I should be a circus master.
I’m herding the kids through our stuffed to the brim garage; what a feat, what a trick! Shepherding all three girls to a doctors appointment that’s only necessary for one of them, and I’m able to keep all three entertained AND quiet in the not exactly kid friendly waiting room?! What a MASTER! Dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time, with MORE than just one food group represented, AND something other than grilled cheese or chicken nuggets- I deserve a standing ovation, what an amazing momma!
Why don’t we choose to recognize our achievements as a momma as often as our failures?
And who says they’re failures? Just because they’re eating nuggets, or grilled cheese, or even mac and cheese- it doesn’t make you any less than a momma who put together what seems like a 5 course rainbow meal, complete with fruits and veggies cut into stars and hearts and all the other wonderful shapes in the world. (No shade to them, either. I wish I could get to that point.)
Think of everything you’ve done, just today; alone.
- I know that I woke up with my (second) alarm.
- Washed the dishes. Cleaned the kitchen. Sanitized the bottles.
- Tried to organize my poor living room- it never stands a chance during the day. RIP to the days when I could actually have throw pillows, and decorative blankets, and not have my couch covered in smeared mashed potatoes and last night’s dinner remnants.
- Woke up the girls, changed diapers, cuddled them for a moment (mornings are so bittersweet, aren’t they?)
And all of this is AFTER I’ve gotten myself ready for the day- then we pack up bottles and snacks and clothes and all the other millions of supplies that somehow fit into the Mary Poppins-esque bag that I have as a diaper bag (literally, this thing is a bottomless pit.)
Now, I’m not under the foolish impression that any of the things that I’ve listed above make me extraordinary- because they don’t. But I took care of business, dammit. I did what needed to be done, to the best of my ability, with (almost) no tears. And every day, we all do that. We take care of business, and of our children, and of our families. We carry the heaviest weight in the world- that of managing a household and the livelihood of small hearts and minds. We do what we need to do as a momma.
How to get started with recognizing yourself, momma
Instead of beating yourself up for serving easy mac for the second day in a row for lunch, celebrate that you served lunch on time. That you didn’t freak out when your kid was covered, head to tippy toes in some sort of cheese product. You didn’t even blink or flinch when you looked away for two seconds, and all of a sudden, half of the cup was on the floor, smeared into your carpet.
Recognize that instead of seeing it as you having put on a movie for the kids as a scapegoat, you used it as a tool to go ahead and peacefully (for everyone involved) get some chores done- like load the dishwasher without several pairs of small hands stealing off with your spoons.
It’s not a sigh of defeat when you finally close the door to their rooms at bedtime, leaning against the frame as the last bit of energy you had for the day leaves your body; its an exhale of rejuvenation as you revel in the fact that now, its YOUR turn for a shower, and maybe even a kid free snack if you make time.
Tips for Success in parenting? (Ha, as if)
That’s the thing- as long as they’re loved and fed, and you’re doing what you can- what are we really messing up?
Guys, I’d be lying if I tried to portray that my life is all together. Or that my kids are. Half the time, they’re half dressed and even less prepared for whatever we’re doing. But you know what I can do? I can do the best I can, adapt to situations, and I can learn what works best for me, and for us. What works for me is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution. Hell, I don’t know if its even a fit for me solution- it’s been almost 9 months of the older girls sharing a room and I still haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do about the mini-Olympic games that Bear & Monkey seem to be putting on each night after the lights go out.
But you know what?
They love their momma. And they know their momma is doing what she can for them. (At least I like to tell myself that.) So next time I place just chicken nuggets, goldfish, and some ketchup on their table, I won’t feel bad. I’ll know that they’re fed, and that this isn’t every day.
But for today, it works. And that’s what’s going to get us to tomorrow. And maybe then, I’ll think about cutting some cool shapes out of the fruit.