I see you, girl. I see you buried in laundry and putting off your dreams for now because your littles require so much of your energy. I see the guilt you feel, it’s almost palpable, because you’re convinced that due to losing it last night and yelling at your kids, they’ll land in prison or lead a gang. I see and feel your angst. It feels like it’s all up to you, doesn’t it? It feels like these long days will never end. It feels like the snack garbage will endlessly litter your floors and the stinky socks will eternally propagate. But how?? Honestly.
Here’s the cold, hard truth: they need you, but you’re not all they need. What I mean is, they’ll be taught by teachers, mentored by friends, loved on by extended family members and even inspired by celebrities and sports figures. So take a long, slow breath and know there is a village that’s working in their favor. You’re not bearing this burden (or blessing!) alone. Take heart in the community spirit! Where you may lack, someone else will compensate. Believe that with all your soul. My kids will learn a lot from me, but you know what they won’t learn from me? How to organize, how to do complicated math (like 3/4 of 782), or how to keep a meticulously clean room 24/7. Yes, the list is longer than that, but let’s keep all things in MODERATION, OK?
If you enjoy raising your kids, they’ll enjoy their childhood. Simple. Sure, it can’t ALL be enjoyable. Not the cleaning up the puke, or dealing with that call from the principal, or the emotional tantrum from your teenager. But generally speaking, take it on yourself to enjoy raising them. I’ve done this by taking a big piece of humble pie and stuffing that thing in my mouth so forcefully that I almost gagged. It took humility to understand that I had to take a cold, hard look at myself and change. Why have I used cold and hard twice already now? This should be happy & light! Positive and Bright! Fun and Enjoyable! And that’s exactly why you feel this resistance to enjoying your kids as you raise them—because you are thinking “It should be awesome!” “I should love this more!” “I should be loving every minute of this because the time goes so quickly!” “C’mon, let’s CARPE DIEM and seize this horribly boring day of laundry, carpool, an orthodontist appointment, and cutting up bite size quesadillas!” Let go of what you think it should be and be okay with what it is. The mundane is more magical than you might first imagine. What if you can’t even get yourself to believe that? That’s okay. Hold on. When your teen is refusing to say anything but “yeah” and “sup” you’ll look back and long for a “Would you Rather” conversation over corn dogs and applesauce and realize how magical it was.
But, back to the humble pie. Yes, I have Mother-induced ADD so I may get distracted, but I’m determined as heck. And I’m sad my oldest inherited that. Determined as heck is hard to parent. Anyway, the humble pie. It shouldn’t be called pie because it’s not sweet or pleasant. The hard work of your personal development is soul writhing & only comes from consistent work over time. I had to face the fact that yelling wasn’t helping and change that. I had to realize that resenting my kids’ diagnoses was completely unfruitful and embrace them as part of my kids’ unique way of making a mark in the world. I had to search in my soul, find all that triggered me and do the work to change those settings that were on default. The easy thing is to blame them and wait for them to change and be more obedient, more compliant and more respectful. Easy isn’t what we’re looking for here. If so, motherhood was the wrong line to get in. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one.
Since your bubble is already burst, it’s probably a good time to mention that it never protected you anyway. We have a tendency to play close to our chest with our hurts and then try to walk around in a bubble. Let them go! Forgive, forgive, forgive. When there’s no bubble, your children can get close to you. When they’re closer to you, your ability to influence them is greater! I’m serious, forgive and then forgive again. Keep forgiving.
This was about mindset when we started, right? I intended to teach 3 mindset tips for Moms and I’ve done that, but I know there are those analytical types reading this [read: I am not one of you, but I love you!], still waiting for the list, so here ya go:
Your village is working in your children’s favor.
If you enjoy raising them, they’ll enjoy their childhood.
Do YOUR work—eat that humble pie.
Take it on like it’s your job to heal from what’s hurt you and forgive.
Oh, did I say 3 and actually listed 4? What can I say? I’m an overachiever and the good news is that’s EXACTLY what my children need!
Sending you Mighty vibes and the Take-a-Minute-for-Yourself Vibes—
You need them all,