Almost 3 years ago, life got crazy when I brought a newborn home. Since then I have been waiting for life to slow down and I think I have finally decided to surrender to our crazy life and go with it! No matter how hard I try, it just is too busy!
Because of that a lot of times I feel like my daughter and I don’t spend a lot of quality time at home. When we do, I just want to relax because I’m so tired! That seems to have been more the case lately since I am in my 8th month of pregnancy. The problem with that is I feel so guilty she isn’t learning enough! I think us moms hear and see all these ideas on Pinterest and mommy blogs and feel the pressure to be the perfect mom. We feel like we have to fill every second of every day with a craft, outdoor activity, or some learning activity. In President Holland’s talk “Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God” which I have referenced several times, (it’s just so good!) I love when he says
One young mother wrote to me recently that she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Because She Is a Mother,” General Conference, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 1977).
Do you ever feel that way? Because I do! It feels like everything we do and everything we don’t do is constantly being judged. What about the days when our parents raised us, and our parent’s parents? One day my mother-in-law and I were having this conversation, and she said back then they didn’t have the internet. She said “We just raised our kids the best way we knew how. We didn’t worry what other mothers were doing, nor did we really know!” While the internet does have a lot of great tools and resources, don’t let it make you feel like you don’t measure up to some sort of “perfect mom” persona. I promise that mom that you think does everything isn’t perfect just like you. My good friend said something to me I always try to remember. We were talking about this very thing when she said she felt guilty seeing ideas on gardening with her kids and her daughter asked her why they didn’t have a garden. She told me “I don’t even like gardening, and now I feel like I have to garden, and bake from scratch, and do extravagant birthday parties!” But she made a pact with herself that she wasn’t going to do anything just because she felt she was “supposed to” or “should,” especially if she didn’t even enjoy it! That little bit of advice helped me so much and took off a pressure I was carrying around. It was so true! If I didn’t like baking (which I don’t, because I’m horrible at it) then why should I feel I have to just because so and so’s mom does or because the internet says I should? No thanks! But I do love coloring, and art, and I can do those things with my daughter. A couple weeks ago, I challenged you to rediscover your hobbies. You can definitely save them for your own “Me time,” but don’t hesitate to show your children and involve them in the process. It’s a great way to show your kids you have your own interests too and a great way to just bond together.
Having said that, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to do anything, either. I could tell our crazy life had been taking a toll on Baby Girl. She was throwing mini-tantrums every time we had to go out, fighting to get her shoes on, and just all around cranky, and I was too. Thursday, we surprisingly had nothing to do, so guess what we did? We took what we call a Mental Health Day. We stayed in pajamas all day and watched movies, and I didn’t feel one bit of guilty! I could tell it was very much needed because Baby Girl was so relaxed and her behavior was a lot better. She was happy to have a day to relax and so was I! If you find yourself in this situation, try a mental health day! Make your favorite snack, pick a movie, and have a marathon! One day of watching TV won’t kill your kids, I promise, and it can work wonders for you and the kids to reset your minds. If you don’t like TV,
take a walk in the park, have a quiet game night or do whatever you find relaxing and just relax. The house can wait, and so can everything else. You don’t need to worry they aren’t getting anything or learning anything from it, because they are learning that sometimes we just need a
day to do nothing for our own well-being. Baby Girl and I don’t do this very often because it is important for us as moms to interact with our children, and just get down on the floor with them and play, but I decided, every once in awhile, its ok, and I am not going to beat myself up about it when we do!
You’ve heard that saying “Take a chill pill?!” Well, if your life’s feeling chaotic, chances are your kids are feeling overwhelmed as well too, so listen to the old saying and take a chill pill together! You will all feel refreshed and ready to face the next stretch of chaos!
Check out this Alex Boye video featuring Mormon mom bloggers!
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!