Every once in a while, I get overwhelmed with my life. Too many dishes to wash, too many meals to cook, too many blog posts to write, too many doctor’s appointments to keep track of. Things get too busy and I don’t like it.
Previously, these breakdowns would happen pretty regularly. Probably once every six weeks you would find me crying on the edge of the bed, upset about something, blaming myself for whatever went wrong that day.
But the difference between then and now is that when things get like that, when I have a string of really crappy days in a row, I no longer internalize it and beat myself up. I know, deep in my spirit, that I am doing a great job with my children. The smiles on their faces, the emails from their teachers, the marks on their report card, the enthusiasm they have when they wake up in the morning— all of that tells me that I do what’s best for them every single day.
It took a while for me to learn to cut myself some slack. I didn’t have to take it personally if my kids were having a bad day. If I forget that it’s dress down day and my kid is the only one there in uniform, it’s not the end of the world. If I went to the store with them and lost my cool, that’s okay – they’re kids, I’m human and these things happen.
Being able to forgive myself quickly has served me well over this past year. I’m able to bounce back and tackle what needs to be tackled. If something really bothers me or I feel like I’ve really made a big mistake, I give myself a half hour to stew about it and worry myself. Then, at the end of the 30 minutes, I move on to solutions. How can I make this right? Where do I go from here?
I wrote an earlier post about Mommy Guilt (yeah, I put it in capital letters) and gave you six questions to ask myself, to determine whether the “guilt” is justified:
Are my expectations realistic?
Have I accepted that there is only so much one person can reasonably do in one day?
Do I strive to make everyone happy each and every day?
Do I often “wake before the quake” – get up before the kids do?
Am I helping my children see that, yes, I’m Mommy, but I’m also a Friend, a Wife, a Daughter, an Employee?
Am I giving myself credit for the things I DO do?
Answer these questions and I guarantee that 90% of the guilt you feel will evaporate.
I urge each of you to be kind to yourself, to know deep down that you are enough as you are, and you are doing the absolute best job you can.