Can we let ourselves off the “good mom/bad mom” hook? Can we trust that we can be really good moms without wearing ourselves out – running through our day and then falling into bed exhausted and burnt out every night? Can we believe that it’s safe to not spend every moment trying to ward off the disaster trending at the moment? Can we even consider that maybe having a relaxing, enjoyable dinner with our kids is just as valuable as spending the entire meal begging them to take another bite of their vegetables?
I know a very successful attorney who eats like a picky 5 year old. I have had business lunches with her, during which she pretty much ate only white food. She has told me that she doesn’t really care for fruits and vegetables (!!!). My crunchy, health-nut mama brain nearly exploded. This woman isn’t overweight and she isn’t in poor health. She is happy and intelligent and overall a successful adult by pretty much every measure. In case you are thinking, “oh, but it will catch up to her one day!” – she is in her 60’s with thick, luscious hair, beautiful skin and sparkling eyes.
So maybe those things that you think you HAVE to do or else you are the shittiest mom ever, aren’t worth exhausting yourself over. I’m not suggesting that you should switch from serving kale salads to slamming giant bowls of Fruit Loops on the table for dinner every night. But if you find yourself chasing a child around the house with a Brussels sprout, maybe it would be okay to step away from the cabbage family and let yourself off the hook for tossing baby carrots on their plate (again).
So here is your homework for taking an inventory of how you might be spending a LOT of energy and anxiety for very little actual benefit to your pesky little bundles of joy and foot odor:
What are your biggest fears for your kid(s)? Write them down.
What are your biggest hopes and dreams for your kid(s)? Write them down.
For the next twenty-four hours, notice what you spend the most time doing as a parent. Where do you spend your parenting energy? Write that down.
Now look at these three lists. Do they match? Are the places you are spending the most energy connected to the fears list or the dreams list?
Want to keep going? Want to put the mojo back in your motherhood? Go here and learn more.