It’s the job that has no manual, no training and that when you finally get it, you feel vastly underqualified and shocked that ‘they’ picked you. The job? Motherhood.
I remember the day we bundled our brand new baby girl up and prepared to leave the hospital, stopping by the nursing station to go through the standard security checks. The nurse checked our wristbands, confirmed that we had an appropriate car seat, and smiled and signed us out.
That’s it? THAT’S what qualifies me to be a mother?
My husband and I stood there a little stunned, both thinking, “You mean there’s no test? You are just going to let us leave and be in charge of this helpless little baby that we both have no idea what to do with?” Sigh. Well okay…
Countless books, frantic calls to friends with kids and trial and error, what I learned about motherhood is that it’s something you just can’t teach it because what makes someone a good mom are the same intangible qualities that make someone a good friend.
Thinking about motherhood and being a mom got me to thinking about what makes me a better mom some days, compared to the many other days when I feel like a bad mom who doesn’t deserve to be put in charge of such a kind and caring child as my lovely 5-year-old daughter.
I am a better mom when I…
Stop rushing and simply do knowing that there is endless time to do what needs to be done. Yes, I said endless time. Because it’s about what matters – everything else can wait.
Get over the idea of normal office hours and give myself permission to work when it fits my family schedule. The 9 to 5 mentality tricks us into thinking that we are taking time away from our work to take kids to appointments, schedule classes or play hooky and go to the park.
Slow down and listen. I mean when I really listen to what is going on with my daughter. Not only do I give her the attention she wants and deserves, but I get to know what an interesting person she is.
Move through life with ease. Isn’t it funny how we create our own drama? I call it the “Frazzle Dance”. It goes something like this: You rush around trying to get ready to and in your mad rush, you the causing you to freak out and at your child who just happens to be tugging on your sleeve at that moment who reacts by back then you threaten to cancel the outing because of THEIR misbehavior.
Let stuff go, like the housework and administrivia and just play.
Don’t fret over the big stuff and nibble away at what needs to be done. A lot of what needs to be tackled can be done in tiny little bursts. Instead of feeling overwhelmed because you can’t find an entire day to get it all done, just consistently nibble away and before you know it, it will be done (minus the stress of worrying about it).
Practice daily self-care and actually take care of myself. That means getting enough sleep, exercise and alone time, and remembering to eat.
Stop trying to bullshit and give myself permission to say, “I don’t know” in answer to questions from my daughter, about the best way to do something in my business, in response to the multitude of questions that are out there, both asked and unspoken. “I don’t know” frees you from the need to put on a brave face and lie.
Spend time with people who don’t judge me for talking about how hard it is to be a mom AND build a business. Friends who let me complain, or cry, or just vent because they understand exactly why I need it.
Enforce my boundaries and don’t let people talk me into taking on more than I can handle.
Laugh when stuff happens. Like when an avocado seed pops out unexpectedly, skitters down my pants leaving a slimy green trail and shoots across the floor, or my daughter squeezes the juice box squirting a fountain of apple juice all over her new princess dress.
Stop trying to be the “Best mom” or “Super mom” and just aim for being a better version of the mom that I am.
Mindful of the lessons I’m teaching my daughter through action. As much as we can say through it words, our actions are what they really hear.
Prepare in advance. So we can skip off to the park when the sun is shining, go swimming with nothing more than a moment’s notice, or handle whatever adventures daily life brings us with all the necessary mommy gear, like Band-Aids, hand sanitizer and snacks.
What makes YOU a better mom? We know how easy it is to beat ourselves up trying to live up to unrealistic standards of motherhood so we’d love to hear all the ways you are a better mom.