Inside: Here are some super important mindsets for being a mother that will save your sanity.
Isn’t it amazing how we learn so much day after day, year after year, and yet we always end up feeling like there’s more to know?
That’s how motherhood is.
You hit your stride then BAM some chemical jerks in your child’s brain and you’ve got no idea what’s gotten into them.
We can feel untethered, stressed, and worried we aren’t good enough as moms.
It’s a common bond we all share.
This is for the others who feel there is a Best Way and a Perfect Way and yet who cannot seem to meet their own standards.
4 Timeless Truths Being A Mother Teaches You
It’s amazing how being a mom is one of the biggest learning experiences of our life. Here are some truths that we can take to the bank.
Now Is Not Forever
We are not that different from our kids.
To a child what’s happening NOW is what’s happening forever.
right now = always
not now = never
They will grow up and be able to deal with their own hygiene.
They will get old enough that it’s not hard to find someone to watch or hang out with them so you can go out.
They will eventually be able to stay home alone (legally).
They won’t always need you for milk or a snack or even – dare I say it – dinner!
When we are struggling it’s easy to say that how we feel NOW is how we’ll feel FOREVER. But that is a heavy burden.
➡️ Plus, it’s just not true!
- Mom Burnout: A Hard But Freeing Truth
- When Motherhood Fries Your Nerves: How To Find Relief
- A Surprising Root Of Mom Guilt — And 4 Ways To Overcome It
Good Enough Is Good Enough
A boss I had years ago told something I’ll never forget.
“80% is good enough.” CEO, Board Member for numerous charities, and Entrepreneur Helen Wiseman
And I was her research assistant. She actually told me – seriously – that I didn’t need to aim for 100% because it still wouldn’t be perfect and it’d take too long. So 80% is good enough for her.
Welp, ladies, I’m here to tell you. Aiming for 80% is a great place to start.
Here are some things you aim to get perfect, but that will never be perfect.
- Laundry | Why aim for an All Clean And Put Away policy when five minutes later someone has pooped on the bed or thrown up and now it’s not done. Just get it done so everyone has clean underwear. Also, wear your jeans 10 times before washing. My Madewell jeans all say – inside the pant leg – that washing every time breaks them down. Tell yourself that!
- Clean House | Now, I’m all for doing Pajama Projects and getting things done. But the trouble with gettings done is that new things always come back to take their place. So instead of thinking about Getting It All Done, just think about it like Doing Things.
- Obedience | The truth is, your child will not do what you want or say 100% of the time. If your child does what you say most of the time and occasionally doesn’t, this does not mean your child is out of control. Don’t hold your child to a crazy unrealistic standard that you yourself can’t achieve because that’s demoralizing. Get on their side, stick to your boundaries, expect resistance, and have a bit of humor about parenting.
Here’s a great article on a bad habit we can start while nursing.
Aim For Real, Not Perfect
It’s very hard for us when our role models seem perfect.
We think that So And So has it all together and does everything well. Then we compare ourselves to her and we feel inadequate, less than, and bad. So guilt sets in. And self-condemnation. Before you know it anxiety and depression tag along and life starts sucking.
Or rather, our internal thought life starts sucking and it plays out around us.
Luckily, one of the biggest things we can teach our kids is something easy to model.
Saying we’re sorry.
Admitting we aren’t perfect.
Being okay with 80%.
- Apologize | Kids are extremely forgiving. Admitting when we are wrong and saying we’re sorry is a huge thing for kids. They see that when they mess up, it’s normal! This will help prevent perfectionism and Never Enough-ness from coming up in your own kids.
- Lead By Example | Use any opportunity you can to show your kids that you aren’t perfect, but you work hard. Don’t be overly sensitive about your performance. Be open to admitting that you worked hard, but it still wasn’t perfect. This is extremely helpful and – although you might feel like it – does not promote mediocrity.
Taking Care Of Yourself And Treating Yourself Aren’t The Same Thing
I go over this at length in my printable 5 Reasons Moms Are Stressed (Plus Their Breakthroughs!), but let’s recap here.
➡️ Treating yourself is NOT the same thing as taking care of yourself.
Treating yourself to a mani-pedi or a weekend away or a ladies night is all good and well and lovely and fine. And a PLUS, but not a necessity.
Taking care of yourself is absolutely necessary.
- Taking care of yourself is what you do, day in and day out, to contribute to your own physical, mental, and spiritual health.
- Treating yourself is what you do occasionally to spice life up. Icing on the cake!
– Taking care of yourself is sleeping 8 ish hours a night all the time.
– Treating yourself is occasionally having a few nights away to sleep sleep sleep and try and make up for your normal exhaustion.
– Taking care of yourself is eating the types of foods that don’t make your body revolt, back up, cause migraines, or lead to ill health.
– Treating yourself is indulging (not daily or it’s not a treat, it’s a habit) in rich, tasty, out of the ordinary awesome foods.
– Taking care of yourself is doing the normal hygienic practices that keep you feeling at your best and your body cared for.
– Treating yourself is getting a mani or pedi once a month.
I could go on, but you see what I mean.
We’ve misunderstood (or been sold a bill of goods) that Treating Ourselves will make us happy, peaceful, and content.
But it won’t.
Taking regular care of ourselves will. And we’ll actually want to treat ourselves less because we won’t feel we need to constantly escape our own lives.
So there we have it… four things we learn from parenting.
Life has seasons, and none last.
Good enough is good enough.
Perfection is impossible, genuineness is attractive.
We’re the only ones who can take care of us.
If you are stressed, overwhelmed, or drained… you aren’t alone.
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