What Happens To Mothers…

I am home for five straight days with the kids for Thanksgiving break. My kids and my husband are my life’s greatest blessings and gifts straight from God. However, I am slightly going crazy. There is a reason that normal BRF looks like this:

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And my BRF looks exactly like this:

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Allow me to illustrate. In this clip, I am Squidward and my kids are…well…everyone else.

Everyone needs mom all the time. It’s probably one of the best things about being a mom. But it can be one of the most draining. A few weeks ago, I was stuck when the boys had forgotten their popcorn money on Friday for school and Shelby was sick. I had to bring sick Shelby to school to deliver the money. I said on facebook at the time, sometimes it’s hard to be a good mom to everyone at the same time. And it’s so true.

This week, the boys have wanted to do a lot. And Shelby, well, Shelby’s come up with a new favorite past time of flushing things that shouldn’t go in the toilet down it. Joseph wants one of us to do Just Dance, but Shelby will seize the opportunity. Jeff and I have said we are on high alert and refer to Shelby as a ninja.

And Jeff’s busy grading papers, I have to work, the boys are playing sort of nicely with each other. But everyone needs something. Sometimes, it can be…a little much. And sometimes a lot much.

I freely admit, even before we moved and when I had tons of friends close by, I rarely had “mom time.” The reasons were multi-layered. I believe mom’s do need mom time, but I had several who were close to me who abused it. Multiple girls nights in the same week, combined with other pampering activities and then complaining about money needs with their kids…yeah. I know lots of mom’s who do it right but the number I knew doing it wrong made me feel guilty for my few times of asking. It felt indulgent and like a waste of money because even when I would do something “free” it cost gas and sometimes child care, which cost money.

Since we’ve moved, I have found quieter mom time because of the very close proximity of the beach, having a pool (in the summer), library and other things. And so the shock of the last few days has left my eye a little twitchy, but I can better appreciate mom time because I’ve experienced little slices of it as we’ve moved help me to embrace what mom time could be.

It doesn’t have to be a girl’s night out. It could be a simple hour once a month locked in the bedroom reading while the husband watches a movie with the kids. It can even be the realization that you can maybe enjoy a coffee on a solo grocery trip. And that time away, will in fact make a better mother as it gives those mental and emotional “mom muscles” a chance to rest and re-charge. This is mothering in the 21st Century not times past, I have to keep reminding myself. I can’t compare what, as a mom, I need or do with what my mother and grandmother did. We live in very different times with different challenges and as such, we may require different things.

Mothers need to realize it’s not always selfish to do what you need to in order to make yourself a better mom, it’s only when we make it a priority above the needs of our family that we’ve taken it too far. Don’t let burn-out happen to you…

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