My last post was written to my daughter. And while I think I am teaching her and training her to avoid (most of) my pitfalls, I'll admit that I need constant reminders myself. I'm no expert by any means, but after nine years and three kids, I think I have learned a few things along the road of parenting.
I know you're tired. I get it. It's exhausting. You wanted these kids. You tried for these kids. You carried them for nine months. You birthed them. You have the stretch marks to prove it. Or you adopted and loved these kids when no one else would. You weren't able to have your own, but your making the best of your situation. You wanted them, and you love them, but you are tired.
It's okay. We all are. Being tired doesn't make you a bad mom. It makes you normal and human and real. Despite what your friends post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter, no mother has it all together. We like to pretend that we do, but we don't. So don't compare yourself to what others do. It's okay if you can't whip up a cheesecake or mend your child's button. It's okay if you make store bought brownies for their class. Or if you don't make anything for their class. It's okay if your house is in constant disarray. You don't need to be anyone else. You only need to be you.
No child is the same. Just like no mother is the same.
We're all in this parenting thing together, so don't judge. Be kind. Don't talk about other mothers like you have it all together. Because I don't and neither do you.
If your house isn't cleaned, and it's all you can do to go through the drive through at McDonald's for dinner, it's okay. At the end of the day, it's all okay. You do your best and you make what you can of the situation.
Love your kids. They are what this is all about. Spend time with them, read to them, listen to them, get off your phone and pay attention to them. They love you no matter what. They love you because you're their mom and all they want is your time. They don't care what you look like, how much you weigh, or how you're dressed. They just need you to be present. I mean really present.
Lead by example. If you want your children to be kind, then you be kind. If you want your children to eat right, then you eat right. If you want your children to show respect, then you show respect. Your children are watching every single thing you do. Even when you think they're not.
You are your child's hero. When you mess up, learn to admit it and ask for forgiveness. I yelled at my kids just today trying to get out of the house for soccer. And then I felt bad. And then I cried. I think sometimes I'm losing my mind, but you know what? My kids hugged me and apologized for fighting with each other when they were suppose to be getting their cleats on and they let it go. Kids are resilient. It's okay to admit fault. I apologized for yelling and we moved on with our evening. Sometimes I wish I had more patience. The older I get, the more I attain, but I know I'm still so far from where I need to be. And it's okay.
Motherhood isn't a race. It'll be over before you know it. Enjoy the time you have while you have it. Because it'll be gone. Soon.
I use to think when I first had my son that I couldn't wait for him to get a little older. I hated the nightly feedings and the lack of sleep and the constant crying. But now, I wish I would have enjoyed it more while I had it. I can't believe I am saying this, but I miss the infancy stage. I miss holding my sweet baby in my arms and rocking him to sleep each night. I took the time for granted. And now it's gone.
It's okay to ask for your help. I know you want to be supermom, but even super hero's need assistance every once in awhile. Give your husband or partner a little responsibility. It's okay if he gets the kids off to school one day a week. It's okay if he sends your daughter to school in mismatched britches and a crooked ponytail. You need help and a little time to yourself or you will lose yourself. Your kids need you, but they also need you to be rested, so if every once in awhile you feel overwhelmed, it's okay. Ask for help. It's doesn't make you weak, it makes you a better mom.
Children are all consuming. But don't forget the husband or partner that you were with before you had kids. Don't forget him. You marriage or relationship has to come before the kids. I haven't been very good about this over the years. I spend all my time with my children catering to their every need and then at the end of the day, there's nothing left for my husband. Don't make that same mistake. Love your husband. Meet his needs. You'll be a better mom for it.
And when it's all said and done, know that the good Lord will help you along the way. Motherhood isn't for the faint of heart. But you can do it. And you can do it well. And He'll show you how.
Just know dear mom, that you are not alone. We're all in this together. And have faith dear mom. You're gonna be just fine.
We all are.