As a Mom, sometimes it can be really difficult finding time for yourself. I remember when my 2 oldest boys were young, going to the grocery store alone was a treat. I would pretend that it was a mini vacation. I would go up and down every isle, even if I knew I didn’t need anything from that isle. It was so peaceful.
I am now a mom to 4 kids, that’s right, 4. Talk about crazy sometimes.
I have 3 boys and 1 girl, they range from 16-5. It’s odd how a 16-year old and a 5-year old can have so much in common. The constant worry of what are they getting into now? Sometimes I just need a break, I can’t even go to the bathroom in peace. Never fails as soon as I walk in the bathroom, I hear…. Mom, can I have this, can I have that, I need this, or so and so did this. Bedtime is like the mysterious reminder that something needs to be done. Suddenly its, “Mom, I forgot about this”, and it’s already 30 min past bed time. Ugh, where’s my coffee and music? I need a vacation!
Life is funny sometimes. What I have learned to do over the years is just smile and laugh. Things can be hectic and overwhelming but that’s life. It doesn’t make since to get angry, that only hurts me. For the past few years I have been trying to figure things out as a single mom. I was married for 15 years, and sometimes the struggle is real to find time for me. But what I’ve realized, is that finding that time is important. It makes me a better mom.
So what do I do…
When I first became a mom, I tried to do all the right things. I wouldn’t let the kids watch more than an hour of TV a day, no video games throughout the week, I ran around picking up after them, I cooked a healthy meal every night, read them bedtime stories after their bath every night. As they got older I made them read every day for at least 20 min and doing fun things to increase their daily activity, I was killing it as a mom. But, I was also killing me. I wasn’t just a house wife, raising kids and making sure the kids were taken care of, I also worked full time. It was the reoccurring cycle of life. Get up, get kids ready, make sure they eat a healthy breakfast, take them to school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean everything up, give them a bath, put them to bed, pack lunches for the next day, make sure the house is clean and do the laundry. By the time it was time for me to go to bed, I was exhausted. I cried a lot, and I prayed a lot.
I realized that I couldn’t continue on this path. I needed to take care of me too. I spent my days making sure everyone else was taken care of, but I was too tired to take care of myself. So, I decided to take action. I started getting up a little earlier to go for a run. I laid clothes out for school the night before so I wasn’t running around in the morning trying to figure out what everyone was going to wear. I had the kids put their shoes by their book bags and coats so they weren’t magically lost when we had to leave in 5 min. And as horrible as this sounds, I let the dust stay for the week, I let the dirt stay on the floor for more than a day, I let my family help me with the laundry and the dishes. I started to realize that I didn’t have to do it all. See, I thought if my house wasn’t perfect, if one dish was left in the sink, if the floors weren’t swept and vacuumed every day, that meant I was failing. I thought that meant I was a bad mom. But truth be told, I was only doing it for myself. It didn’t matter that toys were scattered all over the living room or that the beds weren’t made every morning. I could take care of my family and myself.
I started locking the door when I went to the bathroom, and guess what? The kids learned that the world didn’t end just because mommy went potty. I realized that the more I took care of me, the better mom I became. I am more patient, more loving, more attentive to my kids.
As this journey continues, I hope that others can relate and respond. Not only do I want to inspire others, but I want to also be inspired by others!