I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
I didn’t actually join the ranks of motherhood with that mantra in mind. It just sort of slowly incorporated itself into my daily living. It started with sleepless nights and unexplainable crying. It carried on with picky eating or food throwing… or BOTH. It ventured into shyness and anxiety and even a few tantrums.
As my son started getting older, I made the mistake of thinking things would be easier. And in some respects, they are. I still have sleepless nights but he’s no longer the cause. And he has absolutely no issues with food whatsoever. But I’m still learning about who he is as a person. I’m learning that he might want to ride a bike but the fear of failure might keep him from trying.
Just the other day, we were out for a movie and a little Black Friday shopping. As we left the theater, he asked how many stores we were going to and where they were and how long we were going to be there. Immediately, I took this as a potential for complaining about having to go shopping after we took him to the movies and I started to get a little mad.
Instead, we talked and he helped me understand that he’s a planner (something I’m not). He needs to know the plan and needs to know if we’re going to deviate from the plan. This was so helpful to me because I’m the complete opposite. While I like to have some idea of how my day will go, I’m very much a “go with the flow” kind of person and spontaneous shopping is my favorite!
After almost eight years with this kid, I learned something new. And it’s conversations like this that help make me an unstoppable mom. Here’s how you can get there too.
1. Change as you go.
Remember your plans as to what kind of parent you were going to be? You were going to be strict to keep your kid on the straight and narrow. Or you were going to be the fun, friend-like parent. And along the way, you might have had to make some course corrections.
In fact, I think it makes you a better mom if you learn to change as you go because you’re still learning who your kid is as they’re figuring it out too. Be a mom to the individual and break your own rules once in a while.
2. Make time for yourself.
When my son started kindergarten two years ago, I thought I’d be crying for the next 12 years or so. While I did cry for the first few days, I’ve learned that it’s good for him to have his time and it’s good for me to have my time.
Sometimes, I spend the day working, which not only makes me feel valuable but also provides intellectual stimulation. Other days, I go grocery shopping in peace or I take a ridiculously long bath and read a good book. These moments help restore me so that I’m a better mom when my son comes bouncing off the bus and runs to give me a hug.
3. Start over with each new breath.
Years ago, I was an avid practicer of yoga. Eventually, I’d like to get back to that. Besides the physical aspects of it, my yoga instructor (who you never would have guessed would be a yoga instructor) would lead a fun class with a good workout and always leave us, sometimes almost accidentally, with an incredibly profound thought.
Several of them have stayed with me over the years but the one that left the biggest impact is the one her yogi shared with her.
We start over with each new breath.
Don’t wait until the new year to say this time I’m going to do it right. Because you’ll often set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Live in the moment and when you make a mistake, make a course correction, keep breathing, and move on.