You guys… This is a real talk post. This is a real life struggle post, but I know I can’t be alone in feeling the way I do!
For the past year or so, I have been doing journaling in my Start Today journal (shoutout to Rachel Hollis for this one!). I divide the “10 dreams” section into big audacious dreams and then some daily value practices that will never be “finished” or “checked off” but that I feel like they are central enough for me to write them every single day. One of the things I write in my journal as a daily practice is that I practice patience every day. Another thing I write is “I am an awesome mom.”
So every day I jump out of bed ready to make the day awesome – ok. fine. I roll out of bed, rub my eyes for a minute, do an extra stretch and then stumble downstairs to start brewing my cup of coffee. But still, I have the feeling that the day is going to be awesome. I write in my journal and set my intention for the day. I just KNOW that I am going to be so patient and the most awesome mom.
And then I do it! I am awesome! I make sure lunches are made. I enjoy a morning chat. I prepare breakfasts of oatmeal and cheerios and pancakes, or whatever’s on their minds.
I send them out the door. Sometimes this is honestly not so patiently, but I’m working on it. I mean… get your freaking shoes on kid… and if you miss the bus, you’re busted (Our fancy term for “forget the screen time tonight”). Every morning as they leave the house I tell them “Be good, be kind, have your best day.” I imagine in my most sentimental moments that they’ll look back on that little mantra fondly as grown ups, just like I remember my mom saying “Jennaboo, Rise and Shine. It’s a school day!”
Anyway I won’t bore you with the details of the day, but I mom really hard all day long. I paint and playdough, I library story hour and Zumbini, I visit with friends and run errands. I read stories and play the princess cupcake game. I just have this feeling around 3 pm that’s something like “Wow I’m doing it. I’m being an awesome mom.”
… and then 3 becomes 4. My energy begins to dwindle. My patience begins to thin. Especially on nights when my husband is working late in the office, there is no relief from my exhaustion.
The confession- around 6pm (right after dinner), I am not super mom anymore. I start counting down the time till bedtime.
Sure we have fun moments. I enjoy quiet moments with my two older kiddos. We’re currently reading Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl snuggled up in my mama bear chair at night. I look forward to my oldest reading me a “sweet nothing” fact from his daily calendar every night. I know these three kiddos know how deeply they are loved and how surely they belong here… but that awesome energy from the day has evaporated. The hop in my step has faded to a slump in my chair. The fuel tank is on E. I feel like I suck. The mom guilt sneaks in which probably just makes my patience shorter and makes me feel worse.
I have been trying to talk to myself like I would talk to a friend (advice from a Brene Brown book I recently read)… so I’ll end on this note. If I was reading this very post, or hearing these very words I’ve written here tonight from a friend I wouldn’t tell her she sucks for being tired. I wouldn’t tell her that she needs to be awesomer… I’d say “Girl you are an amazing mom. Being awesome and feeling awesome are two different things! Even when you feel like you begin to fall apart those babies love you deeply and you feel all together to them. You’re doing a great job.” I hope I’m right.