Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mama's Pep Talk. Because you need one right now.

This is technically a scrapbooking blog but sometimes we just need to step back from the art to deal with life's other issues. I had a wonderful phone call from a friend today and while we went about our morning chores we chatted How hard it is. How great it is. How good we are at it. How much we suck at it. Just life. And being on the phone kept us from roaring at our kids which is always a bonus. A little Facebook after I hung up and I came across a beautiful blog and this entry and happened to hop over to a different friend's blog and she had blogged about the same website. So if that isn't a God Moment, I honestly don't know what is. This friend blogged that reading that post made her feel less successful as a mother and that made me gasp because she is a wonderful person. I love being around her. She is honest and fun, her smile lights up a room and she is absolutely without pretenses. You can talk to her and not feel judged. My only regret in our fairly new friendship is that we live in different provinces and I wish our Facebook time was actual face time. But maybe that will come in the future. So if you have a minute, go and read that post. It really is a beautiful post, full of hope and promise for the future. A post that defines what we all want deep in our hearts. But I do have some points of my own to make.

1. I absolutely agree with number 1! However, sometimes you are doing that praying while driving a screaming toddler to the drugstore because you ran out of Baby Advil. You are praying while in line at the grocery store because if that person behind you hits the back of your legs with their cart one more time you will go postal. You may pray at work because right at that second you are eternally grateful that you have a clean shirt on and there is no screaming baby hanging off your arm. My most intense prayer of the day is after my kids go to bed and I check on them a couple hours later, praying over their beds for health and happiness the next day. Even though I love them, I am happy they are asleep and not asking me what is that? How is that made? Why can't I eat it?

2. This point is wonderful and I really DO see beauty all around me. But I also see the 2 cups of peanut butter that just got smeared into my kitchen rug, the milk puddle on the floor, the smashed Christmas ornament that never made it back into the box and the dirty little boy who is wiping his face on my suede pillow shams. I can see the beauty in all things, but I am also realistic in knowing how long that beauty takes to clean up. That doesn't make me ungrateful.

3. Only amateurs hurry? Really? Honey, if you think I am an amateur you need to take another look at my resume. Do I strive for calm and to be 10 minutes early for things? Absolutely. It's my ideal. But do things tend to spiral a bit out of control at times and do I need to rush to set things straight? Um, HECK YES! Trying to be the kind of person featured in a TV movie of the week is tough work. Having it all and doing it all is hectic and stressful. The only thing we can do is recognize when it is getting a little too overwhelming and take a step back from the race. Take a breath, regroup and dive back in. Sometimes if I don't rush, stuff doesn't get done and there are things I do consider "emergencies" and that is OK. As long as life doesn't turn into one long, giant emergency I think you are doing just fine.

4. Number 4 is true to a point. When you are feeling stressed it really does help to stop and be grateful for a moment. The kids are fighting but they aren't in the hospital. Supper is going to be so late but we have food on our table. I have to work late but I have a job to go to that supports my family. There is a silver lining to everything. As long as we see the silver lining more often than the ugly, ungrateful stress monster than we are coming out on top.

5. I speak strong words all the time. And sometimes those strong words are NO! DON'T and ABSOLUTELY NOT! I encourage my children in all they do and speak to them as equals and individuals but when I need to exert my authority, they know it. Because I am Mama. And if I don't speak these strong words, my children will not be strong individuals. They will be whining, self righteous brats who don't know how to be respectful members of society. As long as you are balancing the soft words of wisdom and play with the strong words of guidance and teaching you are doing a good job.

6. I completely agree with #6 but you need to take it in context. A "daily ceremony" need not be a grand, lengthy affair. It can simply be helping to pack your child's backpack in the morning. A kind word as you all brush your teeth. A kiss on the head before getting on the bus. Consistency really IS key but it doesn't have to be an all encompassing schedule of every minute of your lives. Just because you don't have every minute planned doesn't mean you are a bad parent.

7. In theory, #7 is very wise. Especially when {on occasion} drawing closer to that child is asking them if they need a time out in the grocery store? Because that is how I roll. Anyone who knows me knows that I cherish my little bambinos. They are my world. But I parent out in the world exactly how I parent at home. No need to yell and scream and be obnoxious. But if someone needs to be reminded of the rules when we are out, drawing them close and quietly reminding them of the unpleasant things that will happen if they don't shape up is extremely valuable. Don't get me wrong, if a child is having emotional issues and is acting out because of them they need to be dealt with gently. Knowing that they are safe in the embrace of a parent who cares. And you know your children well enough to know the difference.

8. Number 8 is hands down my philosophy of life. Can't do enough huggin'! From tall to small they all need Mama Lovin'.

9. I have a lot of priorities in my life. If I were to ignore some of them...this juggling act I call life would tumble. Things unseen are important, but not the most important. Acknowledge the unseen but not at the expense of what is right in front of your face.

10. Number 10 is a wonderful idea. And I strive to be lighthearted every day. But sometimes a bad day can turn your mood and the only thing that can help is to just go to bed and greet the sun on a new day. You are not a horrible person if don't find the humour in every single situation. I didn't find it very humorous spending $300 to replace our upstairs toilet because of daily floods only to find a toothbrush, a wad of disinfecting wipes and a pair of huge nail clippers were the cause of all our toilet issues. Yup, not funny at all. No, I didn't yell at my kids about it but I also didn't laugh hysterically. Things happen and all you can do is try not to lose your head over them. Laugh with your kids, laugh with your spouse, laugh at yourself. But also know when it's OK to not be grinning.

The post was from this website written by an Author, wife and mother. It really is a wonderful place to be inspired but don't for one second think that because she writes, home schools and says "don't yell at your kids" that you are less of a mother. That you are less of a woman.

I am tired of the pressure we women put on each other to be the best, do the most and look amazing while doing all that. I might make something cute for my sons' classes for Halloween but that doesn't mean my shirt is clean when I do it. Or that my hair is brushed. Or that I haven't yelled at my 3 year old to STOP licking the spoon because I have to keep getting a new one. It doesn't mean I am judging you that you didn't make something. And if someone is in fact judging someone else for doing or are not doing things as the case may be, you need only remember that one day, they will be judged too. And He doesn't really care if they make fluffy souffle. So stop with the worry. Have fun in your life! Have fun with your kids and your husband! And when you have a bad day, sit down right in amongst the mess, have a cup of coffee and call a friend. Because she might be having that kind of day too.


lisa said...

well if that wasn't a "hug", I don't know what is! :)

Jerri-Lea said...

Thanks Kate. Wouldn't it be great if we would encourage all other women instead of judging and tearing them down. We are all doing the very best job that can and doing it they way that is right at that very moment.

I try to remember every morning at school with the students that I work with: I don't know what their night was like, what happened at home before they came to school, if they got enough sleep/where they slept, if they ate, if they were yelled at or if they were "kissed on the head and given a kiss." I try to greet them all with kindness (and on some mornings a hug.)

Kate said...

JL, I can only hope that my kids end up in the same school as you someday! You are some kind of lady!!! And Lisa, it's the only kind of hug I can give right now. Someday soon it will be in real life! xo

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