You just put in the third Barney video of the morning (wait it’s 12:00, does that count as morning?), your kid has only eaten dry Cheerios (mostly off the floor), and you have no idea when you’ll get dressed for the day.
You know what? It’s okay!
How do I know? Because I’ve been there.
My kids are 10 and 6 now. Hallelujah, they can get their own breakfast (sort of)!
But I remember those sleep deprived, haven’t seen another adult all week (other than my sleep deprived husband), will I ever be more than a lactating feeding station, days. Now I’m in the media patrolling, manner reminding, refereeing stage. It really hasn’t gotten a lot easier. Although I do sleep more (that’s a definite bonus!).
Being a mama is hard. It’s easy to feel like we never do enough, that we don’t have our act together. It’s easy to feel guilty that we’re not getting this parenting thing right.
Here are some words we all need to hear.
It’s going to be okay.
It really is. You will survive, your kids will survive, and actually they’ll probably do more than survive, they will shine. Take a deep breath and don’t stress out over that third Barney video, some days are just like that!
I had a pediatrician tell me once that toddlers are perfectly capable of surviving solely on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I loved that man. Likely your toddler (or preteen) will grow out of their three-food-only phase too. Now that I look back I can see that with a little patience, trust, and love most of the things I worried about when my kids were tiny have worked themselves out. And as we run screaming towards middle school, I’m believe that will continue to be the case.
You’re doing great!
When’s the last time someone’s told you you’re doing a great job? Well, you are! You might not feel like it right now but it’s true. If you have kissed a boo-boo, said I love you, read a book, or wiped a nose in the last day (or maybe all of the above in the last hour) then you really are.
It is no easy task to be a small human’s superman, but that’s what moms who care are. You keep your pulse on the emotional needs of your family, sacrifice for their well-being, keep tabs of their physical needs and respond at a moment’s notice. You are amazing! Give yourself a high-five and cut yourself some slack!
I won’t judge you.
I might encounter you at the grocery store, or playground, or school, but wherever it is I promise I won’t judge you. Even if you don’t have your act together that day. I so get it. Chances are just yesterday I didn’t either, and I probably won’t tomorrow. There are a thousand ways to raise a child – organic, not organic; home schooled, public schooled; breastfed, bottle fed. The list goes on and on. Thing is, most of these aren’t right or wrong issues, they are just some of the many ways we can care for our families.
As long as children are being raised with love there’s a lot of room to cut each other slack. On the other hand children are regularly abused and I’ve never been one to shirk from asking the hard questions and involving the right people when that’s necessary. But even in those situations there’s a lot of room for understanding and compassion because this parenting thing is not easy.
So moms can we agree not to judge? Let’s put our eyes back in our heads, stop the whispering, and offer a friendly smile to each other!
In this new year I wish you confidence, joy, and a good night’s sleep! If you get a chance scoot those bath toys out of the way and have a good soak in the tub. Run the kids around the house a few times and put them to bed early so you can watch a movie with your husband (or maybe all by your lonesome!). Breathe a prayer over those babies and trust them to Stronger Hands than your own. It’s going to be okay.
And while you’re at it pass this on to all the moms you know who need a virtual high-five and tell them they’re doing a good job too!