Happy Almost Mother's Day!
Have you called your mother lately!? I call my mom so much she's like...sweetie I love you but maybe stop calling me more than five times a morning while I'm at work?
In any case, it’s time for an episode of…SAHM Survival Guide eh?
The anxious stay at home mom (or dad) survival guide. The antsy stay at home mom (Or dad…you get the idea) survival guide? The full of self-doubt stay at home mom survival guide?
What I’m aiming for this week:
1) Staying calm in the face of tantrums and chaos. Keeping my sense of humor when Benji is screaming and tearing off his pants and throwing them in the dog’s water bowl and now the dog is really thirsty and Ellie is needing some quiet cuddle time on the couch and we are already ten minutes late for school.
2) Keeping my own joy and balance in my life, and in that vein staying healthy not just physically but emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and socially. Let’s face it, we’re complex beings full of layers of wants and needs and desires and they can’t all be fulfilled staying home with the kids all day, every day. A good life needs change, and growth, and room to expand. And a reliable babysitter! And, really, a nana and papa close by.
3) Letting go of my desire to control their relationship with each other. I want them to build a close relationship, one that they will both learn to treasure and count on now, tomorrow and twenty, thirty years down the road. I’m learning to surrender my referee compulsions and let them work it out on their own.
4) Disabusing myself of the notion that a good parent is an anxious parent, one who has worried about and foreseen every difficulty and planned and arranged to have them all systematically removed for them. Wow even writing this I am realizing how much I do this and how much it needs to stop, like, right now.
I do NOT have all the answers. I have found a few that work for me, and I’m willing and able to write about it, and willing and able to put myself out there and share my hopes. My desire is that this connects with other SAHM’s out there. Or anyone, really, who struggles to care for another person and still maintain their own identity.
Let’s leave you with some action plans, yeah?
1) Begin the morning consciously, whether that’s reading a bible passage or praying or meditating or even just laying out the day the way you want it to go. Then forgiving yourself when you can’t because the baby has jumped up into bed with you at 530am wired for sound or your dog throws up on your pillow. And then sits in it. And then licks your face until the lovely doggy-puke-breath odor rouses you. I can’t make this stuff up people.
2) You need a physical action plan you can do at least three times a week. It can be an expensive gym, or your bike, or your own two legs. It can be swimming or climbing a rock wall, it can be with the kids or without but you need it. Your body needs it. Heck your brain needs it. Exercising lowers your risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s/Dementia and depression. Boom, boom, boom. You don't just want to be around when your own kids have kids, you want to be healthy and active able to enjoy them. Don't forget to forgive yourself when you skip the yoga class to work on a poem about working out instead sometimes. (Who does that!? Me. I do.)
That’s it folks, some concerns I’ve had I’m sure I’m not alone in, and some action plans I’m putting together for myself to have my best life possible.
Really lastly, if you’re a stay at home mom and you can’t fit in an exercise routine easily try this neat trick that works for me. Start doing 5 pushups a day. Then drop and do 5 pushups whenever you think of doing pushups. Maybe not in HEB but if no one’s around and you’re not in the middle of a parking lot…go for it. It adds strength amazingly quickly and the fast progress you make encourages you to go for ten, then fifteen pushups a day. Just in time for sleeveless shirt weather. You’re welcome. Now go forth and drop and give me five people, your shoulders, and your future grandkids, will thank me.