I was not the girl who dreamed of being a mother growing up. I didn’t crave the chance to babysit little ones, and I didn’t push a stroller around everywhere I went. And yet, here I am, a mother of two and five years into this motherhood thing. I wish I could tell you I have some wise, sage advice to give you after parenting for this many years, but the only thing I’ve learned is that becoming a mother has transformed me far more than any other aspect of my life. If you are a selfish person, motherhood will remind you that you are not the center of the universe. If you are an ambitious person, motherhood will open your eyes to see that there are far more important things in life than work. If you are an unforgiving person, motherhood will teach you grace for others and yourself. It has to have this transformative effect, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to survive it.
I suppose my philosophy on motherhood comes down to this: it is hard, but it is worth it. Some days it will seem like the most impossible task, and you’ll lie awake at night worrying about problems your children won’t face for another twenty years. Other days you will watch your children play together, see them look up at you with admiration in their eyes, and wonder why you didn’t have twenty more babies. It’s a tug and pull of your emotions, it’s a constant battle between exhaustion and exhilaration. It’s not the only thing that defines me, but it make ME so much better. I understand other people better because I am a mom. I have more compassion for my fellow human because I am a mom. I want the world to be a joyful place because I am going to be sending my children out into it someday. I don’t think I would have such grand thoughts if I was still just living for myself. Maybe other women are that soulful on their own, but it took motherhood for me to gain this level of understanding.
So what’s my philosophy how to BE a mother specifically? It’s taking a bubble bath when I need it. It’s putting my face on because it makes me feel good. It’s telling my daughter she can be whoever she wants to be and then living that out in my daily life. I don’t always do the dishes, I don’t always have a perfectly clean home, but I try. My children don’t speak five languages and they can’t count to 1000, but we laugh and sing songs and talk about why polar bears are white. Most education specialists will tell you that the academics will come, what matters is that you’re just spending TIME with your kids. That feels like it’s letting you off the hook as a mom, but it really isn’t.
To sit with your babies and be fully present, fully engaged without worrying about the hundreds of other things on your to-do list, is difficult. It’s a daily struggle. To turn off the screens, theirs and yours, and just sit with each other takes effort in the 21st century. My children will never know what it was like to grow up without a cell phone at their finger tips. That makes a part of me feel sad, but this is the world we live in. Short of living off the grid in the mountains, I can only try to delay it as long as possible.
The information age is forcing us all to update our parenting philosophies, and that simply makes it all the more important for me to take care of myself during this time when my children are young. I want to be healthy and happy until they are old and gray, so it takes some major self-care when temper tantrums are a daily battle. Just like it takes effort to be present with my children, it also takes effort to schedule time away from them. Dealing with the guilt that comes along with that is a whole other battle. But again: it is hard, but it is worth it.
This Mother’s Day, take a moment to bask in the wonderfulness of who you’ve become since a little one made you a mom. Maybe splurge on a few beauty products; maybe go get a massage. Or treat the day just the same as any other and carry on being the goddess you are. You do you, boo boo. My favorite way to unwind is with a bubble bath, so try Philosophy’s Melon Daquiri or Vanilla Birthday Cake scents for a decadent treat. Make sure you’re ready for whatever the day will throw at you with BareMinerals’ Prime Time primer and light-as-air powder foundation, and you’re all set. All these products are available on HEB.com, a fast and easy way to enjoy the best beauty products you love! Plus, right now they have a deal for free shipping when you spend $25! Just enter code HEB4ME at checkout. And speaking of love, I’m sending a whole bunch to you this Mother’s Day. Lord knows I’ve got plenty to go around. After all, I’m a mom! 🙂
P.S. I received compensation in exchange for this post. Don’t worry though, all opinions are my own.