My husband travels for work more often than I’d like. And even though he calls and texts me as often as he can when he isn’t here, it often still feels like I’m alienated on an entire other planet. One that requires 110% of who I am at all times. One that means I triple check that the doors are locked and I’m scared to hop in the shower. One where I stay awake til 1AM trying to distract myself on my phone or by looking at my daughter’s monitor so I can possibly get tired enough for a few good hours of sleep.
During these times, I try to remind myself that I’m thankful for the job my husband has… most of the time. It allows him to be home during the day and do things with us (especially the kids) that a lot of dads/husbands miss out on. But, even then, when I’m climbing in bed alone, I can’t help but think about what a better mom I am when he’s here.
So many nights he’s gone, bedtime stories don’t get read because I’m just too tired. Laundry doesn’t get caught up on because I spent most of the day just trying to contain the mess that was already there. And, lots of times, the phone calls my DH is sure to make in order to say goodnight to me, consist of him falling asleep on the other end before much is said at all. Throw my pregnancy induced exhaustion into the mix &– wow! What a party!
Last night, my youngest went to bed screaming and crying after getting disciplined because of having kicked her dinner right off the table and refusing to eat. While her older brother decided to tell me it was my fault he didn’t eat all his food. All after a wonderful day of my daughter going psycho because I wouldn’t let her follow Hubby into the airport [which she just assumed HAD to be a restaurant = suddenly she was starving], she pooped all over the floor when we got home and freaked herself out so much you’d have thought she was getting murdered, & being argued with over how many times I actually asked my son to go brush his teeth.
I’m a better mom when my husband is home.
I’m a better mom when I’m on anxiety medication.
I’m a better mom when I get time to myself. Or, at least when I get to pee by myself.
So, yesterday, I left the airport with my unusually, yet excessively, unruly children and cried all the way to the end of the terminal because I knew that I was alone. And, that, once again, I was going to spend entire days trying to fake myself into thinking that I’ve got everything under control. While, in reality, I’ve been drowning lately.
The sad part is, I spend so much time trying to have it all “together” that I forget– most people don’t. If they look like they do, it’s often thanks to a well-timed Instagram photo with a witty caption. Yet, somehow, I can’t shake the need to be the person with the cleverly layered filters & insightful message. Perfectionism and self-depreciation are two things I excel at.
I’m a better mom when I’m worry free & practice self-love.
Honestly, I’m so fortunate to be a SAHM. My kids never really cause me to be tense or overwhelmed, and they tell me they love me all the time so I must be doing something correctly, right? It’s the little voice in my head that says, “Jon’s gonna be disappointed if he comes home and every dish isn’t clean & put away. What kind of wife are you?” Or the one who whispers, “You know the kids won’t think you’re a good mom if you skip that fairytale again.” Listening to those little, inner lies gets me worked up into such a frenzy that I no longer feel like it’s okay to rest or take a break. If I do, I’ll obviously be that much farther behind the other fantastic moms/wives. I’ll obviously be selfish and worthless.
I’m a better mom when I tell those voices to shut up.
I’m the mom who tries to do the pre-k workbooks because I’m freaking out about my kid starting school next year, and who wants to do the Maker’s Lab experiments just because, and who really tries to make most meals from scratch & keep everyone healthy…etc. But, I wanna share this video with you guys; by Kristina Kuzmic. I’m sure every mom can relate in some way. It literally had me in tears.
I’m a better mom when I’m okay with just being OK.
Plain and simple.
It is rare that I can truthfully accept that no one can be 100% all the time. But, I find the longer I’m a wife, a mom, a friend… I can only do what I can do. Criticizing myself and taking out my frustrations in unhealthy ways isn’t going to make my kids or my husband value me more. Those things won’t give me healthy, happy friendships either.
Even if all I’m doing is comparing myself to who I was yesterday, I’m not allowing who I am now to be a different version of that. I’m always either looking for a carbon copy or trying to one up my best days. If neither one of those surfaces then I use it as an excuse to tear myself down.
I’m a better mom when I build myself (& others) up.
How about you? Is there a specific pitfall you have when it comes to assessing how your day-to-day wifely/motherly duties are being carried out? Are there things you think help encourage you? What generally doesn’t help?