I don’t do it all… and neither should you

I was talking to a friend the other night and she said, “you have a lot of responsibilities.  I don’t know how you do it.”  I laughed a little … because I don’t.

#confessiontime

It’s a Thursday morning at 10:44 am and I’m sitting at the coffee shop typing this.  Alone.  You see, for the last 18 months or so, I’ve had a babysitter sitter come in at least twice a month to give me a morning to do whatever.  Right now I’m having a sweet young lady come once a week so I can pay bills, blog, run errands, etc…without kids.  This is a luxury.  I know it’s a luxury.

I’ve had a cleaning lady at times.

Even though I’m homeschooling Jackson, we typically only school 4 days a week.

We eat pizza once a week.

My kids eat PB & J for lunch AT LEAST 3 times a week.

My husband gives the kids a bath every night and that’s my downtime to go for a walk or do the dishes (those are far ends of the spectrum in terms of enjoyment).

When my husband travels, I’ve been known to feed my kids drive-thru Wendy’s and mac n cheese for DAYS.

I’m not doing it all.

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All of us mothers are in different boats, too … financially… the role of our extended family…or even the time our husband is home v. at work (or single moms HOW DO YOU DO THIS?).   When I start looking around I start thinking I’m not doing enough and that’s when the mom guilt and the stress builds.

For instance:  I know a friend that watches cartoons with her kids and I AM JEALOUS OF HER.  When my kids are in front of the TV, I can’t sit still. I’m like a little child hyped up on Red #5 KoolAid.  But I want to take the moments with my kids. I want to look them in the eyes more instead of being Miss Productivity.

I want to do my computer work before they wake and after they go to bed so they don’t see me tied to it.

I want to spend less time griping at them when the day isn’t going as planned and it’s 2:30 and we haven’t even started school.

I want to not be doing the dishes at 8:40 pm (can I get an AMEN?)

 

I’m not looking to cut-throat motherhood, I’m looking to do-your-best-and-live-to-tell-about-it motherhood.

So do what works for your family.  Hire a cleaning lady if you need to.  Take time to rest if you can.  You don’t have to do it all, you just have to do something.

Keep looking forward, mama.  No time for looking around– unless you’re looking into those big eyes of your little ones. 🙂

Stop the mom guilt for taking care of yourself

Last night we spent $56 and some hotel points and snuck away to the local Doubletree.  I brought a coupon for the adjoining restaurant and after a dinner where I didn’t have to clean up C’s war-like spaghetti remnants, we retreated to our down bedding and I watched a Nicholas Sparks crappy movie.

The Mr. is already off for his day of work so I’m sitting in a hotel room.  Alone.  At 9 am in the morning.

It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

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I knew my breaking point was coming after a few busy weeks with the husband traveling a lot.  Tuesday night he came home to find me face down on the bed, half- asleep.  We ate the kids’ marshmallow cereal for our dinner at 9 pm.  I was spent.  I’d hope to shake off some of the weariness, but I couldn’t.

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I don’t know what season you’re in, maybe it’s one filled with football games and band practice and late teenage hours.  Maybe it’s one with nursing at 3 am and getting up with a teething toddler.  Maybe it’s homeschool or public school or your own college courses.  I don’t know.

Here’s what we all need.  A dose of grace.

Oh, hi, GRACE:

Oh, you fed your kids mac n cheese three times this week because you couldn’t bear the thought of meal-planning?  That’s great!  You fed them!

Oh, so you skipped playdate/preschool/PTA this week because you were feeling a little overwhelmed?  Fantastic!  I bet the kids really enjoyed that time at home without all the running around.

Grace!  Oh, you haven’t slept through the night in 3 nights (for whatever reason) so you didn’t get up this morning and do morning devotions followed by 3 loads of laundry?  Perfect- I bet you’ll be a better mom today because you’re rested!

A few weeks ago I asked a elderly lady if she struggled with mom-guilt when her kids were growing up?  She balked at the question- like maybe the kids should feel guilty instead for all the put her through.  I laughed.

Sometimes grace is dressed as a $56 dollar night at the hotel.  Sometimes it’s dressed as an 89-year-old woman.  Let’s all do better at giving it to ourselves and offering it to others.

Grace > Guilt. 

xo