7 Steps to THE CANDID APPROACH
that will help fortify families while having fun along the way!
1. Stomp on Picture Perfect Expectations!
Being The Perfect Mom
Having 5 young children so close in age has given me much perspective. Once upon a time I used to really care about what others thought of me as a mom. Was I a “good” mom? Did I potty train my child at 18 months? Did my child learn sign language before he could talk? Would my children sit perfectly still at church- so help me!? Was I making organic homemade baby food for my child? Was my house always in perfect order? The answer to that was YES. As a new mom I felt the pressures of being perfect all around me. Being a mom meant everything to me and it was what I had wanted to be since I was little! I’d be darned if I did it wrong. I was going to do it the best!
Turns out, it went rather well trying to be the perfect mom and wife. I was actually pretty proud of myself that I could juggle a couple kids around, give them one on one time with me for hours throughout the day, plus keep a house spotlessly clean, all with having my husband gone for months at a time for Army training and being deployed for a year. Leave me with a 17 month old and a 3 week old baby? No sweat, honey, I got this. And here’s a hot loaf of bread straight out of the oven… MUAH!
Earth Shattering News
Then I had an epiphany…or rather, more children and more deployments… and every single aspiration I once had for being the perfect mom was thrown completely out the window! It was then that I ran outside and stomped on that perfect expectation until it died. Sheer survival instincts had literally saved me. Thank goodness, because being the perfect mom just simply doesn’t exist and to think it does and that you can be it, is overwhelming and exhausting! Even when I thought I was pretty dang awesome, I was falling so short, and then just felt like one big guilty mess of a mom. Since I couldn’t keep up, even when I thought I was, I finally accepted imperfection. It was either be perfect and my family and sanity suffers, or take a chill pill and stop comparing myself to others.
Breathe. Relax. Enjoy the life you live and your family and you will happily progress- guilt and stress free!
Seemed like a no brainer. Why was I ever doing that to myself anyway? My kids enjoyed the imperfect mom a whole lot more and I found more pleasure in the here and now. My house is dirty, laundry is all over the floor and my kids are screaming? Dance party. Step on those dirty clothes, we despise them anyway. Now everyone is happy, willing to help me with the housework, and the work gets done. Had a crazy busy day with no time to make dinner? Oatmeal for everyone. Don’t want to wash every bowl and argue with the kids to hurry up and eat so we can go to bed? I’m feeding it to you- community bowl. Come and get it. Everything works out in the end… perfect or not. I choose the latter!
My sister snapped this photo of us after I just got back from a run and we were in a rush to get ready to go somewhere. She couldn’t believe what I was doing. What? That’s not normal? We’re in a hurry here!
What is something you’ve had to relax about and embrace?
Now I need to go to bed. (After I brush my teeth, take my make up off, check on the kids, turn off their nightlight, pick up the kid who fell off the bed, flush their toilet so it doesn’t smell in the morning, step on a toy in the dark and almost swear, get ready to jump in bed just to realize little Gid followed me in and wants to sleep with me…)
The Candid Mom