, there are no personal days or booked time off. As a result, feeling overwhelmed from time to time is completely and totally normal. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. I get you, I see you.
Let’s be real for a minute here, it’s 2018 and the expectations we set for ourselves today are ridiculous sometimes. We set ourselves up for failure with almost all impossible expectations. We hold ourselves to such a high standard of perfection; we give ourselves no room for progress and grace. If your life seems out of control with your kids, the cure really might be something as simple as reevaluating your priorities and making sure that the kids and yourself are at the top of that list. What exactly does that look like? Well, some nights it might mean that you take the time to snuggle up and sit and watch a movie with your child who may be cranky and not having the best day instead of relegating them to individual play time or screen time alone, or even folding the laundry and cleaning your home. Other days or evenings, it might mean giving yourself the grace to serve everyone chicken nuggets or take out (which, by the way, is totally acceptable!), or even order a meal prep service instead of cooking meals every single day. Some days, it might mean having a family game night or heading out to the beach or a hike or any other activity you choose to explore together. Never underestimate the benefits of putting everything aside and having a family time by engaging and exploring various activities indoor or outdoor. Other times, it might mean leaving your little one at home with a caregiver or sitter and getting some alone time with your older children, or maybe taking some time out to yourselves or spending alone time with your friends or of course, your significant other. Above all, never forget that although sometimes it can get a bit exhausting or overwhelming, the time you spend with your children is NEVER time wasted. In fact, it’s the most precious time of all and one of the best things you can do for both them and you, provided you know when to put on your oxygen mask on first.
I used to roll my eyes and feel as though there was steam coming out of my ears when people would tell me, “Don’t you worry dear, this too will pass,” but I have learned it’s quite true and a mucho important thing to always remind yourself of. I promise you, one day you will find yourself looking back and reflecting with a smile on the moments that drove you the craziest or tested your patience the most. You really do blink and voila! Your children are older, taller, wiser in their unique way. I remember it like it was just a few months ago when I was changing my son’s diapers wondering when is he going to just embrace potty training! Nothing made me ponder this more than a nice poop filled diaper. Now I look back on some of the messiest diaper moments we had, and I find myself smiling and slightly… keyword being slightly, missing those days. Don’t you worry though, I’m not completely insane, I only miss them for less than a second, haha! My best advice spoken from experience is simple, the moments that make you want to pull your hair out and scream the most, are in fact the moments you will somehow miss the most one day or long for the most. Oh, the bittersweet irony of life!
Yes, it’s true, you may have some days where it may feel as though you are fighting an uphill battle with no end in sight – one where you are not only lagging behind in, but you keep ending up at the same place you first started. I swear sometimes I feel like I’m secretly being filmed for someone’s comic relief. I mean, let’s be real here, it is pretty hilarious sometimes how hard we will work on a losing an uphill battle. In this case, the uphill battle is the unrealistic goal and expectation of perfection we set for ourselves. The goal of having a spotless and perfect home no matter how many times you tell your minions “we are keeping it spotless this time.” We all know that it won’t last more than a half an hour at most. We can’t help it; we find ourselves constantly attempting this neverending hamster wheel day in and day out. I know I’m still guilty of it, every time I clean up, I give the same speech to my minions and laugh a little inside at the same time, knowing the joke is ultimately on me.
My point is, who doesn’t have tough days? We all do! Sometimes, I swear I have more tough days than easy days. I used to let those tough days completely get the best of me. I would be so burnt out and cranky over them, I couldn’t get out of my own way. A few months ago I was so over-exhausted, frustrated and burnt out I couldn’t even help myself… I just started laughing like I never had before. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. It was a defining moment for me as a mom; it was the moment where I remembered no matter what the circumstance, laughter is truly the best medicine or cure. Does laughing change the circumstances? No, it certainly does not, but it does help you feel a lot better. So if you are going to hold yourself up to one goal or expectation, let it be this: Laugh as often as you can. Especially with your children. It’ll help your days feel more alive, lighthearted, and make way for some memorable memories with good life lessons in tow. Laughing with your children or just laughing with yourself on tough days truly is the best thing you can do for the emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of your whole family. In our house, when life gets crazy, I stop everything I am doing and play this funny song we always dance to; we have a mini dance party for a few minutes. It completely changes the vibe for the rest of the night.
When you are able to reframe the way your view the chaos that is motherhood in all its glory, you will be able to come out of it much stronger, more vibrant, more fierce, and much happier! Find something that is yours, an outlet where you can truly showcase and express yourself – be it for yourself, your children, your partner. Use that outlet as a way to connect with your family and to have a memory of yourself etched in their hearts and minds and vice versa. To me, writing is something that has always been a passion of mine. As a mum, this meant connecting with my son through my writing – I have written a letter to him every year on his birthday since he was born, reflecting on the year in review and of course talking about our year ahead. I write about the highs, the lows, and everything in between. I plan on giving these letters to him when he turns eighteen. I think they will be just as fun for me to read as they will be for him. Eighteen years may seem like an eternity sometimes, but trust me, it really does go by in the blink of an eye. So, just for today and any other day, whenever the going gets tough, remember to embrace YOUR chaos, and laugh. Laugh heartily, because this journey called motherhood was meant for you. This family, these children were given to you for a reason. You know what is best for your family and yourself. You’ve got this!
Author | Blogger | Mama x1
Sherri Marie believes you should always live in the moment. She is positive to a fault and will always find a way to make even the most boring task fun. Sherri Marie tried out many different career paths during her twenties before finally realizing that her talents were best spent helping others as an entrepreneur and business leader. Sherri Marie owns a successful hair salon, is a National Market Developer / Recruiter and mama. She strives to help people believe in themselves and design lives they love. She will always do whatever she can for those in her life.