Motherhood is a tricky thing. We are blessed beyond comprehension that we get to be the Moms to our children. Seriously, the fact that God saw fit for me to be the Mom of 4 little ones blows me away. I love, love, love being a Mom. However, some days, being a Mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. I’m not talking about sleepless nights or potty-training hard either. I’m talking about shaping hearts hard. That is hard work. As such, we Moms are overly hard on ourselves. We all want to be the best Moms we can be – I get it. But sometimes, we are just down right too hard on ourselves. I read post after post on Facebook about how we have failed as a Mom. I don’t think we highlight the things we do right in the Mom gig enough. So, I am going to share with you 5 things I did this month that helped me to be a better Mom.
I Was My Daughter’s Show and Tell
In our co-op, my daughter is in a Toastmasters class. Every week they have to speak in front of their class. Sometimes it is reciting poetry or Bible verses, and sometimes it is a current event. This particular week my daughter had the “Grab and Gab” role, which is basically a “show and tell” of something that is special to you. She asked me if she could bring me in. I was flattered, and it seriously made my heart burst. However, I struggled with it. I suggested she take in her hermit crab. I thought for sure her classmates would find her hermit crab more interesting than me. She begged, and so I asked her teacher if it was OK with her and she loved the idea. So, I went into my daughter’s class and proudly stood next to her as she read the sweetest things about why I am so special to her.
I Said Yes More
It is so easy to say, “No.” Seriously, saying “No” is like the Easy Button in my role as Mom. If I am not feeling up to whatever is being asked – “No.” It is so easy. Too easy sometimes. My husband and I both agreed about a year ago that we were saying “No” way too often. It had become our default. We have made an effort to do better and say “Yes” more. Just this past week, I said “Yes” to two things, which a year ago I would have easily said “No” to. My youngest wanted to wear he Yoda costume to Kroger. Yes! My kids asked if they could sleep together in the top bunk. Yes! I don’t know why it is such a struggle, probably mostly habit, but it is never too late to break a habit and say “Yes” and surprise the heck out of your kids.
I Took Time Off
This Mom stuff is 24 hours a day 7 days a week, never-ending work. We need breaks, and there is nothing wrong with admitting that. At the beginning of the month, a girlfriend and I went away for the weekend to her parent’s lake house. Just two moms, some wine, and an obscene amount of Chili’s Chips and Salsa. We sat and talked, read books, and watched chick flicks. It was so nice just not being “on” for a couple of days. We need time to rejuvenate and refocus. Time off helps us to be better moms. Now I don’t get a weekend away every month, but time-off is still essential. So whether it’s a few hours at Biggby with a friend for coffee or to write, a shopping day, or even just a nap – we need to give ourselves permission to take time off and not feel guilty about it.
I Put My Marriage First
It’s a saying that I have heard several times, “To be the best Mom to your kids the number one thing you can do is love their Dad.” If parenting is hard work, marriage is hard work on steroids. Keeping the “loving feeling” is an everyday assignment. Some days it is really easy. Some days when you feel like you and your husband are like roommates just tackling a list of things that need to be taken care of, it’s not as easy. We have made it a priority to have regular dates. At least two a month. One where we go out to dinner and one where we do dinner at home after the kids have gone to bed. We put these on the calendar at the beginning of the month and hold to them. Even this week, I had to call an audible. We had plans to do some house renovation work, but since my husband was out of town last weekend and we had family visiting the weekend before, I just felt like we needed the weekend to reconnect. I told my husband that we were just too disconnected as a couple and as a family, so we needed this weekend to reconnect.
I Got Us Out Of The House
Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom kind of leads to the fact that we are home a lot. And we are. Except when we are at dance twice a week, and soccer twice a week, and co-op, and American Heritage Girls. But, I am a homebody. I like being at home. Unless I am at the beach, my choice would be to be at home. However, I also know that when the kids and I are home too much without some breaks, the home environment gets out-of-sorts. I can feel the harmony start to shift. To help get us back to center, we need to get out of the house and take a break from the everyday stuff. This past month our outings led us to downtown Detroit to experience the Musical Swings, visit the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, explore the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum, check out a new park in Ann Arbor, attend a fun show at the library and take a field-trip to the new Legoland.
What things did you do this month that helped you to be a better mom? We are all nailing this motherhood gig. Read more at Mrs. Disciple for today’s #FridayFive “Ways You Are Nailing Motherhood.”