I love the feeling of excitement and a new beginning that September brings. I’m always excited when summer comes and the kids get out of school, but by the end of August, I’m past ready for them to go back. I’m ready for my house to be clean for several hours at a time, for a jar of peanut butter to last longer than two days, and for the endless whining of “Mom, I’m bored” and “Their chores are easier than mine” to stop.
My first instinct is to feel guilty for writing those things, but it’s reality. Parenting is not easy. And unfortunately, sending the kids back to school doesn’t magically make everything better. In fact, sometimes it complicates things by adding homework, rigid schedules, carpools, and drama as the kids worry about fitting in. All of these new demands can also make it hard to feel like you’re spending enough time with your kids, and that just piles on the mom guilt.
It’s time to stop the guilt!! Here’s how:
Give yourself a break!
We are not machines. We are humans who get tired, feel sad, have good days and bad. You can’t expect yourself to be perfect all the time any more than you expect your children to be perfect. Embrace the idea of doing the very best you can, and letting that be enough.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
I think it’s easy to watch other moms on social media and think they are providing their children with all of these amazing experiences – trips to the petting zoo, building sandcastles on the beach, and trips to Disneyland. Remember that you’re seeing others’ highlight reel. They are showing you what they want you to see. Don’t compare your backstage to someone else’s front stage and ever expect to measure up.
The things I remember most from my childhood was the love I felt in my home, hugs from my parents, and them kneeling by my side for prayers every night. Never forget that your children will remember how you made them feel. Focus on being present in the small moments in their lives. You can deliberately make memories that will last them a lifetime by small, simple things.
Make a list.
What you focus on grows, so focus on the areas where you feel like you’re doing well. If you don’t know what you’re good at, ask your kids. I bet you’ll be surprised what they tell you.
We tend to be hard on ourselves. Be gentle with yourself today. Know that in any given moment you are doing the best you know how. Take some to do something you love–read a book, go for a walk, or snuggle with your kids. Most of all, know that you are the BEST mom for your kids, and nobody can love them like you do!