NOTE: I wrote this blog post MONTHS or maybe even a year ago. I ran across it today while preparing more resources for you all and I felt like it was too important not to share. ESPECIALLY right now in this time of isolation. Social Media is exploding with pictures of art projects, home school routines and clean houses. It is SO easy to see that and feel like you are failing, like you aren’t as good as that mom on Facebook. Stop believing the perfect pictures on social media. YOU ARE ONLY SEEING THE GOOD PARTS OF THEIR DAY. No one is taking pictures of the bad stuff. My day is hard on a normal day, just like yours. In this weird time where we are stuck at home, life gets even harder. It’s OK not to do it all. Heck maybe you are a teacher and feel like you SHOULD be able to handle teaching your own kids. We were all thrown into this with no preparation, no plans, no warning. You get a pass. We all get a pass. And just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you should hold it all in. Head on over to The Mom Spot (a spot for special needs moms to connect) and lay it all out there. No judgement because we all get it. We saved you a spot.
In true Nicole form, I left the school supply shopping until the last minute for all three kids. This left me a little overwhelmed about finding everything at one store and as a result I may have been a little short tempered. In the store, I was frustrated because of course I missed the good sales and I HATE paying full price for things. It’s like winning the gold medal in the Olympic games when I can get a really good deal. Picture me as Kerri Strug after that last vault. It may have hurt a little trying to find the best deal, but oh man that pride! This isn’t about a good deal though, it’s about my inner voice lying to me. See I tell myself that I’m not enough in about fifty different ways before breakfast even though I know it’s not true. That morning I had been lying to myself. I left the school supplies until the last minute, I couldn’t find the best deal, I didn’t buy the brand names… because I wasn’t like other moms, I must not be good enough.
If I’m being honest with myself, this is a huge source of my anxiety. My struggle to be as good as the mom who got supplies a month ago or the mom of the kid with all the Crayola’s. I worry that people are judging me or my kids, judging my parenting, judging my mom bod. And it can be completely crushing to my self-esteem. I am a mom with anxiety and some days it spills out in every room of my house, every aspect of my life. I hate it. I hate the control it has over me, because I really don’t care about the other soccer mom with the perfect pony tail and my kid who didn’t just lick the deli counter (that actually happened once). I don’t care what she thinks. But the anxiety and the negative self-talk creeps in and I am prey to my own mind. I begin to question my worth. At the checkout counter the cashier complimented me on how well behaved my children were in the store and how calm I was when correcting them. My negative self-talk spilled out like word vomit. I replied that they were behaved NOW because they got it all out of their system this morning when it was full on Hunger Games in the living room. Why did I respond that way? Why not just accept that small compliment and pat myself on the back because maybe I’m not raising hoodlums? It’s because I’ve been lying to myself about what the truth is for so long, that now I feel the need to correct someone when they tell me I am good enough. How nuts is that? As I sit here and type that truth out… It seems completely crazy because it is!
I am here to tell you I am not perfect, and I will not ever claim to be, but just know, you are not alone mama. Let’s change the way we talk to ourselves. Stop telling yourself you need to be as good as the mom with the planner in her purse. I’ve got about 3 calendars because I can’t remember to bring the same one with every time and I must consult each one when making plans like the hot mess mama I am. And it’s OK. Stop telling yourself that you’re not enough. Mason, my oldest, struggles with anxiety too and a year or so ago we started daily affirmations. He struggled to get on the bus and start his day every single day. We started telling ourselves “today is going to be a good day, I can do hard things”. I made him say this to me every morning while I dropped oils on his shirt and he rolled his eyes. It became a part of the routine. Soon he was saying it to me. And it occurred to me, that I needed those words too. I needed to start telling myself that I can do hard things. Its ok to not be perfect. My house is always such a mess. With four kids, the amount of stuff is just exhausting! I’d sit and look at these piles of stuff and feel like I was failing. I was not a good enough mom because I couldn’t keep the house cleaned up all day every day. I started focusing on the things I did that day. I made one goal and accomplished it. And then I praised myself for it. “whoa you cleaned the crap out of that bathroom… literally”. It felt weird, but soon I was able to accomplish more. So now these daily affirmations are a part of my routine. Oils, coffee, positive self-talk. Oils, coffee, positive self-talk. Set yourself a goal and accomplish it. It can be small. Today, I’m going to wear real pants. I know I know. That may be crazy talk, but maybe wearing real pants is the motivator that leads to cleaning a bathroom and then 2, that leads to mopping the floors or cleaning out your closet. You don’t have to be moving mountains to accomplish something. Change your self-talk and praise yourself for a small win. After all a win is still a win. Start small and tell yourself you can do hard things. Stop comparing yourself to other moms and just focus on the things you ARE doing. Next time the cashier says your kids are well behaved say thank you and bathe yourself in that compliment. BELIEVE IT MAMA. Maybe you aren’t screwing it all up after all. Your kids are happy, and healthy and fed. THAT is your job mama. Everything else is icing on the cake.