12 Things I've Learned

H A P P Y   M O T H E R ' S   D A Y

I hope every mom out there gets the amazing day she deserves.

12 Things I've Learned From Momming for 12 Years

1. Your kids will not remember the time you didn't clean up.

They will remember that day you said forget the chores, let's go on a hike. They will remember the day you cuddled with them on the couch and watched their favorite show. They will remember you being with them.

It's hard not to get stressed when the house is a mess, but that helps no one.

2. Forgetting to pack a snack for them isn't the end of the world.

First, the school has back up snacks. Secondly, no matter how much you beat yourself up, this is not something they will remember. They will remember how much you cared.

3. Busyness is overrated. 

Society tells us that busyness is a competition. Look at all the things I do! 
You stress yourself out, you stress your kids out, and you barely remember the day. Believe me, I've done it. Being at home, being together, sharing every day is what they remember. 

The kids did three sports/music activities each last year.
It was AWFUL.
We had no down time and we could barely keep our heads on straight.
We do it differently now, we value our down time together.

4. We all fuck up.

Say it again for the people in the back.
We. All. Fuck. Up.
We all mess up. Over and over and over and over. 

It's a great way to teach your kids that mistakes are a part of life and we just keep trying.

When I mess up and yell at one of the kids, or punish them for something they didn't do, I talk with them about it. Tell them I'm so sorry for messing up, ask them to forgive me, and tell them I'll do better next time.

My hope is that they will be able to come to me with bigger mistakes down the road.

5. Community is so important.

Finding your people is the best thing you can do for yourself.
People who make you feel amazing, while keeping it real.
People who lift you up when you're down and help you navigate this motherhood thing.
People you can be open and honest with.

I had fake friendships for many, many years. I lived in a place where you had to act like everything was perfect all the time or you would get the shit judged out of you. 
Those "friendships" left me feeling alone.

These days, I have an amazing group of friends that I can lean on for anything. Life lines in motherhood.

6. Don't let social media get to you.

This is a big one these days. It's easy to scroll through instagram or facebook and think about the things you don't have, or the way your kids don't act, or how you don't eat cookie dough on the counter in your perfectly clean kitchen. Don't play the comparison game.  Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, what their kids appear to be, what their life appears to be. What matters is you and your life.

One for me is all the trips and international vacations people take with their kids. It stresses me out just thinking about it and I start questioning why I couldn't handle it.

Girl, calm down. Everyone can handle different things at different times.

7. Don't worry about what other people think.

I have to work really hard to remind myself of this. For me, it stems from insecurity and societal pressures. But I don't want to waste time and emotion on it.

I posted a couple weeks ago about a hard time I had with the kids that left me feeling embarrassed, and worried about what other people thought.
I ended up talking to a person that was around and she was so loving and real with me. 

I realized it was all in my head.

8. Give a Hug

Never underestimate how good a hug can feel to a child who is struggling.
Especially when you're furious with that child or they are acting awful.
Scoop that baby up and love on them.
You both need it and will feel better.

Especially with Maddie right now, a lot of the things she's doing makes me absolutely livid. Then she's mad and stomping around and I don't even know what to do with her.

So I hug her, tell her I love her.

It helps break the tension so the problem can be solved.

9. Children learn by example.

This one has a big impact on my daily life. 
Your kids will mimic the things you do.
Including the tone you take when you're angry, how you react to bad news, how you react when you're disappointed, and what you do when they mess up.

I know this because several years ago, my oldest son started copying the way I talk when I'm really stressed. I heard myself for the first time and it broke my heart. 
So I keep working on it.

10. No matter how prepared you are, things can still go wrong.

Take it in stride. You will learn to be more and more flexible for your own sanity's sake.

11. Take all the pictures.

Never stop taking pictures. Ever. Pull out the phone, the camera, the video recorder (do those still exist?)

Capture the imperfect moments, the cute way they sing the ABCs, the ridiculous way they sleep, the outfit they were so proud to pick out for themselves. You will want to remember that one day.

People often talk about moms being on their phones too much, or facebooking/instagramming too much. No. Not too much. Take more pictures!! Remember everything, because I promise you, it will leak out of your head without you knowing and it is so sad.

12. Take time for yourself.

Do things alone. Do things with friends. Get away from the kids.

You need to recharge, you need to be yourself.
And do not feel guilty about that. 

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