Today I got a text from an old friend that I used to go to middle school with. We were very close friends as teenagers but then her and her family moved away and we kind of lost touch. We are friends on Facebook so it’s nice to see updates about her and her family but it’s definitely hard to be close to someone that’s thousands of miles away. Anyway, I was surprised when she contacted me on Facebook and asked for my phone number so she could text me. I sent her a text right away and asked what was going on and if everything was ok and I was so surprised with what she wrote to me. This is what she wrote:
“Hey!! I love reading your blog and my question is how do you have so much energy to do it all? I am asking because I am always exhausted and only have my daughter at home and I do go to the boys’ sporting events, but I have absolutely no energy to do anything. You are such an inspiration to me!!! I have been doing this mom thing for almost 13 years and can’t seem to get it figured out.”
Now don’t get me wrong, making it sound like I have my life together is the highest compliment to a person like me. I’m a perfectionist and I am always trying to perfect procedures and systems within my life. But I didn’t hesitate in telling her that I am no where near perfect and that I struggle daily with being a mother too. I feel like my children don’t get the attention they need or want from me all the time, I feel guilty when I don’t get on their level and play with them as often as they’d like, I feel guilty and unsure about every decision I make from choosing their school to what they’re eating to the activities that we do or don’t do. Heck, they are sitting right next to me watching Halloween cartoons so I can write this and I feel guilty about that! I wanted to emphasize to her that what she was feeling were completely normal feelings and that every mom feels like that at some point, if not daily. Oh, and I told her “I AM exhausted”! How can you raise little humans without feeling exhausted!?! Seriously though, any tips?
I also shared with her some planning tools that I use to help me and my family stay organized and have a smoother week. I make sure to do weekly meal planning, wake up before my children, I have a weekly cleaning schedule, I have a planner that I use religiously to help me sort out school, activities, birthday parties, etc. But I also know that as a mom of 3 under 5 I need to give myself and my family grace and know that along with trying to plan everything out, you also need to be flexible. Let’s be honest. Life happens. A lot. And that’s ok! Most of the time life’s unplanned events are the biggest and best events! So slow down, give yourself grace, and look at all the positives that you do for your kiddos instead of focusing on all of the things you didn’t do for your kiddos or the things that you felt guilty for that day.
She also mentioned that even when she does things for her family that she feels like it’s never enough. Her meal times never go as smooth as she’d like, she doesn’t have time in the mornings to accomplish what she wants, and she is exhausted and feels like she doesn’t get enough sleep. Not to diminish how she feels at all but I told her I think that’s just what being a mom is. It’s being frazzled and overwhelmed. It’s been overworked and sometimes under appreciated. It’s worrying and anxiety. But it’s also filled with an abundance of love and every time I am having a bad day, a little peak of this love shines through and reminds me why I try so hard. It’s that hug and “You’re a good mommy” that your child says to you.
Getting that text from my friend not only reminded me of how hard being a mom is but it also reminded me that I’m not alone. The feelings I have are the same exact feelings my friend had! And we both love our children with our whole heart. I think if you are a mom and you are struggling and feeling worried that you aren’t everything you think you should be, you need to take a step back. Good moms worry if they’re being good moms!
All of this to say keep on keepin’ on momma! Love your kids hard and try to make the best of every day. Trying is all you can do and it IS enough. I hope this can be a pick me up to any of you needing one today. We are all doing the best we can and as long as you love your child and try your hardest, well I think that makes YOU a GREAT mom.