Instead of sticking to the original plan for today's blog, I want to write a letter to all you mamas out there. More talk on food will come later. Believe me, I'm too ADD to talk about food right now...
Recognize and "appreciate" this season. I don't mean love every nano-second of it. I mean realize that this season doesn't look like the last season did. Nor will it last forever. Realize that you must have extra grace for yourself right now. Don't expect yourself to be perfect. Don't think that the times when you screw up change who you are as a parent. Whether you hope to be like your own mother or hope to be completely different from your mom, you have to remember that making mistakes doesn't define who you are. Everyone makes mistakes, and some weeks are just going to be more "mistakey" than others. But who you are shines out above and beyond mistakes.
Don't waste time beating yourself up, instead take that time and breath deeply cry out to God, and maybe eat some chocolate. In desperation, we find ourselves to be a person who is much more real and deep than before. We learn to reach out for help, something that most of us wouldn't naturally do.
We all have different tendencies. Different temperaments, different problems. Friends help us steer clear of our blind spots. They help remind us that beyond what seems like insanity to us, we are actually doing a good job. You need to know that you are doing a way better job than you probably think you are. You might have a few friends who need to hear that too. So even though its hard to keep friendships going sometimes, amidst the baby schedule and the dishes and the laundry, be aware of the people who love you. Even just "touching bases" can keep a girl sane sometimes. And this world could use a few more sane mommies. Sometimes people just need a call, or a text. Or Chocolate. But let's be mommies who love our friends even when it just means a quick hug. Because mommies need love!
Many mistakes can be avoided through humility. Humility to listen to someone older and wiser as they share their own struggles and strategies in motherhood. Humility to take to heart the things that will help you, and to admit that some of those strategies just aren't a good fit for you. Humility to say sorry when you yelled at your kid. Humility to hug and to cry with your kid when you realize you angrily put them in trouble for something their sibling did. I believe that humility can totally change what our kids remember from our mistakes. When we mess up, as we are bound to do sometimes, we can learn to forgive ourselves. There will be times when we need to admit our fault to our children. By doing this our children learn how to deal with conflict and problems. I do really think this can produce something great in their hearts as they see that Mommy messes up too, she apologizes and she moves on. They learn an outlook of grace and hope. It keeps resentment at bay.
Many mistakes can also be avoided by breathing. When you get angry, maybe you should breath before you say anything. (It works like a charm!) Breath before you make some absurd promise that you would never keep. Like, "I'm going to throw ALL your toys away if you don't clean them up this second." (Personally, I threaten to banish all toys that remain on the floor to the basement for a week. It's a great threat because I can easily follow through with.) Breath before you accidentally give a smart-alick answer your husband when he asks you why the kids drew on the wall with markers. Five seconds of silence before an answer can often completely change the conversation, the mood, and keep a lot of not-so-great things from coming out of your mouth. Take it from someone who talks too much.
The kids are learning to walk and to talk. They are falling over, and pronouncing words wrong. There is so much grace for their mistakes. Just don't forget that you are learning too. You haven't got this whole thing figured out. You just keep getting up. Keep trying. Because you are a star to your children. They are so blessed to have you as their mommy. All your hard work is giving them a great beginning, and you are building a foundation for them to be sane, wonderful grown ups someday. So take a deep breath. Because you're doing just fine.