You know those posts that help you become a more patient parent? Or those Instagram pictures you see of the Mom who always seems like they have their stuff together? I am NOT them and this is not one of those posts.
I, like every other mom, have good days and bad days. And normally when I have those moments, I can move on quickly. I would blog or vent to a friend and call it a day. But lately, it seems as though my bad days have outweighed my good, and I haven’t felt the urge to blog.
I’ve been overwhelmed with my tank on “E” for weeks. I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back and at times that I’m trying to juggle while playing tug of war.
So, I wanted to write a post of some of the things that I have been experiencing. For those mamas reading this, know that you are NOT alone. I’m sure that at one point or another, these things come up and remember, it’s OK, and part of our journey.
There is a lot of talk about trying to give yourself more self-care and preventing these breakdowns but it’s a LOT easier said than done. When you are constantly giving so much of yourself to everyone else, by the time you get to you: you don’t know how to use the time or you are too tired. Going out by myself or getting a haircut or pedicure feels almost foreign to me, and when I do the Mom guilt comes back to haunt me anyway.
I admit that I spend more time aimlessly doing things to take care of the house (folding clean clothes that have been sitting for a few days) with the little free time I have instead of REALLY taking the time for ME. Sometimes it’s hard for me to set aside time to do things for myself If I know that it will be short. Like, I’d REALLY hate to get into a book and not even be able to finish a chapter.
And to be honest, who REALLY has the time? I have been trying to give myself time to wake up earlier and sure, that’ll allow me a quiet cup of coffee or a light breakfast interrupted, but that’s not enough time for me to really feel rejuvenated. With a baby, you never really know what time they will be getting up because unexpected things happen, (and they usually happen RIGHT after your baby has developed routine) like your 11-month-old getting 4 top teeth all at once. And sleep is SO hard for me to give up!
Single mom status
I am by no means a single mom. My husband is present and involved. He wakes up at the crack of dawn with an early shift and gets the girls after work and is with them till I come home.
But I still carry the load of the weight by default. I make sure that this family keeps going efficiently, run a semi decent schedule, and keep the house in an organized chaos.
So how do I manage to keep going, no matter what? It is not without great effort. But I will share certain things that will get me through and push forward.
I must recognize that there will be bad days and accept it. There are times where I will not be able to be as patient as I’d like, and I might “lose it.” And it’s ok. There are going to be days when NOTHING will go away and that too, is ok. There will be LOTS of days when I will break down and cry, and that is OK.
The other day when I was giving my 3-year-old a bath, she was playing around, spit and it landed on me. I don’t think she meant to do it (most of the time they are just goofing off) but I immediately yelled at her. (But to be honest, I was probably more irritable of wanting her to hurry up out of the bath instead of playing). The look on her face had me guilty IMMEDIATELY. I apologized for yelling at her, gave her a big hug, and had a calm conversation with her about being more aware and about how spitting was considered rude.
She understood and that was the end of the battle. I still considered that a bad day in my mind because I’m still beating myself up about yelling.
But you know the great thing about kids? Is that they easily forgive. Within minutes she no longer cared, and her mind was already set on doing something else. So even on those days where you feel like you’re a “bad mom”, those days will pass. ALL bad days end.
Use your lifelines
I know, husbands are there for you. But sometimes they don’t get it. I don’t think they will ever fully understand what it’s like being in our shoes.
So sometimes it helps for me to talk with other people who are moms. They know what it’s like to come from one job and go straight to the next. They have all been at the point where you are.
There are a couple of friends that I’m really close to. When I’m having a really rough day, I usually ask for a vent session. I lay out all the frustration that I’m feeling in a short amount of time and they will sit and listen.
And after I’m done venting and I’ve said my peace; they usually then remind me of what a kick ass job I’m doing. They remind me of all the good that is in my life, and all the things that I’ve accomplished to get me to where I am. They remind me of the blessings and remind me that it’s OK to be frustrated or sad, and that I WILL get though it. And every single time that has happened, I usually feel 10x better and it helps me push through the day.
Limit social media
Being a mom with social media is HARD. You are CONTINOUSLY comparing yourself to the pictures or those little white squares. You envy the mom that gets the date night with her husband twice a month. You envy the mom who seems like her kids are always in a good mood. You envy the mom who had ZERO complications getting pregnant, being pregnant, or breastfeeding. You envy the mom who planned that Pinterest perfect birthday party. You envy the mom that no matter what she is doing, no matter what time of day, ALWAYS looks so put together.
Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others. I’ve honestly contemplated SO many times on stepping away from social media because half of my time is spent “glancing” into other people’s lives, and then reevaluating my own.
Because both of my girls’ birthday is coming up and the little one is turning one, we contemplated taking a trip to Disneyland. I felt that we were so overdue for a vacation and I thought that Disney was going to be the PERFECT photo op for their birthdays. Now don’t get me wrong, because if anyone really knows me, they know I’m a HUGE Disney fan. But that’s just it, I wanted to go for all the photo ops that it would give us. And I realized that is NOT the right mindset/need to go somewhere. I shouldn’t FEEL the need to go on a trip because I saw other people’s cute posts and I want a cute post too. So, we changed our minds and decided to wait a little bit until Keira’s first experience can be really enjoyed (and remembered) for her.
I realized a lot that social media sometimes shift your perspective and your minds without you even realizing. I am by no means saying that you should get off of social media. I don’t plan to because I need people to be able to correlate my blog with me and it has allowed me to connect with others. But I’ve really tried to draw the line and make sure that I know that some things that are seen on social media are JUST NOT reality.
Which brings me to my next point. You are imperfectly perfect. Us moms are in this together. And 90% of the time, whether we have 1 or 5 kids, we DON’T know what we are doing. But we are TRYING. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
So, to the tired, over worked, underappreciated, exhausted, I’ve-had-it-up-to-here MOM, I see you. And I’m here to remind you that YOU are AWESOME. You are right where you need to be at this very moment.
Your kids see how much time, effort, work, and love you put into your little families and they will NOT forget it. You are their safety, their calm, their love, their LIFE, their PERFECT.
I really hope that this post gives your moms encouragement and happy vibes. Here are some other posts you might like or find helpful:
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