Have you ever watched “Mom’s Night Out”? The movie is crazy funny. There are so many real life things happening in the movie, things we as mothers have had happen to us, but not all in one day! Thank God.
As this mom’s attempt to have a girls’ night out unravels and becomes one of the worst nights out ever, there are some truths revealed that every mother should be aware of. We, as mothers, set an impossibly high standard for ourselves. Then we beat ourselves up when we don’t meet the standard.
No matter what the world has been telling us for the past few decades, we cannot do it all and have it all. Something has got to give along the way. And it shouldn’t be our sanity. Or our joy in motherhood.
Yes, being a mother (and a wife) is hard, and some days are so much harder than others, but you are doing a remarkable job.
Write it (I am doing a remarkable job) on a notecard and read it on those days when you are tired and totally stressed and you feel like a failure. Then don’t be so hard on yourself!
Being a mother is a full time job. It is the most important job we will have; however, for many of us it is not our only job. Financial strains result in many moms working an additional job other than the mommy one. Working outside the home or even working from home limits the time available for maintaining our homes and relationships with our loved ones.
This means we must determine our priorities and then give ourselves permission to let some things slide a bit or even go undone totally. Our homes do not need to be spotless and clutter free for the children to grow up successfully. They need our attention more than the house does.
When my children were growing up I worked from home so I could be with them for their important things. One way I earned extra income was being a child care provider. This meant at times I had 7 children in the house and yard. We kept the house reasonably clean, (they did have chores that had to be completed) but it was definitely not spotless and uncluttered. And we all survived it.
Don’t get me wrong, at times I did nag them about cleaning up their rooms, but the rooms did not have to be spotless to suit me. And there were times we had to play catch-up on the house, but overall time together was more important than the house.
We played games, we read books, and we spent time outside and at the playgrounds and the public pool. My grown children often talk about how having fun and learning to do things was a big part of their childhood.
When your children are small it is important to get out and make friends who can help you get through these years. Often having someone to talk to who is going through (or been through) the same child stages will help you to gain a more realistic view of just how good a job you are doing.
And you can help other struggling moms see what a remarkable job they are doing. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us: “Two are better that one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who falls when he is alone, for he has no one to help him up.”
Take these verses to heart and when you feel like you are falling down on the mommy job, go to your friends for ‘help getting up’ and do the same for them on their down days.
On the days when you’re really tired, give yourself a break. On my really tired days I would have my young’uns take a 30-45 minutes rest time. I would tell them it was not a naptime. They did not have to go to sleep, but they did have to stay on the bed. They could read or play quietly, no talking to each other, until the timer went off allowing me a few minutes to rest. It worked very nicely once they got used to it.
As you march forth today three things I want you to remember are:
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Get help from your friends.
Take a break when you need it.
Be a blessing today,