This isn't my mom's type of mothering: How COVID reminded me to give myself some grace as a mother.
May 10, 2020 | By: carla
This isn't my mom's type of mothering. That thought entered my mind, as I let another cuss word leave my mouth in frustration when my eldest who now stands almost a foot over me, left his shoes in the middle of the hallway for the umpteenth time. I swiftly picked them up and chucked them towards his room at the end of the hall.
They hit his door with a loud thud.
I think I heard my mom cuss once in 18 years, and it was only when I had pushed her buttons so hard that I literally heard her crack in anger. I was so taken back by her words that a small laugh escaped my mouth and promptly stopped when I thought the vein in her forehead my explode at any moment.
No, I'm not my mom's type of mothering. I'm the opposite in most ways.
Where as my mom stayed home as a full time mom, I juggle motherhood by running three different small businesses and have most recently started working part time at a big box retail store since all three companies have been hit hard by our societal shut down due to COVID. In my normal life, besides running 3 companies, I am the VP of the PTO, have been the swim team mom and served on another swim team committee, and workout 5-6 days a week, along with a list the size of Texas of never ending items I need to get done.
To say I juggle multiple balls in normal life is the most oxymoron statement you could say. I juggle, spit fire and stand on one foot while my eyes hold on to each ball in the air. I thrive under pressure and most days I race from one kid event to another, all the while managing those businesses, mothering and being a wife.... and COVID brought all that to a screeching halt.
Except the wife and mother thing. That I still get to do. Butt add homeschool on top and watch me crack.
The homeschooling is what put me over the edge to my breaking point. I found myself pouring a glass of wine every night for 3 weeks straight, until my pants started getting tighter and tighter and I reluctantly had to put down the bottle. This staying home, mothering thing...it isn't for the faint of heart, and I wasn't even staying home every single day. I was out working the big box store and homeschooling.
But I did stop hustling because I couldn't handle any more pressure. Slowly over the last 6 weeks when stripped of the busy, I've searched my heart for what really I want, and who I really want to be.
I don't want to multi task any more. I simply cannot do it. I sucked at it anyways, so who am I kidding?
And the truth is in all this non-hustle and quietness, I've learned one very important lesson that I may have never learned otherwise. I'm not the the mother that I grew up with because I haven't focused on my sole attention on being the mom that I grew up with. My attention has been pulled in too many directions. My never ending to do list is never ending because I chose to have it that way.
Multi-tasking has been the death of me. Simply put, I am the absolute worst mother to my kids when I try to multi-task. And that's all I've been doing previous to COVID.
I chose this life. I chose to run around. I chose to volunteer and spend my time doing all the things that I thought my kids wanted from me, when in actuality all they really wanted was me. My time. My attention. My phone put away, emails unanswered, phone calls not returned.
They've yearned for the long bike rides, home cooked meals around the table, and s'mores on a random Tuesday.
It's a choice. I've journaled a lot about this over the last few weeks. Because when you don't know what you want or who you want to be, then you you'll just keep doing what you've always done.
No, I may not mother as my mother did for me and my siblings (I'm pretty sure I'll still say cuss words under my breathe loud enough for them to hear it) but I will not any longer tolerate the pressure of doing everything for everybody any more. If my choices are leading me to try to juggle, then it's not the right choice.
My worth as a mom isn't found in what I do for them outside of this house. It is found in these kids feeling heard, seen and loved Inside this home.
I think I finally found some grace for myself during COVID. Grace in acknowledging I don't always make the right decisions, but I am willing to pivot. I'm open to changing directions when I realize that some choices no longer lead me to the type of mother I truly want to be....a grace filled one.
Happy Mother's Day to all those sacrificing and resting in the JOY of being a mother!
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