Saturday, May 11, 2013

Being a mom in 2013? Are we trying to do too much?

As moms of 2013, I feel like we are constantly moving and doing. We are always on call, constantly thinking about something or trying to plan what our next step is. We don't stop. Our day never ends. Whether we are a working mom or a stay at home mom, we are always"on the clock." We are also trying to keep our kids just as busy as we are or the next kid is.  It is insane! 

As moms of 2013, we are naturally looking at some type of social media on our phones, iPads or computers. We are posting on Facebook while trying to fix dinner or "play" with our kids. We are either taking pictures during playdates or dinner dates out with our little darlings, trying to document that day or we are pinning on Pinterest the latest project we found or a friend re-pinned It never ends and we wonder why we are so drained!

We (or maybe I am speaking about myself here) wonder why we can be so short with our kids or why we think they are running around like crazy. Well, because we are distracted. Our kids are dying for our attention, to have us one on one and be in the moment.  

Just yesterday on our way to Atlanta, I was checking Facebook to pass the time (I wasn't driving don't worry). While reading status updates and news articles on Huffington post, I got so frustrated because my kids were bothering me while I was on my iPhone. Really? How dare they interrupt me! As I am perusing my iPhone, I move on to pinning a new decorating idea on my Pinterest board and a recipe that I probably will not ever attempt at that. Then, I am trying to get this Groupon for my next Pure Barre class before it sells out, and oh, I just saw a friend on Facebook that is posting pictures of her latest trip to the beach. What am I doing? I am in La La Land. Lord help me!

So I stop, give myself a reality check I realize the time I just spent doing all of the Facebook and Pinterest, I could have been catching up with my kids and my husband. I immediately start playing old school road trip games with my kids and dance to fun music to pass the time. Olivia, my youngest kept saying, "Stop, Mommy" as I bobbed my head to the music and my oldest, Alatia, just laughed and danced along with me.  Some of you may be thinking, well yeah, that is what you are supposed to do with your kids on a road trip. Well, I am embarrassed to say, I don't do that all the time.

When I am on a road trip, I sometimes use that time to catch up on the social media, my to-do lists, calling people back, or returning a text, that I forgot to do earlier that week. However, in the end, I don't get much done because I am constantly getting on to one of my kids for kicking my seat, or I am having to get them more Goldfish because the gallon size bag I gave them was not enough.

Road trips are so hard and they can definitely bring out the worse in me, but I have to say, when I did take the time to start a game with my kids, crank of the tunes and dance, instead of looking at my phone majority of the time, it helped make the ride smoother and that is a plus in Atlanta traffic.

Now back to Facebook....we (or maybe I am again talking about myself here) as moms are naturally comparing ourselves or pressuring ourselves to be something that we are not. For example, we see a picture of our friend's kids in matching outfits, monogrammed or smocked, the perfect hair bow or headband to match (I attempt this all the time, see below).

We see moms Facebook posts/pictures of their beautiful family with their house in the background that not only looks perfectly decorated, but immaculate. Hmmm..any of this ring a bell? Then, we see another mom's post who just threw a birthday party for her son with inflatable bounce houses everywhere, super heroes to play with the kids and sign autographs, custom made favors with even the customized sticker on the water bottles and a handmade banner she made the night before to tie in the whole party theme. Finally, there is the post from a mom that not only does all the above, but she also home schools her kids, volunteers for everything and only cooks organic meals. The list can go on, but you get it. 

Really, I am just worn out thinking about all of what we try to do as moms in 2013.

I spend my time photo dumping pictures of my kids on Facebook to keep the grandparents up to speed as well as keep a documentation for my kids. It's how I justify my actions, although I just think it makes me feel good as a mom (especially on the days I feel so inadequate)

I really do struggle with the question….am I making memories for my kids or for myself? I think I might have just had an Ah-ha Oprah moment there! 

As I said, I have been feeling like a less than adequate mom. I have been less patient and have just felt like I have been in survival mode. By the time my husband gets home if he is not traveling that week, I am just done! I don't even want to talk to anybody and nobody wants to be around me, but it is nobody's fault but my own. I am on all the time and I am trying to do too much just keep up. 

I have let Facebook and other social media distract me and I have let my mind wonder to comparing myself to others instead of being who I am . I am constantly pressuring myself to be the mom I am not, instead of the mom I am.

When I held my oldest daughter for the first time, I knew who I was then... a mom. I just knew I would get this mommy thing down. I mean how hard could it be. To me, it was simple. Take care of her, feed her, hold her when she cried and make her feel safe. Aren't those the top needs that we as humans all want and need? Love, nourishment and to feel safe? 

My daughters didn't ask me to be the Pioneer Woman that now has her own cooking show and makes these amazing meals every day for her family. My daughters didn't ask me or expect me to be a fashionista like Rachel Zoe that wears heels like they are New Balance tennis shoes or be seen as some flawless celebrity mom, like Jennifer Garner. Although, it would be fun to be one of them for a day. Just a day! 

When my girls were born, all they needed and wanted was my love. So simple and so overlooked at times. 

As Moms of 2013, we can so easily get wrapped up in keeping up with the moms that we are not. 

I know I will never be the mom that cooks organic meals. I am the mom that runs to Publix to get the already made pizza dough from the bakery, the ready made pizza sauce and bagged mozzarella to top it off. I am the easy mac and don't mind baking brownies out of a box kind of mom. Dark chocolate Ghiradelli is my friend. I am also the mom that doesn't mind germs so much that I will let my kids break the eggs, stir the brownie batter and lick the spoon. Don't worry if you have gotten brownies from me, I didn't do that for your batch. Give me credit! 

While I am not the mom that gardens, I am the mom that will attempt a green thumb or get down and dirty and make some mean mud pies with my kids. I am not the mom that sews or can even put a button on for that matter. Sad, but true.  I am not the mom that irons my kids clothes that great or can fold fitted sheets nicely.

I am the mom that takes the warm sheets and blankets out of the dryer and throws them on the kids to make them feel nice and cozy. Then, I am the mom that will build castles and tents with those wrinkled sheets (that I don't press) and then ball them up in a pillow case so that look half way decent in a linen closet. Do the cute baskets and containers I put the linens in count? Well, it works for me.

Livi sporting good ole bed head while getting cozy in a nice warm blanket out of the dryer

So as much as I want to be able to fold better, iron better, bake bread from a starter and be more organized, I am just not. I am not that mom no matter what you think or what it looks like on Facebook.

I am a mom that loves photography and fashion. I love taking pictures and dressing up with my kids is so much fun for me. The girls also love when I throw a dance party or do a fashion show with them. I also love to read stories to them and swing them at the park until my arms hurt. I love to cuddle with my kids on the couch and eat microwave popcorn while watching a favorite Disney movie.  I just love to make memories with my kids and getting to be their mom. 

Not everyone can be Martha Stewart or the Pioneer Woman. We can't all dress like we just stepped of a magazine, or have a house as organized and incredibly decorated like in Elle magazine or Real Simple. We can try, but in the end, we have to be real and true to ourselves. Because when we are true to ourselves, we are giving our family and kids such a gift. 

Our kids will remember the mom that taught them to be true to themselves and that loved them for who they were, not for who they were trying to make them be with the matching hair bows they hated or that awful haircut you made them get because you thought it was so cute. I mean if you have seen me and my kids, we usually have bed head going on or a headband to hide it.

Moms, you never know what your life will bring, so be you and embrace you. Believe me, it is much less stressful to be yourself and so much more joyful! Your kids will notice it too. They will notice you being in the moment and not distracted with what you think you should be doing. They are not going to remember your Facebook status, or know anything about it. They are going to remember those real moments.

Real Moments

Getting to be a mom is a gift you have been given, so make it matter and seize every moment….even the hard and challenging ones, because those are the ones that help you learn and grow into being a better person, a better mom.

A glass a wine can help too. Just saying…:) Happy Mother's Day Weekend ladies and cheers to you and all that you do for your family!