For all My Mamas
I'm not sure if you knew this or not, but I used to be a first grade teacher.. I LOVED it all.. Loved working with the families, creating plans to help each student succeed at their own level and pace, the parties and celebrations, the amount of growth I'd see from beginning to end, creating newsletters, managing a website, loving on each kid and finding ways to make learning fun... Each year I typically had about 23 students.. No Assistant.. I had moments of pride because as a young teacher I felt like I had pretty solid classroom management skills.. Just sayin'. Haha. I mean to juggle everything teachers do while managing behavioral and academic differences, family needs and everything in-between, the thought of being a mom was like no thang! It would totally be easy.. I mean, I could manage 20+ kids alone! I definitely could do one! Well.....
Who was I kidding? Motherhood and all it's ups and downs, hormonal changes, stages of development in the kids, and on and on... Is seriously THE TOUGHEST MOST DEMANDING JOB ON THE PLANET! Don't try and argue with me.. Motherhood sent me into the hospital for Peet's sake... Let's get real.. There is no manual, everyone always tells you when you're pregnant how wonderful it all is but for some reason no one tells you that you're world will flip upside down, do a couple of cartwheels, maybe a backflip and then mess with your brain.. Hello people? Can we start educating girls earlier and put that bug in their ear that you better be ready to put on the full suit of armor! Because little tiny humans will be firing at you with new things, new stages, attitudes, smelly feet, and all the craziness kids just randomly do.. It's like you better be ready, or those stinkers will take you down.. But.. the problem is.. No one equips us with how to help ourselves to be the best Moms we can be... We have to figure it out on our own, while watching other moms that look like they've got it all figured out, feed their children perfectly cooked meals, have a perfectly clean house and look their perfectly best self.. STOP right there.... It's a lie. Don't believe it! Put your blinders on and YOU DO YOU! What works for your family? What keeps you sane? What are your goals as a Mom to be with your kids?
Sometimes we forget to just enjoy our kids.. We forget to smile and laugh at their ridiculously silly behavior or jokes. We forget to complement them or say "yes" instead of always "no." We forget that they are kids and that it's not them, it's us, it's our parenting. Kids haven't changed... We have as adults.. It's up to us to help mold them into good humans that learn to love, respect, be kind and empathetic. We tend to focus on the bad behavior which sometimes just adds fuel to the fire.. Catch them when they make thoughtful and good choices.. Recognize them, reward them, hug and kiss them.. They need our nurturing motherly touch... It's their safety and comfort.
We all have our days and moments where "MOMSTER" comes out! Sometimes it's a lot and sometimes it's only 12 times a day... IT'S NORMAL!!!! We all do it.. When it happens, apologize to your child, ask them for forgiveness and hug it out! When you're having that day or moment, go take a time out for yourself! Go lay down on your bed, close the door (contain your infant or toddler if needed) and put on some of your favorite music, some white noise like ocean waves, say a little prayer if you need to and just breath. It will pass. They always do and kids are resilient... Repeat after me... KIDS ARE RESILIENT! Now, am I saying to always be a crazy woman and yell, and be abusive? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Just remember, you've got a whole Mama Tribe going through motherhood right alongside of you! Reach out to your friends, your mom, babysitters, and take the time for yourself to ultimately be a more balanced and rested, happy mom... We only have them for so long until they become adults and make their own decisions.. Let's give ourselves some grace and time for self-care.. You deserve it..
Here is a cool 30 Day Mom Challenge that I've kept on my refrigerator.. I love this, and there are some great little ideas for you to challenge yourself. Print it out and keep it somewhere you'll see everyday!
Now, I love this one too.. My son's Kindergarten teacher sent this home at the beginning of the year for parents.. It's a great list of questions to ask your child after their day instead of "What did you learn today?" Or "What did you do today?" You know.. The answer is always, "Nothing!" So I printed it out, laminated it, and I keep it right by my kitchen. I love getting to have these sweet little conversations with my kids!
Finally, I will leave you with this.. It's truth. Think about this and put it into action. Our kids are worth it!