Be Gentle, Mama

hugsMotherhood in this digital age is exhausting! We are surrounded by constant inadequacies in all that we do. You see the moms who seem to be able to create all these beautiful things on Pinterest. You see the moms that seem to have the most perfect babies on Facebook. You read about the celebrity moms that got their bodies back in less than a month of delivering their babies. You look at all this and think it should be you, but honestly, it’s not. And that’s okay.

One of the best things we can do for ourselves as mothers is to be gentle with ourselves. It is so easy to get caught up in the mommy wars. It’s not difficult to look in the mirror a month after your baby is born and wonder why your skin is still saggy and why do you still have a spare tire when you just read how some celebrity is back to her pre-pregnancy self only six weeks after delivery. It all takes time, and sometimes the stuff you read about the celebrities is faked or photoshopped, not to mention, they have personal trainers and a team of nannies and professionals to get them to look like they do.

I am not always gentle to myself. I am very hard on myself at times. I think I should be supermom. Sometimes, I feel I have to be supermom as if I need to prove to the world that I got everything covered when my husband is away. Sometimes, I think I spend more time cleaning the house and taking care of the small things instead of really enjoying the kids like I should. Now that I have a baby, I sometimes catch myself thinking about the bills that need paid, the laundry that needs done, the floor that needs swept, and other things instead of focusing on the moment. Those moments with the baby are short. She is already eight weeks old. If I blink, she will be six months old, and in another instant, she will be a tween. I say that because I look at my eleven year old son and think, “Wow! That went way too fast.”

I know my kids appreciate the clean house, but they aren’t going to remember that so much when they are grown as they will remember the times I played games with them or read with them. Yes, there are other things I would like to do. I have a big box of things that need inventoried and added to my online store. I got too tired towards the end of my pregnancy to do it. I know it needs to be done, but right now, it will have to wait. And that is okay. I am sure it will all sell eventually, and it is not worth me losing sleep over it.

The mistakes we make along the way aren’t worth chastising ourselves over it. They are lessons we learn, and we should move on. When it comes down to it, our children are watching us. If we are hard on ourselves, we present that they should be hard on themselves as well. Sometimes we need to take a step back and be gentle to ourselves and realize that we only have this one life to enjoy. When I am eighty, I don’t want to look back and think about all the times I denied myself food or stayed up late working on the house or work. Instead, I want to look back and think I made a better role model for my kids by not having to be perfect all the time, that I enjoyed my life and my children. I want to look back on my life and think about how it may not have been perfect but that I had been good to myself.

Are you hard on yourself? What do you want to work on to be more gentle to yourself? In what ways are you gentle to yourself?

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