My first-born turns 5 this month,
…and it seems like a really big deal. I’ve been working this mom gig for basically 5 years now, and trust me when I say that I am nowhere near being an expert, or even knowing anything at all. But I do feel like on this auspicious birthday, that I have learned some things. Mainly pearls of mom wisdom that I have been blessed by other mamas to inherit.
- Being a SAHM doesn’t mean you’re a live-in maid – Bam! Now listen, I happen to be a stay-at-home-mom and this was the actual wisdom someone said to me. I hope this will resonate with you, regardless of being a WAHM, WOHM or otherwise. The point is, I was trying to do it all. Take care of the baby (just one at that time), keep the house perfectly spic-n-span, all the groceries shopped for, all the meals prepared, all the laundry washed, dried, folded AND put away. I was struggling and failing at all the things. My friend reminded me that housework is a shared duty between me & my husband and not just for me to take on all by myself. If he was a bachelor, he’d still have to do laundry and tidy up at the end of the day. Yes! That was so good to hear! I have certainly eased up on myself quite a bit since that talk.
- Don’t die on Cowboy Boot Mountain – Meaning, pick your battles wisely. Not all are worth fighting for, let alone actually dying over. My son has these Toy Story cowboy boots with Woody & his horse on them. They light up when he walks and so they are everything in life. Even when it’s 107 degrees outside. Fine. If he wants to wear them, what difference does it make to me? But I used to climb right on up to the top of Cowboy Boot Mountain and proclaim that no boots shall be worn on that day. Then I went to battle with the child and ended up losing even though I technically won. Cowboy Boot Mountain changes its name often, but the idea is always the same. Don’t go up the mountain unless you intend on staking a flag on the summit and defending it full force. There isn’t enough coffee.
- Don’t “mom” alone – Very early on in my motherhood journey, when my first born was only weeks old, I stumbled into a moms group at a nearby church. The gals there became my lifeline and many continue to be that for me to this day. I still do life with many of the gals I met there. We are there to support, encourage, laugh, cry, and celebrate each other. We are stronger together. We are not meant to do this mom job alone. That’s why there’s that saying, “It takes a village.” I love listening to the God Centered Mom Podcast hosted by Heather McFadyen, and she talks a lot about the importance in not “momming” alone. It is truth.
- Accept the help – I cannot do it all by myself. It was never intended to be that way. At some point along the way, I am going to need help and because I have received the advice to not mom alone, somebody will recognize that I need help and they will offer it to me. It’s important to say, “YES!” Doing something nice or helpful for someone else just feels good. Declining someone’s offer to help out is denying them the joy they get out of serving a friend in need. Even if the need is just a cup of coffee and a listening ear. There is no shame in the game of admitting that help is needed, or accepting a kind gesture when it’s being offered. Who am I to deny someone from experiencing a sense of joy? It’s not an inconvenience. I have learned this hard and I promise it is the honest to goodness truth.
- It’s OK that kids act like kids – I learned this directly from the birthday boy himself. One day, he was being silly and singing loudly at Trader Joe’s. He wasn’t being disruptive, but people were looking. I told him to be quiet and he said to me, “Mommy, I’m a kid and shopping is boring. You should let me have fun.” OMG, right?! Kids like to have fun more than anybody else I know. And sometimes I get all worked up about what people will think of me as a mom (that mom who just lets her kid sing songs at the store for people to hear) that I try to control the situation and I end up squashing all the fun. #buzzkill #letitgo #bringthefun
I am still a work in progress on all of these things and just trying to be the best mom I can be in each moment. If I mess up, which I do almost every single day, I ask for grace and forgiveness. And I keep my ears open for more pearls of wisdom.