I am a moderator for a group of ladies in the Heights who are all participants on an online forum called Heights Kids. This morning- someone posted that they thought they "couldn't do anymore without losing their minds..." With kids, partners, pets, jobs, etc.. You'd think that we as moms and partners couldn't be pulled in any other direction.... Honestly- I got home last night from a day trip to see my mom for mothers day- and all day long was about everyone else... I am happy to share my love, family and time with my parents- they wont be around forever. I want my kiddos to know them. But, after getting home and having spent the entire day on Saturday "decluttering" my living rooms built in shelves, I found that most of the cleaning on the second floor didn't get done.. and lunches weren't made, and dinner wasn't made, and there were at least 5 loads of laundry that needed to be done, not to mention the laundry still needing to be folded and put away. Dishes that needed to be unloaded, and re-loaded... Well, you get the picture... Just one evening in the life of a busy mom. When the anonymous poster posted their "gripe" this morning- it really resonated with me... I started to type a response and as I formulated it- I was given a gift- that I needed to listen to my own advice... Remembering the things that make me "loose my mind" and the things that help me "destress" really helped me get past the fact that I was literally bawling last night when I realized how much I had to get done before I left for work this morning. Here is the list I sent her: - ) any additions are welcome! ;)
"1.) Stop thinking that no one can do things better than you. Let it go. This will relieve a lot of stress.. (I have to work on this EVERY DAY!) Let your partner help you accomplish things, and don't go back and re-do them. Be at peace that its done!
2.) Pick one night a week or one day on the weekends to get things done for yourself. Even if you are grocery shopping or doing something like dropping off dry cleaning- which is about you and your partner, do it ALONE!, drive with the windows down, music cranked up- and sing at the top of your lungs... This also relieves stress, and gives you some fresh air! ;)
3.) At least once a week- work out an alternating "responsibility" morning.. That means your partner gets to dress them, feed them, make lunches, drop them at school, and you get to pad to the shower 45 mins earlier.. or take a walk before you have to greet your "other life" at the office.
4.) At a very early age, make your kids pick up after themselves- make them drop their plates in the sink, make them place milk they haven't drunk in the fridge. Make them pick up their pajamas and drop them in the hamper or on the floor of the laundry room. Make them place shoes and socks in a SUPER EASY place to find (mine is the drawer in our downstairs TV Armoire) All of these things will help you in the future.
5.) Make lunches the night before- not the morning of- its too stressful to get them, you and your husband out the door and to be remembering at that point your out of bread!
6.) MAKE A GROCERY list and HANG IT ON your fridge door! As you run out of things, get the kids to remind you to write it on the list- my twins love this little game, and they feel like they are contributing to the grocery buying process. If we're out of something- its because they "forgot" to put it on the list. If we have something- its because the "magic mommy grocery shopping fairy" took "Their" list and bought what they asked for. This avoids a lot of hassle in the mornings... Also helps our partners take responsibility for things they need, and avoids unnecessary trips to the store.
7.) Lock the door to your bathroom at least once a week. Soak your toes, paint them... A fresh coat of paint always makes people wonder how you found the time... and it takes all of 30 mins... and its FREE!
8.) Drink wine... lots of it... ;)
9.) Keep your girlfriends on speed dial. I have a GF in college station that texts me once a week and asks for a "phone date"... Its usually after we've put the tike's down for the night, and usually WITH a glass of wine and usually on my patio. or front porch. Take the bug spray and the bottle of wine. The stress this relieves is immeasurable.. ;) The "brutality" of bitching about life, kids, partners etc. is not as bad when your talking to someone else that is going through it!
10.) Keep date nights- religiously... Remember, you and your partner really liked each other before you brought the tike's into the world.. Even if you don't "go out" make sure the kids are in bed and you are able to spend some time together each day... (BTW- This is our greatest challenge... )
11.) Don't be too hard on yourself. EACH of us goes through this... Its just so damn hard to be perfect.. Not only are you trying to do it for you, your job, your partner, but now your trying to do it for a kiddo/s too. I fall short all of the time... I have 2 HUGE baskets full of laundry that have been sitting on the floor of my study for 2 weeks now- WAITING to be folded! (Maybe that's where all of my underwear is?? ;) -- I walk past them each morning and say to myself, "this wouldn't have been sitting here, 6 years ago.." But realistically, I had nothing else to do before the twins came... Now, I have PLENTY to do!
12.) Its okay to be greedy and spend time alone or doing things you love.
13.) If you cook, and do the dishes, your partner should be bathing and getting kiddos ready for bed. If you cook, and he/she wants to do the dishes, then you get the kiddos ready for bed. You shouldn't have to do both...
14.) If All else fails, listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at_lUnFjXg8 Lastly, you will have breakdowns, you will have difficulties, you have to learn to laugh at yourself, your situation, and the impossibilities that life throws at you. I promise you one thing.. Your kiddos wont remember if the clothes were folded or the dishes were done the morning after dinner was made... They will remember things like you reading to them, bathing them, tucking them in, etc.. They will also remember whether you were sane or not... So take care of yourself! ;)" Happy Mothers Day to all of you moms that I missed talking to yesterday! ;)