Sunday, 13 May 2012

Gimme a break

I had a great Mother's Day.  I had a fantastic run, a nice brunch, a wonderful nap, and a lovely pizza picnic with ice cream for dessert.  However, it didn't matter so much what I did today that made it nice; it was more about how I felt.

For the past two days, I didn't feel like a very good mom.  I was exhausted, I was trying to do too much, and I was very irritable and grumpy.  The girls were challenging and difficult, and I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I yelled some.  I used my mean mommy voice too often.  I wasn't proud of myself. 

But today, after some time doing things for myself, and a really good nap, I've realised that I just need to give myself a break.  Not in the take-the-day-off, go-for-a-pedicure, or let-someone-else-mind-the-kids kind of break.  These would be nice too, and I'm sure that these would be lovely Mother's Day gestures received by many moms today.  But I'm talking about giving myself a break by easing up on myself, and lowering my expectations a little.

So this was my Mother's Day gift to myself, and I hope to carry it forward in the coming days, weeks and months:

I will accept less than perfect behaviour from myself and my children.  I will remember that they are little and that they need hugs and comfort more than strict discipline.  I'll make sleep and rest a priority so that I don't pass the threshold of grouchiness.  I'll try not to be bothered by toys not put away in their proper place, unswept floors, and unfolded laundry.  I'll let the girls paint their toenails with chalk and dig in the dirt.  I'll try not to be so bothered when they talk back to me or throw a tantrum over some ridiculous request.  I'll put off the grocery shopping, the clothes sorting, the vacuuming and the mending.  I will accept that these are crazy and challenging and difficult times, but remember that childhood only lasts a short while and when it's gone, I will miss it.  I'll remind myself that what's most important is that my children are healthy and happy and loved.

It's not always easy to give myself a break, but I'm sure that my family and I will be much better for it.  Certainly today, taking a deep breath and remembering these things helped all of us enjoy a very nice day.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

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