Thoughtful Thursday – Give Yourself a Break!

As I look around at my crowded livingroom, at the saltine cracker crumbs lining the floor, toys scattered here and there, Sesame Street playing on tv, a cold cup of coffee I started drinking hours ago, and the workout DVD I was supposed to start 10 minutes ago staring me in the face, I can’t help to wonder why we never give ourselves a break.

As a fairly new mom to two, I often feel like I jumped into this “ball-pit” if you will of motherhood; no actually, I cannonballed into it without one look behind me and only high hopes of the future. I never took a breath before I made the decision to quit the job I was just beginning to be good at to stay home with my kids, and I have absolutely no regrets. My husband and I have often been “the firsts” in our groups of friends. The first people to live together, get a dog, buy a house, have children… and that always made me happy. I always felt like we were so put togther and organized, and knew that our number one goal in life had nothing to do with money or careers- it was to have a family.

Looking back at the last few years, which have flown by to say the least, I feel proud, fulfilled, confident, and content in my decisions. Then, why do some days seem so long?! Why do I long for a hot shower, or ten minutes to myself, or the dog to stop barking, or my hair to be brushed, or to go one day without being spit up on, or the house to be clean, or my toddler to eat vegetables, or… I could go on and on. Here’s the thing- when you are home with your kids, in your mind, your new job becomes not only being their mother, but also taking care of the rest of the household. I often feel guilty that I only did one load of laundry, or I let the kids watch too much tv, or I didn’t read any books to the baby today, or… I could go on and on again.

As a fairly new mom to two, I often wonder if I am failing at motherhood. Is there actually a way to get all of the things on your to-do-list done in one day?! How do some people do it?! As I continue to navigate this path, I am realizing that we are all alike. None of us get everything we need to get done in one day (because we sometimes set unclear expectations for ourselves!), none of us are Supermom (although the kids may think we are), and none of us are failing at motherhood. As someone who is very educated, very driven in life, and has very quickly gone from working A LOT to staying home, it often seems as though I am not doing enough. My brain is tired from worrying about when my baby pooped last. My body is tired from playing on the floor and running up and down the stairs. This is the stuff I worry about now! My husband says I take things too seriously and I should just relax. My mom says I have the best job in the world. I say, we all need to give ourselves a break!

As I reflect on the past three days, at a nasty stomach bug that graced our house and left my toddler feeling unlike himself, at the saltine cracker crumbs lining the floor, toys scattered here and there, Sesame Street playing on tv, a cold cup of coffee I started drinking hours ago, and the workout DVD I was supposed to start 10 minutes ago staring me in the face, I am happy that I finally gave myself a break. Sometimes you need a little sickness to keep you at home and have an excuse for not doing more. I am grateful that I got some extra cuddles with my first baby in this week, and grateful that he is back to his fun-loving, food-throwing, belly-laughing self. And I know that we will all be just fine.

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