One of my mentors recently called me out on some things. Okay, perhaps not so much as a mentor but my therapist. Don’t go all “judgy judgy” on me, we should all pay for some sound advice sometimes. She let me know that I was not Laura Ingalls and needed to stop acting like it. Ok. Perhaps she didn’t use those exact words it was more like “why are you acting like you can do everything for everyone all the time?”
I look at Pintrest and see all of these amazing ideas. I scan Facebook to see supermoms making their own detergent, homeschooling, and still taking a shower every day and I wonder where did I go wrong? Ever since I came back from Uganda I have felt this overwhelming need to “make- up” for all the time I was gone. I have been determined to be a better mom. A better wife. A better friend. And apparently the measure all of that was figuring out what everyone else was doing better at. So I had been cooking these amazing meals with all the food groups included. Packing lunches that the kids would love to eat. There would never be the infamous cafeteria trading going on with my kids. I even have been making our own bread. From scratch. Like I forgot they made bread and sold it at the stores already sliced. Telling myself that this is how I was going to show my kids that I loved them. That I was sorry I had left them for so long. That I would never leave them again for so long. I thought that I was speaking their “love language” of non- processed foods. You can imagine how well this all went. It took about one month. One month of non -processed foods, amazing dinners, a prescription of Xanax and too many trips to the therapists office to discover I had hit rock bottom.
Apparently when you have five young children, your hormones are a wreck, you are reintegrating into your family and world, it is not a good time to raise the standards on yourself. And the standards that I had set for myself were beyond unattainable or even acceptable. No one ever told me that I needed to do all of these things. This is just what I had told myself. That in order to obtain my position as a loving mom I needed to at least do as well as all the moms on Facebook and Pintrest. But there I was flat on my face in a pile of flour wondering who I was supposed to be. And then I learned this. Again. I just needed to be present. Just there. I just needed to breathe and be in this moment. Not the moments that I lost. Not in the moments that may or may not happen. Just the moment of now.
So here we are. I bought bread. And they really like it. And I am present. And it is just where I need to be. I don’t need to make my own detergent to be a good mom. I can decide that some of my kids need to go back to public school. I can make macaroni and cheese from a box. And they will be ok. They will thrive. Because I am here.