Monday, September 17, 2012

You know you have lost yourself when...

Amy Croker, MAT Elem. Education
Quiz number seven in the book, I was a really good mom before I had kids, really hit home with me tonight.  It says, “You know you have lost yourself completely when…check all that applies:

o   You introduce yourself at an important business meeting as “Andrea’s mom.”

o   You can’t remember the last time you showered without two (or more) eyes on you.

o   It’s normal to leave the house with Barbie stickers plastered to your thigh.

o   You think watching the Oscars on TV is a real night out.

o   You reflexively refer to the bathroom as “the potty.”

o   You get competitive about winning Chutes and Ladders

o   You ask your children questions like “Do these jeans make my butt look big?”

o   You find yourself rescuing a tiny LEGO man from a poopy toilet.

o   You drink from a Sippy cup in public.

o   You catch yourself humming a Raffi song under your breath.

I think I probably checked the majority of those boxes and could probably add more such as …
o   Your Target brand yoga pants, tank top and New Balance tennis shoes are your daily uniform

o   When your child looks shocked when you have not put your hair back in a headband and actually fixed it and put on make-up.

o   When you start talking to yourself in the car or find yourself listening to stories on cd without realizing it until you are almost home.

o   When you cannot reach into your purse without pulling out a wipe, diaper or stale Goldfish

o   When you feel like you are on vacation when you get to take a trip to Target all by your little self.

o   When Peanut Butter, Goldfish, dried fruit and granola bars start to be your main source of nutrition.

Well I don’t know about you moms and dads out there, but I have been feeling a little lost lately. I feel like I have lost myself, forgotten who I was (if I ever really knew) and feel like every day, I am just getting by. Trying to survive being a parent of two lovely, very energetic girls.
Because I am a stay at home mom, I put so much pressure on myself to be this super mom. To be the mom my mom was to me, which I thought was pretty perfect. To be the best wife, the best friend and daughter.
And that is where I am right now. I always thought I wanted to just be a mom. To get married and have kids. To be Suzy Homemaker, to be Martha Stewart (well, minus the jail part), and be this person that just makes being a mom look easy. One that always volunteers, does crafts, bakes, organizes playdates, meets for lunch dates, keeps a perfectly clean house, looks put together and fit on most days, and just always feels fulfilled in where her life is.
So once I got my hard head out of "La-La Land," I realized there is no Suzy Homemaker, Supermom or Martha Stewart and I am sure you are all thinking right now, really? She just figured that out?

Well, not really, but I did finally start to take the pressure and high expectations off myself, stopped comparing myself to friends around me that seem to have it all together, the happy marriage, perfectly dressed and well-behaved kids, successful careers, etc.  Where I am still trying to figure this whole parent thing out and wondering what the heck I want to be when I grow up.

I think it is so important as parents that we make sure that we don't lose ourselves in the parenting world. That we stop comparing ourselves or judging others and live our life.  Live in the moments! Even if your moment right now is being a mom that lives in yoga pants and headbands and never seems to have a moment to herself.

Don't get me wrong, I love my girls with all my heart and thank God every day for them. I love getting to experience their firsts,their first time they took their first steps, said their first word or their first day of school. I love loving on them and giving them a kiss to magically make their boo-boos go away. I love how it feels when you hear them say, "I love you," or say "Mommy" the first time. I love those tiny little hands that fit in the palm of your hand so perfectly. There is just nothing better than being a parent and watching your kids grow and learn. It is the best job title I have ever had, but also the hardest.

It is hard for some of us to have to put our careers on hold, or to not be able to do the things we used to be able to do before we had kids like:  go on adult only vacations, spontaneous weekend getaways or even just being able to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

As parents I believe that it is important that we make sure we take care of ourselves and not lose ourselves in the rat race of who is the best mom, who has the best clothes or seems to have it all together.

Everyone is in this parenting thing together.  So if you are feeling lost like I am right now, try to find yourself again. Plan monthly date nights with your hubs and/or grab friends that let you be your true self, that bring out the best in you and that will support you in parenting and in life. We all need a good support system to let us vent and be the real us with our bed head and princess stickers plastered to our bottoms and all! 

Next week, we will be talking about the importance of friends not only for you but for your children.


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