It’s been quite some time since I have had the chance to sit down and write. Life is so busy and my brain seems to be muddled with all the pieces of life. Seriously I feel like I dumped all my to-do items and life duties into a blender, turned it on and forgot to put the lid on! That’s my vivid way to apologize for the lack of posts since Paisley’s birth story (almost 20 days ago!! Wowzer)
As I reflect on the past weeks and all the craziness that occurred, from family reunions to park days and now Brian traveling, I often ask myself “Am I good enough?” Am I a good enough wife, am I a good enough friend, am I a good enough mom, am I a good enough stylist…the list could go on and on with my self-doubts. I see the success of others and want it. I see the happiness and ease that others have when interacting with their children and I want that, too. I see the look husbands give to their wives and I want Brian to always have a reason to look at me the same way.
Not diving too much into my reasons as to where these thoughts come from, I tend to think that the potential void I feel in these areas is due to the fact that I am a giver, a helper, someone who wants others to be happy and cared for, or a chameleon for those who follow Adlerian Personality Profiles and Terry Kottman’s work (skip to page 7 for the personality profile breakdown). And I know that most of these issues would be solved if I went back to self-care. Self-care is the number 1 piece of the puzzle most people miss. They forget about stopping and allowing “me time”. In a world where everything is go, go, go and demanding it gets hard to take that time for yourself. Another piece that I know I am missing is my daily scripture study. Brian and I were doing really well reading together at night before bed, and since we have stopped I feel like my stress level has increased and my ability to feel accomplished has decreased! I NEED to get those 2 things higher up on my priority list.
As far as the feelings of insufficient mother goes, I blame this on my days as a social worker and individual therapist. Knowing how important those first 1000 days are on a developing babies brain, I often stress about the quality of time and the quantity of time I spend interacting with my babes. I set aside housework and Stella & Dot to be with my kids, then stress about Brian coming home to a clean house, where dinner is on the table and lack of daily jewelry/fashion posts on my Instagram and Facebook page. And the cycle continues. Every day making me feel more inadequate and digging a deeper hole of wallow and self-pity (cue Jim Carrey in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, debating his attendance to the dinner).
Since Carson was born, Paisley has had it rough. I felt like such a “good” mom with her. I gave her 1 on 1 attention daily. We read to her every night before bed beginning at 2 months. We did our very best to follow pediatricians guidelines about TV and screen time, limiting to almost nothing until she turned 2. Long gone are those days, and I think that is where my guilt comes from. There are days where all I can do is allow her to watch multiple shows of Angelina Ballerina or Umizoomi (which is math based and highly educational, at least, HA). She rarely sees my face as I zip around the house cleaning week old dirt, days old dishes and do laundry until my hands hurt. These days are hard on Carson, too. He is typically okay crawling around, exploring toys and books, but on cleaning days it seems that nothing can keep his attention. My frustration rises as my inability to get anything done increases. It has almost been a year with 2 kids, and I still feel like I am struggling to keep my head above water. How do all the other moms do it? And let’s not even go there with families who have more than 2 kids, or twins!?! Superwomen, right??
All joking aside though, there has to be a mental shift. And I feel like I am just now feeling okay with this. There has to be a change in the way I see myself and I need to stop comparing my life to those around me. I need to start living in the moments that I have with my children, for we all know that quality outweighs quantity. Making those moments count is what it is all about. Those moms I compare myself to, who seem to have it all together, feeding their kiddos organic fruit and homemade bread, like me try to hide the crazy. That is the truth and something I need to realize when the jealous thoughts come in my head. Those celebs whose bodies I envy, are most often photo-shopped and will never be my body. My body is what it will be and I need to put effort into making it look how I want, not envying what others have.
I am a planner, and without a plan in my head the night before, I rarely find the motivation to spontaneously take the kids to the zoo, bake a cake or clean my house. My goals for the future start small, with getting up before my children do. I have set my alarm every morning this past week at 5:30am, with the hopes of dragging myself out of bed by 6:30am (I HATE waking up in the morning!) But forcing myself to get my butt out of bed will allow me to do my morning Stella post, get a workout in and maybe even squeeze in a shower. Starting the day off right. Stella post = feeling satisfied with my contribution towards my end goal (it’s a secret because the hubs reads my blog, but if you want to know ask me!), Workout = 1 step closer to that rocking after kids mom-bod, Shower = intrinsic motivator to complete other tasks. Concrete things to make myself start to feel okay.
I know I am not alone in these feelings of inadequacy and I hope that you realize we all put on a pretty face to the public. That realization came after I had a breakdown cry-fest with the hubby late one night (I cannot for the life of you tell me how it started, but it was much needed). His simple words of “you are a good mom, you have to stop comparing yourself to others” are ingrained in my head. I am so thankful for that night, as I was probably nagging at him about who knows what, then the crying started and he gave me the biggest and best hug I so desperately needed. That phrase followed up with “I need you to figure yourself out”, “I need your brain back” (my go-to is “my brain isn’t working today”). Just these few words were what I needed to realize that I can and will do better and I am enough. I do put enough time in to each of my children every single day. I do have enough strength to get through the tough times. There is enough time in the day to complete the to-do list that is a mile long in my head. I am the wife he wants, with the mom-bod he desires. I am enough.
Thanks for reading all. Happy Hump Day!!