Some of the moms that I work with break my heart. As in, I want to cry listening to them talk they break my heart so much. There have been many times during a session that I just want to give the mom a hug and tell her how damn amazing she is for everything she is doing. And yet, almost all of them sit in front of me thinking that they’re not doing enough because they spend all of their time in the kitchen or the grocery store, are running after their kids to eat, and their kids STILL won’t touch a damn thing on their plate. This scenario replays itself in so many households day after day and it leaves moms everywhere feeling pretty awful about themselves. And to be honest, there are times where I sit in front of a mom who feels like she’s not doing enough and think, ‘Man, it’s a good thing my kids don’t hear everything this mom does for her kids, because they would be trying to move into her house!’
Last week, I posted a picture of a dinner I had made for my husband and myself on Instagram and how I deconstructed it to be appropriate for my two-year-olds. They didn’t eat most of it and we continued on with our regular bedtime routine. That scenario could either be read as: I provided a nutritious dinner to my family and then accepted my kids’ decision making power at dinner time, OR I didn’t make them a dinner they liked, and when they didn’t like it I didn’t make them an alternative – so they may or may not have been hungry when they went to bed.
The first attitude is positive parenting and the other basically paints me as a pretty bad mom, and it BREAKS MY HEART when moms continuously paint themselves this way. We all try so hard to provide everything our family needs and be everything to everyone, but think about it – are you everything to yourself? Are you your own confidante? Your own best friend?
When was the last time you had a burning question or needed to dish and didn’t call your mother/friend/sister? We all need other people, and if we can’t be everything to ourselves then I think it’s safe to say it’s gonna be pretty damn impossible for us to be everything to our kiddos. Especially to show and spend our precious time day after day at meal times when we find it super stressful. I work with some pretty amazing, awesome, badass mamas who are all but killing themselves for their families. So I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to stop. It’s okay to set limits on how much you feel like you can do, and hold firm to those limits and it’s OKAY to get help if you feel like you are scoring more than a 5/10 stress level at meal time. It’s okay if you don’t make sixteen different variations of dinner, at differing temperatures, so that your two year old will eat — and instead exercise, paint your nails or do something for yourself for twenty minutes. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your family is to be a little selfish now so you can show up better for them later.. Now, this is just one fellow-mama’s opinion, but honestly, if taking care of yourself makes you a bad mom, then at least you’re in good company :).