Friday, December 20, 2013

"just love today"

I've been a horrible blogger this week. There were multiple times and things I wanted to write, but I never seemed to get the chance. And when I did have the chance, I was too damn tired to move off the couch and go to bed, let alone sit and write a blog.

With Graham just now starting to sleep through the night again for the first time in almost 8 weeks (thanks so much, teething and baby gas), I have been extra tired. And extra-tiredness leads to feeling extra stressed. And it's not even Christmas stress. I can't imagine how overwhelmed I'd be if I was still worried about which presents buy.
Nope, it's just been the daily stuff.
Whining kids.
A crying baby.
Mom I need milk! {What is it with my kids needing so much freakin' milk all the time?!}
Guarding the Christmas tree so it doesn't topple over on anyone.

And when I am tired, I tend to lose my shit right around, oh, precisely 4:30 pm.
After a long day of staying positive and encouraging with five kids, I am spent. My brain tells me: You cannot handle hearing "I NEED A SNACK!" one more time.

One night last week after a pretty terrible day, I saw a post that a Facebook friend shared. It was a post from the website Hands Free Mama. The author is named Rachel, and she explains in painful detail how she has struggled to become the mom and person she wants to be.
This post really hit me hard.
Guilt hit me hard.

Too often I am the one exasperated or yelling over a glass of spilled milk or a stolen (again!) cell phone or a broken ornament.
I can be a bit of a control freak.
It's hard for me to embrace the mess and the clutter that comes with letting our kids explore and play and learn and just be kids.
I could see part of me in this woman's writing.
It was exactly what I needed to read, exactly when I needed to read it.

I don't want my kids to be scared of my reaction when they knock over a flower pot or spill their lunch. I don't want to see them cringe awaiting my wrath over an innocent mistake.
I don't want to be that mom.
I vowed to try my best the next day.

It sounds super cheesy, but Rachel's mantra of "Just Love Today" described in the post actually helped. I didn't tell myself those exact words, but when I felt on the verge of an eye roll or exaggerated sigh, I remembered the post from the night before.

Our kids are going to have enough people filling their heads with negativity,
telling them that they aren't good enough,
pretty enough,
smart enough,
clever enough,
strong enough,
fast enough,
creative enough.
They shouldn't ever feel any of those things from their own mother.
I want them to learn and create and bloom into the best versions of themselves that they can be. I want to be a mom that encourages them, not one who stands over them waiting for the inevitable mess or spill or mistake.

I was going to recommend that anyone who struggles with similar issues should check out her blog.
But I take that back.
Every parent should check out this site.
Heck, every person should.
We could all stand to be more compassionate, patient, engaged people.
A little effort goes a long way.
For your kids. For your spouse. For yourself.

This week has been a lot calmer.
Busy, and not without its moments, but good. It's not always easy to keep my cool, but as long as I am working on it, that's what counts.
We're all just a work in progress anyway, right?

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