I know how it is. There is always something else that needs to be done right now. There is always a child asking for help, to have another snack, or just made a mess. There is the mountain of laundry, the dirty dishes, the thousand errands. And that is just the regular stuff. There is also all those expectations we put on ourselves to be the perfect mom. Canning our own food, baking our own bread, gardening, sewing, making our house like a picture from a magazine. I know that feeling that there is no end until you fall into bed exhausted at night. I know what it's like when you find yourself angry and impatient and snapping at your children and then feel horribly guilty afterward. Or (especially for me) that time of the month when for a few days EVERYTHING is horrible.
I went through that for years.
Then I had a moment of clarity. I pushed myself every day, every hour, 365 days a year past my limits. I wasn't calm or happy and with every day felt worse and worse as a mother. In that moment I realized that my family didn't want a cleaner house, home sewn clothes, perfectly planned days. They just wanted ME. And I also realized that I was not the mom I wanted to be. I want my children to look back on their mommy and remember not a frazzled, tired, and angry woman. But a calm, joyful, kind mother.
So what did I do to change?
When I feel angry, depressed, exhausted, or find myself getting into the nasty mommy role I go upstairs to my bedroom, bring in all the kids, and we cuddle on my king sized bed and read or watch nature shows together. When it is cool weather I light candles and play soothing music. When it is hot we read together in front of the air conditioner.
Yep that's it.
And it has changed our home for the better.
I forget about all the stuff I need to get done (which being a neat freak is really challenging) and concentrate only the things that HAVE to be done. Like dinner. Because truly caring for four children is enough of a full time job and THEY are my biggest priority.
Because here is the thing mom. All those "things" that seem so important and good, really aren't good at all if you are stressed. The "things" your family really wants is just you. To talk to, to be with, to share love and just BE there with them.
I give you permission to take time off. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are already everything your children and husband need. When you feel yourself being overwhelmed you NEED to take that time out and just cuddle your children and lay down. Life is too short and precious to spend it unhappy.
Your Friend and Sister in Mothering