Let’s face it, motherhood is a lot of trial and error. Even if you’ve already had your first child, every child, every experience, every situation is different. We all will lose our patience some days, and hopefully that doesn’t tend to happen more when we are in public. But the truth of it is, no parent is perfect, I mean even God sacrificed his own son (if you believe in that sort of thing), so how are we supposed to get through it? Everyone warns you that it won’t always be easy but to cherish every moment because they aren’t little forever. And that is very true. However, being a parent, and constantly worrying and wondering… how am I going to screw up my child?! We tend to forget how to be selfish. Selflessness comes with the territory of being a parent, but we have to remember, it’s important to take care of ourselves too. I take what I like to call “mommy moments.” These moments throughout my day is my opportunity to stop and be selfish, if only for a minute. By taking a moment for myself I tend to be more patient, more calm, and don’t over-react to little things that I won’t care about tomorrow. “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” is a great expression to consider. Some days when my daughter spills on accident I sigh and say her name disappointedly… but why?! She’s 1, she’s learning, it’s a simple process of cleaning it up and it’s over. On better days, I simply say “UH OH!” and smile at her and begin to clean it up… and on those better days, you know what I notice, she helps me clean it up. She doesn’t get upset with herself for spilling, instead she helps to try to fix it. My positive reaction in turn helps her to have a positive reaction.
Positivity and happiness is not just a selfish thing, it spreads, it rubs off on others. The more positive you stay, the more positive your children will likely be, and therefore the better your day will be. The trick of it is finding what your “mommy moment” is. Something you can do every day for yourself, and when. Whether it’s something as simple as stepping outside and just taking in the beauty of nature for a couple minutes, watching a 30 minute show that has swear words and nudity, or even taking a normal shower for once, just something. By taking that moment for yourself and letting yourself breathe deeply and recognize, hey, I deserve this, it should help you have a better outlook, perspective and attitude to face all the spilled milk throughout your day. With parenting comes guilt, I shouldn’t have reacted that way, I should have taken him/her to the park instead of cleaning, but one thing you should never feel guilty about is taking some time for yourself. Not only can it help your attitude and outlook throughout the day, but it will show your child that you are a person too, with needs and desires, and you deserve to be cared for too. It will show your child that even parents need time to themselves, and will hopefully help them to gain some independence.
Parenting has its ups and downs. It’s a struggle everyday. It’ll test you, it’ll wear you down, it’ll make you
question everything you do. Just remember no one knows what they’re doing 100% of the time. Parenting takes strength, patience, and knowledge that yes, you have to be selfish sometimes, and yes you need support. All parents have an unspoken bond. You can see it when you are in a restaurant telling your kids to stay in his/her seat or that they don’t need anymore ketchup and that older couple at the table next to you doesn’t look annoyed, but instead look envious. The chaos that makes up our days, the trials and tribulations, the incidents that test our patience and understanding, believe it or not we’ll look back and miss it one day. As we are teaching our children about everything around them, they are teaching us, reminding us that there’s beauty, there’s adventure, there’s wonder and magic in each and everyday. It may be difficult to stop and appreciate each beautiful moment, but it shouldn’t ever be too difficult to stop and take one moment for yourself everyday. Appreciate yourself, and you’ll appreciate your life that much more. If you don’t take time for yourself now, no one will recognize that you need