Moms. Now more than ever, we’re looking for what makes our lives easier. And when we step back and think about what that might be, we’re finding the answer is so simple, we can’t believe it’s been so buried!
These are times like we’ve not seen before, and many moms are sitting in their homes wondering, “How in the world did we get here?” As if mom-life wasn’t hard enough before…
That’s not to say that we’re not up to hard. We do hard things all the time, and even better, we’ve learned that hard things yield incredible results.
But it’s okay to be tired, worn and weary at this time. We’re all there with you on a regular day, and especially now.
So we have been thinking about how we can best help you. How can we share the best information that helps you be the best mom you can be in such an unusual time in the world? What simple change that makes mom life easier can we offer?
Lo and behold, we found it, and we think now, more than ever, you’re going to want to read and remember this article from 2015.
By: Sarah Clark
Ahh…one simple change that made mom life easier.
This is going to be a good, albeit depressing, post.
I have four children. Today was the first day of school. I had one in kindergarten, one in second, and one in fifth grade. I also have one who still hangs out with me at home. The weeks leading up to the first day of school were interesting. I watched a lot of other moms get their first child ready for their first day of school.
Man, it took me back to that time in my life.
My how have things changed…
My first day of my first kid going to the first day of school was six years ago. I will give you a rundown of how it went:
- I got a list from the school of all that he needed in order to start. The kids go to a local Waldorf school, so the list was kind of different and included an apron, a basket, handmade napkins, extra clothes in a cloth bag, boots, etc.
- I stressed about the list.
- I got overwhelmed about the list.
- I felt like a failure because, oh my gosh, could I make all that stuff?!?!?! Would it be cute enough?!
- Did I mention I was pregnant with my third child and having my hardest, most broke, most stressed pregnancy?
- Finally, my sister-in-law extraordinaire visited and she made all the stuff, complete with embroidered names.
- I dropped off my first child at his first day of school.
- I was overwhelmed. (Did I mention that baby # 3 was born about 5 days before this?!
- I worried about him.
- I cried in the parking lot.
Here is how the first day of school went this year, with three children:
- List? What list? Is there a list? Where did I put the list?
- Ahh, who cares. I am not worried about the list.
- I get almost nothing ready.
- My stress level is about zero.
- I drop everyone off on the first day. I have made no napkins. I now just shove a dish towel or something in their lunch baskets.
- I walk away smiling. I remembered to take a picture, but there were no chalk boards involved and I only took one picture with all of the kids in it. No individual pictures.
So what is my one simple change that made mom life easier?
I have tried to give up on perfection.
That is your tip to sanity as a mom: GIVE UP ON PERFECTION.
Ladies, perfection isn’t happening. It won’t happen. It doesn’t happen. No matter how hard you try, this isn’t attainable.
So stop stressing about it.
In all reality, I haven’t totally given up. I work very hard in my life to get things done, to work hard in my job, to find balance, to do everything I can to the best of my ability. But time, tears, and dashed expectations have made me realize that I am not perfect, and on my own, I never will be.
My job as a mom is to do my best. My job as a mom is to accept myself despite my imperfections because that teaches my children that they should also accept THEIR imperfections.
My job is not to be perfect.
Striving for perfection? Good.
Beating yourself up because you don’t get there? Bad. Very bad.
I think that Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram and all social media may have ruined motherhood for all of us. I am in charge of how I feel about myself, so I don’t “let” pictures of lunches with lunch meat cut in the shape of elephants and homemade banana muffins and mini carrots all tucked into bento boxes with a note on top, “make” me feel bad about myself.
I am not that gal. I am OK with not being that gal. I don’t look down on that gal. But I am not her. I simply have other priorities. But, if I notice that tons of pictures in my news feed just like that from above (or others with perfectly coiffed kids holding special chalk boards with their year of school on it) then I block that from my feed. I probably won’t visit blogs dedicated to things that I don’t have time for or don’t care about or that make me overwhelmed just thinking about.
Because I just don’t need to let myself feel bad about things that aren’t priorities for me. I don’t need to let myself feel inferior because I don’t measure up to someone else’s strengths.
What people share publically, are their strengths. Whether it be a desire for a perfectly clean house, a bento box lunch, a postpartum body, or endless days with no yelling and only attachment gentleness, none are really attainable. Not without significant and heavy doses of medication. And eventually that will catch up to you.
When I was pregnant with my first child, a close friend, who herself had four children, gave me some advice that I thought sounded crazy. She said, “It is all easier if you don’t have expectations.”
What? That seemed depressing at the time. Now I understand what she was talking about. I heard this similar quote the other day:
“Expectation is the mother of all frustration.”
I laughed so hard. Because now, I get it.
If you don’t believe me, check out this TED talk by Brene Brown. She is super smart, has lots of degrees, and I am pretty sure she agrees with me.
Do you want to know one simple change to make life as a mom easier? Accept your imperfection and move on. Listen to the inner voice that drives you to do better, but ignore the one that tells you you aren’t enough. It’s lying.
Remember the most important takeaway from Sarah’s words. Perfection isn’t happening, and it’s never going to. And trying to make things the best they can be is noble and wise (if that’s what you choose to do) but it’s not worth beating yourself up over. Your children will not remember much about you but who you were on a day-to-day basis. This means that if you spend your days worrying about the little things, they’ll eat at you and literally change your personality and wiring. Aim for as best you can, and be content with however that looks. Then they’ll remember that their mom always gave her best, and they’ll be thankful for it!
Photo credit: Pavel Ilyukhin