HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!
Happy Mother's Day to all. It's hard to figure out what to write on a day like today because this blog is about finding my identity when it's so easy to lose it as a stay at home mom. Nothing makes me prouder and happier than the job I do. Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled. Even after the toughest of days, there is still nothing I would rather do than to raise my children.
I choose to look at Mother's Day at a slightly different angle, however. I spent a wonderful day with my children. My baby slept all night last night without waking (10-8 am!!), my son came and laid in bed with us early, we went and painted pottery as a family and ate cheeseburgers and fries outside on a patio. Perfect.
The rest of the day is where I am going to redirect my focus. Let's talk about something here. I don't believe staying at home makes you a good mother. I don't believe staying in sweats and eating crap makes you a good mother. I don't believe sacrificing yourself for your children makes you a good mother.
What makes a good mother is knowing how to live your life so that when you are with your children you are present, happy and loving. Not tired, frustrated or resentful.
For some mothers this means working. So when they come home they make the most of the time they have with their kids. For some that means hiring help so they are not on full time duty. Anything is okay as long as you it helps you make the most of your time with your children.
For me, it means staying at home but learning what I need in order to be the best mother, wife and myself that I can be. Throughout the years I have learned it means asking for help from my husband BEFORE it's too late. Taking time for myself without guilt. Exercising daily. Taking care of and putting effort into myself. Cleaning out the closet. This weekend I have done little things to address each of these.
1) Ask for help. I know when I am reaching my limit. I know when it's about the time I'm gonna blow. I asked my husband to take baby girl Friday and Saturday night (he was going to anyway b/c of Mother's Day). Baby girl has been harder to get to sleep because schedules and nap times are interrupted throughout the day with 2 year old activities.
Because of this, I have had trouble bonding with Aubrey. It's not that I don't want to take care of her or I get anxious around her. I just haven't had those moments of heartache for her yet. Women don't talk about this. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's okay if they don't come out of the womb and you are not all goo goo ga ga over them right away.
Well, my first wonderful Mother's Day gift came when my husband took my baby all Friday night. I woke anxious to see her, love on her and something just clicked. It finally was that ache for my baby girl that I was waiting for.
2) Take time without guilt. Because I am a very present mom (I rarely talk on the phone or get on the computer when I am interacting with my kids), there is nearly no guilt when I leave to have a manicure, go to the gym or eat lunch with a girlfriend. If you are present and pay attention to your children while you are care taking for them, you know you deserve some time away.
3) Exercise daily. It's pretty obvious I love to exercise. It keeps me sane, it keeps me healthy and it sets a good example for my children.
4) Start paying attention to yourself. You feel better when you look better. I am slowly coming out of my sweatsuit coma. Not too fast, but I am at least getting dressed in something other than my black yoga pants once a week. I got a real hair cut. I am scheduling waxing and my glycolic peels for this week. The progression to hot momma is beginning.
5) Clean out the closet. The rest of my day is going to include getting rid of my maternity clothes and bringing out some of my real clothes. For those that are not mothers or just had babies, this could mean throwing out all the sizes that you haven't worn in a year. You know you have them. The too bigs or the too smalls. The "I'll wear that when I just lose this last 10 lbs" clothes. Embrace where you are. Be realistic about your closet. Simplify your life.
This step for me signifies that I am becoming more of myself rather than a pregnant or new mom. What will it signify for you?
So HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!! But remember, the reason this day is so special is because we are the best mom's we can be. Whatever you need to be that person, make sure you do that today.