I get asked almost weekly how I do it all? How I handle the pressures of raising 4 little boys? How I am a supermom? I really honestly feel like people think that we are perfect. That my house is spotless and we go through the day with no yelling and end the night singing kumbaya around a fire roasting marshmallows (organic if that is possible because we would never feed our kids junk, geesh) then we all tuck into bed and sleep a full nights sleep with no interruptions and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on a full day! Rinse, lather, repeat. Always perfect.
That my friends never happens.
I have learned through the years of our family changing that things will never be perfect.
But if I change my way of thinking they can be PERFECT for us and we can have our own normal functioning level of happiness.
Did I ever envision having 4 kids?? Heck no. I honestly thought maximum 2 but God had different plans for us. And each little man we added to the family involved a changing period. A whole new learning period comes with each child and you find your own new level of normalcy. It still gives me a little panic when I say we have 4 kids...a tad unreal still.
Each night I lay my head down on the pillow. I wish I could fall asleep instantly but that never happens, I am either nursing our baby to sleep or battling the older ones to get back to their bedrooms. I lay there in the moments and do a run down of our day. Usually the negatives are what come into my mind first.
I yelled too much at Vincent, will this make him hate me in future years.
I did not spend enough time with Luke at all today, will he remember?
What the heck did we eat for lunch? Crap.....did we skip lunch today!?
The kids didn't get a bath today....oh man it's been a few days! (Mom of the year)
I let them watch way too much cartoons today!
I should take the boys to the park but it's far too stressful.
I didn't read a book to them, crud I haven't sat and read a book to them in days.
All the negatives of the day come rushing in. Making me question what kind of a mother I am. I question all the time if the effects of the day will ruin my children for the future. I beat myself up mentally with worry when in reality what I should be focusing on is the good moments of the day. I am not sure why it is that we do this, beating ourselves up over moments that our kids may never even remember.
Our nighttime thoughts change so insanely with each year that passes and with each number of kids. Before kids I would think of only happy thoughts, about the amazing mother I would be. I would think how easy motherhood would be, how my kids would never watch TV or eat sugar. I would think about how fun nighttime would be, bathing our kids, reading books and tucking them into their beds for a full nights slumber. How I would make the perfect meals and never miss a doctors appointment. How our house would be spotless and everything would be sanitized and clean for my sweet perfect children.
After Vincent my thoughts started to loosen up, I started to lose the judgement that comes along with being a parent. So what if Vincent watched some cartoons today. So what that Vincent downed a Capri Sun, he is still functioning. Then with the addition of Luke, Jude and Sam I have lost any sense of judgement. It's a damn free for all over here. We rock out at our own pace and crazy lifestyle. We do exactly what works for us. Each day is something new. Some days are horribly boring, some days are full of frustrations (where I want to down an entire bottle of wine in my closet alone with an episode of Real Housewives) and some days are downright picture perfect (for a few hours), anything more than a few hours of perfectness must be broken by a child screaming or stomping is feet....((Jude I am talking to you!!))
I learned to redirect those negative thoughts at bedtime. Sure at times I do think about them. I do question who I am as a mother and a wife. But then I look at how far we have come. I choose to take a leap and focus on the happy moments of our days and weeks. I choose to laugh at the fact that my "me time" of a nightly shower is now taken over by at least 2-3 naked little men at my feet, all of us tripping over each other trying to get clean. I laugh at the fact that our kids 2-3 times a week make it outside on a bicycle butt naked. I laugh at the madness that we call life. I laugh at our new level of NORMAL.
I could choose to let the chaos beat my down. To cry over the fact that Jude destroys things every week. Literally every time I turn around he sneaks off and create a mess. He never ceases to amaze me. That Luke has chosen to use the words "I don't like you", I could take all the horrible messes and let them tear me down. I could let the boys countless screaming matches at each other and the pushing and wrestling that they do break me down but it's not worth it. I have to be strong. This is our life. God will never give us more than we can handle. Sure some days I want to scream "SERIOUSLY GOD....." and throw in the towel. I know we all have those moments. But those moments do not define us as mothers. That is normal.
The chaos is normal.
When we try to control every single moment that is when we can get beat down. When we try to control the exact way our children act that is when it backfires. When we compare our children and families to other peoples lives it is NEVER a good idea. We are all different. What's normal for us is not normal for you and vice versa. We have to let go and let our children grow and our families live. We can not control it all. Worrying about these things only breaks us down. We are normal. The chaos is completely normal. Embrace the wild and rock it out.
When you lay in bed push those negative thoughts away. Remember that you are a great mom regardless of what you fed your kids for lunch, how many stories you read to them, whether or not they are wearing pajamas to bed or still wearing the same outfit for days. They don't care, the only thing they go to bed knowing is that they are loved. That you are there for them. They are not keeping count. The look and smile on their faces each morning proves that in their eyes I can do no wrong. I am their mom. Flawless in their minds and I need to give myself a break and so do you.
Just be their mom. They don't care if you are a Pinterest queen, a CEO of a million dollar company, a pizza delivery driver, a waitress, or an actress. All they care is that you love them. They aren't keeping track and neither should you.
Let's all kick to side any judgements and stop beating ourselves up over being a perfect mom. Stop focusing on other peoples lives and focus on your own family and children. Let's all be NORMAL moms. The moms that our kids already see us as! xoxo