Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celebrating Motherhood

"A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled."
~ Emily Dickinson

The work of being a wife and mother is 24-7, 365.  Even when on vacation, the concerns for your family are front and center and you are on the job around the clock.  There is no retirement with a gold watch after 25 or 45 years.  It's often a thankless job and you rarely see the rewards of your effort instantly.   If you are very lucky, there will be hand-holding and hugs, support and love when you need it.  The real trial of our endeavor is lifelong...for us and for our children.

As mothers and wives we strive every single second of every single day to support our husbands and children.  It is tireless work.  Even when we are not actively doing something with our husband or children, their needs, wants, desires, problems... are on our mind...somewhere...even way in the back...they are there. 

"She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them."
~ Margaret Culkin Banning

Most of us feel guilty doing for ourselves.  We feel guilty taking time for ourselves.  We feel bad spending money on ourselves.  We know we can.  We know we deserve it.  But most of us would trade that shiny new car for horseback riding lessons for our kids and we know that designer outfit will get spit-up on or marker stains the first time we wear it.  We only buy things for ourselves when we have to, when our yoga pants are stretched and ripped beyond wearability and it's more expensive to repair the minivan than to replace it.

Starting today, May 1, every week day from now until Mother's Day, another homeschool mom blogger will share the joys, the beauty and the work of Motherhood on their blog.  We hope that you will tune in, read and feel empowered, understood and appreciated as a mom.  On Friday, May 11 we will have a special gift for everyone - no blog following, commenting, entries required!  This is our Mother's Day gift to you, our readers and friends.

Taking Care of Ourselves Means
Showing Ourselves Grace

There are things that I feel I am good at in my role as mom.  I love cuddling and snuggling, I keep a clean home and make good meals, I encourage reading and learning and friendships. 

But there are also ways that I fall short. I lose my patience or my temper.  I snap at my kids sometimes when I don't mean to; I feel bad about that and I apologize.  My kids tend to not need me until I get on the phone on an important call and then I feel guilty/annoyed.  I lose track of time in the evening and let my kids stay up too late often.  Sometimes I feel as though I am always in a rush and have far too many things to do and I know my kids sense this.

Do you see how my list of what I feel I am good at is shorter than the list of my flaws? 

We have a hard time showing ourselves grace.  Yet, when I read on other blogs how other moms lose their patience, I always comment that we all do that, we are human, we are not perfect.  Apologizing to our children is important, it lets them know that we see our flaws, we are not perfect; it lets them know we are human and that we hopefully understand when they make mistakes. 

I've found that I am a better mother, a better wife when I take time for myself.  I tend to snap less and listen more, I tend to be more patient, less rushed and lose my tempter less frequently when I take a few minutes for myself. 

  • If I don't have a lot of time, it can be something as simple as rubbing wonderfully scented lotion into my hands...it's amazing how that scent can sooth me and make me feel happier, more content. Even lighting a scented candle can improve my mood!

  • It can be something like reading a book for pleasure - not a book on parenting or homeschooling, but a fun book for me! Even if I only have ten minutes to read...

  • If I have more time, it can be a half hour nap on a day when I am tired or maybe a shopping trip all by myself for things for ME!  I always feel guilty buying stuff just for me, so I usually buy some kind of treats for my girls and husband, too!

  • It can be going to a yoga class, tuning into Yogatoday.com, or going for a walk.

  • Ocassionally I have even been known to take a bubble bath with my book and some scented candles. check. check. check.

  • I have also been known to rent a chick flick and splurge on some sushi or watch an episode of one of my favorite TV series on Netflix with some popcorn or chocolate fro-yo!

 What do you do to unwind and take care of yourself?  OR, if you don't make time for this, what would you like to do?

Please check out Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos post tomorrow!

You can see what Lisa at An Army Chap's Wife has to say on Thursday and read Jennifer at Little Homeschool on the Prairie's thoughts on Friday!

Next week, we will hear from Karen at Homeschool Girls, Susan at Learning ALL the Time, Rebecca at Mom's Mustard Seeds and H-Mama at Family Team!  Then, next Friday, we have a special gift for ALL of you wonderful moms out there!