If you are a mom, you will relate to this. We all seem to try to wear the clothes and spirit of this action figure: Super Mom. But I am here to tell you that as true as your desire and intentions are, Super Mom is a myth. Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a 8a-6p career mom (with after hours at home required), you will soon come to learn that it is very difficult and exhausting to try to "do it all" for the sake of your family.
As a single mom, I have always remained dedicated to being accountable and responsible for that job I signed up for: MOM, Mother, Mommy, Mama. And is it a job? You betcha... But it is a joy as well (well...sometimes..LOL)! The point is Moms need to understand that trying to "Be it All" for the sake of your family will only send you in Action Figure retirement way before age 62!
It's a challenge to pretend to DO it ALL. Here is the reality: If you are a full time working (outside of the home) mom, something will suffice. It's not humanly possible to work at a career 40+ hours and then come home to give optimal care for children. Do we try to do it? Of course. I did as well. But something (familia) gives...it's either your quality time with the kiddies, their interaction with you, their assimilation of your values, mores, or YOUR own health. Remember, it's all interconnected.
So take a deep breath, and consider being actionable for yourself dear Moms. Here are ways to embrace your motherhood but still keep your sanity, your optimal health and your sense of humor as you navigate childbirth, teaching toddlers, schooling youngsters, priming pre teens and coaching those teens/young adults.. Each stage of your child's life is so special, so decide how you want to live your life with your children.
I grew up in Detroit. Near 8 Mile Road. (That's Eminem Rapper territory.) Point is there were no gimme's . We worked hard to earn everything. We understood work ethic and value. Teach your children (especially Millennials) that the greatest things in life are Not handed to them , but earned. Keep their young feet to the ground. Don't give them "things". (It won't serve their soul). Better to share with them memorable experiences. Let them earn their wings!
Don't Crater When They Say You're a Mean Mom
Ah....they have a way with us...that old guilt trip. It's one of their most powerful ammo's. When they are 7 years old or earlier, they start to use this manipulative phrase. (They already know the strategic tactics of getting their own way!) Be secure in your own knowledge and wisdom. We are here to teach our kids, and while they may teach us a few lessons of our own, never doubt your own intuition. Kids will Want. When you say "no", mean "No". Sticks and stones may break your bones.....
Talk the Talk, and WALK the talk!
Demonstrate your deepest values. Kids learn most when we demonstrate behaviors. So use calm on the preaching...just DO it (Thank you Nike). Show your kids through your actions of understanding, kindness, perseverance, compassion, discernment, resilience and strength. Don't be afraid to set the bar (higher). They look to you for guidance. Be the leader you were born to be. You are a mother for a reason :)
Allow Them to Fail
You aren't a mom to protect them from every consequence of decisions they make-although it is our natural instinct to do so. When your child is at a maturity level to make practical decisions on his/her own, allow him. But allow failure also. It's one of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children. The lesson is NOT to purposefully fail, but how to become resilient if and when you do. . How to pick up the pieces after failures, mistakes and to move forward. To not stay STUCK. To cry, feel sad, forgive (when appropriate) and to move onward. Life is here for us in the moment. Life is so incredible. Teach your children to embrace life...even after failure. It's all just part of growing...
Teach Them The Layers of Life
Seems like kids these days just see life as unidimensional. They have trouble with their periscope. It gets stuck and they get stuck. Life is comprised of many layers. Fortunately or unfortunately much of life is very interconnected. When you consistently make poor decisions in one or more areas of your life, they bleed into other areas very naturally. Poor decisions about relationships can easily blend into poor decisions on the work front. You get the message here. Help your children to understand that they can achieve the most abundant, joyful and healthiest life when their good values are intersperced throughout all levels of their life: career, relationships, family, passions/interests, spiritual, self growth/development, philanthropic and so on.
Don't Take it Personally
As your kids grow into teens, they will adopt new attitudes and opinions which may be different from what you may have shared with them. Applaud it. Oh yes, they will confront you, They will make a point to show you are "wrong" in your beliefs or ideals. It's just their way of exerting their new knowledge. They test it out on you--someone they love dearly. I used to get upset with my son's new opinions. But now I have a different outlook. His newly developed opinions make him a new young man. They are not MY opinions. They are his. He is growing up into his own person. This is just one of the ultimate goals of being a mom/parent: creating independent thinkers!
Know You Are (Usually) Doing Your Best
Well, although we moms usually have our best intentions at heart, sometimes the best of us isn't what shines. We have our challenging moments, mornings, days and weeks. When the phone is ringing, your youngster is complaining about homework, you are trying to prepare a homemade dinner after working at your business for the better part of the day, the dog is sick, and your teen daughter's hormones are targeting you...well, yes, it can be a crazy hour or two. But in the end, know they love you. You are giving it your best. That's what matters most.
Take a MomTime Out (for a few days or a week).
We get burned out. Our fuse gets short. Our tempers and voice rise. We are human. We are working to cover all bases. Providing financial support, caring for the children and inspiring them, establishing a home (not just a house) for comfort, love and care, and then handling all of the miscellaneous things...and gosh knows they are plentiful!
Don't feel "Mommy guilt" to take a few days off. Make arrangements of care for your youngsters. Can you say this out loud: "No MOMMY GUILT!" I didn't do this so well until later in life. For some reason I thought my Superhero figure would break all barriers and use her superhuman strength to move beyond any pain and exhaustion. Whew . Tough lesson for me. I am not so superhuman after all :(.
But it's okay. I still love being a mom...superhuman or not! (a sweet Tweetable!)