Mastering Motherhood – Who are We Trying To Impress?

iStock_000010560937SmallWhile trying to manage life with my three littles under the age of 5, it isn’t always picture perfect. My house doesn’t look like a magazine, my kids may be unruly at times, and my table doesn’t always have 100% organic foods scratch made by me. And I am coming to the realization that THIS IS OK.

I don’t think it should be any secret, motherhood and parenting is hard. We’re always wondering if we are doing the right thing with our kids. Making sure we are raising them right. Making sure they’re growing enough and eating healthy enough. If we are engaging their mind enough. Are we ever doing enough? What it seems to come down to is insecurity, and we are torturing ourselves with it. The pressure we put on ourselves to be the perfect parent come with a lot of internal voices (or external if you tend to hang around the sanctimonious types) telling us that we are screwing up, further feeding those insecurities.

What comes first is what we are feeding our children. First thing we are hit with when they are babies is that “Breast is best”. Don’t give them any of that evil formula because, OMG, that is poison! Except if you’re a mom like me who has major supply issues, that “evil formula” is what keeps our babies from starving. But in the pressure to be the perfect mother, when you have trouble performing that ultimate motherly act of breastfeeding, the feeling of failure prevails. And so begins some of the major insecurity and self doubt in our mothering kills.

So continuing on with what we are feeding our kids, you absolutely MUST make sure that everything you are giving them is all organic, hormone-free, non-gmo, etc. Wait, you carefully budget and buying EVERYTHING organic is too cost prohibitive for you? OMG you are poisoning them!  Well at least you don’t use plastic plates and tableware, don’t give them plastic sippy cups, or store any of your food in plastic containers. Wait, you don’t use ALL glass containers all of the time?? OMG, plastic! Oh the horror! You’re poisoning them! 

Then, it seems we need to have our kids dressed perfectly… you know in adorable and always fashionable (and organic) clothing so they are ready for a photo shoot at a moments notice. You also need to make sure to have your house immaculate so you can easily take said photo shoot of your kids in “candid” fashion and simultaneously show off your gorgeous Pinterest-worthy home decor as well as your Pinterest-worthy kid photos. Wait, your kids aren’t perfect clean little angels that never mess up the house? And they don’t always keep their latest baby fashions clean and free of spit-up or stains?  OMG, you’re doing motherhood all wrong!

What about the awesome kids enrichment programs and craft projects to engage their minds and expand their horizons. Of course, those craft projects always come off perfectly. Your kids are such talented artists ahead of their time. And of course, said projects are always perfectly mess free. Wait, your 2 year old doesn’t speak 6 languages and can’t even scribble remotely in the lines?? OMG, your kid is so behind!

Well you are babywearing your little ones until they are the age of 5, right? Wait you use a stroller some of the time? OMG, you are an attachment parenting failure!

Well you cosleep with your babies right? Wait, you DON’T cosleep and you sleep train? OMG, you are heartless! Wait, you DO cosleep? OMG, that’s so dangerous!

Had enough yet?

It’s a strange thing many of us do to ourselves as mothers, putting on the pressure to be perfect in nearly every aspect of motherhood. Through dozens of parenting books and websites, we get so many mixed messages out there to begin with on what is the right way to nourish, teach, and raise our children. Not to mention what we observe the other seemingly “perfect” moms, we get to thinking we have to be all things to everyone. The picture of perfect motherhood.

Really, when it comes down to it, who are we trying to impress? Other Moms? Are we letting the “Sanctimommies” get into our heads? Are we risking our sanity just to make lives picture perfect and Pinterest-worthy for others to see?

Can we stop this madness and just make sure that our kids are happy, healthy, well mannered, and keep them alive until it is no longer our responsibility to do so?  Stop playing into the Mommy Wars, and stop judging others on the lifestyles and the choices they make for their own families. Other moms that make different choices or take different paths than you are not an indictment on your own lack of perfection.

I can certainly tell you, my (almost) 4 month old does not care a wit if she doesn’t sleep on an organic mattress blessed by monks and doesn’t necessarily wear adorable hipster approved, fashionable, organic clothing all the time. And my 4 year old certainly does not color in the lines at all, but I am not worried about his college prospects right now. My kids are clean, fed, happy and healthy, so I am doing my job ok so far. I am certain that I am going to fail sometimes.  I am just trying to master motherhood the best I can, embracing my imperfections and all.

Our New Family – 8 Weeks Have Flown By!

8weeksflownby2So when we were last here, I was on the verge of my induction and giving birth to Baby #3. That was a little over 8 weeks ago. Well, if you follow my on my Facebook page or Instagram (and if you don’t, WHY NOT? Go ahead and follow me here and here), our little lady arrived on the evening of September 16th, and Cassandra Emily made our little family of four, a family of five. We have been smitten since she drew her first breath!

So how are things going? Surprisingly (to me), quite well.  She’s a little over 8 weeks old now and she has just fit right in to our family life pretty easily. We are really blessed that she is such an easy going baby. REALLY blessed. Give her some mommy milk, keep her in a clean diaper, and she is a happy and quiet girl.

We have good days and bad days, but I am not feeling as stressed and overwhelmed as I thought I’d be. Going from 2 to 3 has taken some juggling, but I am managing pretty well. (Wine after bedtime helps on the bad days)  I have to get creative with entertaining the boys while frequently nursing their sister, but we find a way. Speaking of the boys, they are completely in love with little Cassie as well. It totally melts my heart.

So I’m back to the blog with lots of  new posts brewing. The newborn fog is finally wearing off. DVDs, Netflix, and Disney Jr have bought me some time and entertainment for the boys.  Breastfeeding is going is going amazingly this time. And I swear by babywearing. Life is good, and I’m working on enjoying the present as much as possible.

Are You Taking Care of You?

Are you taking time for yourself?Recently, the Mogul Mom had this great post – Are You Getting The Best of You, that had hit close to home for me. As a busy work-at-home Mommy, there are times I am running myself ragged for my family, my clients, my business, and I tend to neglect myself in the process. But it also made me wonder, if ANYBODY is getting the best of ME?

I know in my own experience, if I am not taking care of myself as much, the rest of my world can tend to get neglected as well. I don’t feel so great and that can bleed into how I treat my young son or husband, it can zap my motivation to get things done around the house, and then my business gets neglected because I get bogged down with stress, lack of motivation, etc. It can be a vicious cycle. Like that Mogul Mom post says, “When your well is dry, you cannot give water to anyone.

What it really comes down to is that if I treat myself well, if I get in tune with my needs, what I really want and want makes me happy, the things around me fall into place. Sometimes, all it takes is to give in to my my creative side making crafty things, other times just snuggling with my 2 yr old on a rainy day does it, kicking back and obsessing over Pinterest, or just listening to the Spa Channel on SiriusXM radio while I work. Some of these little things ease my restlessness, put me back in a good mood and motivate me to do better in all other facets of my busy life.

One other huge part of taking care of me us using the word “No”. In my adulthood, I became the type of woman who thinks she can “do it all”, and that became even stronger once I became a mother. I would hardly turn anything down, and would overload myself with volunteer positions and tasks that were not a priority. But in an effort to make sure I deserved my “Super Mom” cape, I would do it. But I have learned that I HAVE to say no sometimes, and let go of some things that just don’t serve me or my family as well. Doing so is a huge way of taking care of myself and saying “yes” to me. Plus it enables me to do things that are more important, like spending more time with my family.

The blog at Mogul Mom (you can tell I love that site) had a great follow up post on 25 Simple Ways to Nurture Yourself. I recommend trying each one of them at least once a week. I know I intend to.

So how are YOU taking care of you? I would love to know the ways you unwind and take care of yourself. Leave a comment and let me know!

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Trista Sutter – A WAHM Who Has it Together

This story caught my eye from the Working Mother publication I subscribe to. I usually don’t pay attention to what the “Celebrity Moms” are up to in the media because I can hardly relate to them. But Trista Sutter (of the Bachelorette fame) is one that I can identify with. Even though she is a “celebrity”, she lives a pretty low-key lifestyle that is somewhat out of the limelight. She is a busy mom of two young ones, has many of the same chores and jobs that us regular everyday-moms have (laundry, housecleaning, chauffeuring children), plus she is involved in different business opportunities while working at home. I like her even more now. 🙂
This article is a great read for many work-at-home-moms that are looking to see how others are making it, so go check it out.

Posted via email from megbarberva’s posterous

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