Since the start of summer break, my daily routine as a mom and writer has shifted quite a bit. With both kids home with me day in and day out, no child-care in sight, I’m doing the best I can to not only get assignments turned in but establish some sort of balance with my kids. To me, this means that at least a few days a week, we’re out playing at the park mid-day. I do the best I can to cook half-decent dinners for my crew, too. And at least one day a week, we have a fun adventure.
But, I can’t help looking at what my friends are doing, plastered all over their social media feeds.
They are all over the place, busy and seemingly present with their kids day-in and day-out while I’m over here struggling just to keep my kitchen clean.
I’ll admit it: I’m so thankful that Moana is on Netflix and that my older son can occupy himself with his Xbox while I work. I’m not a lazy mom; I love spending time with my kids. But I am in survival mode every single day (Monday through Friday) — to tend to their needs as well as work and try not to put myself or my relationship with my husband on the back burner. Yes, it makes mom guilt completely swell up inside me as I push through each project, but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive this work-from-home-mom thing, and this is my reality.
I’ll never be that cookie-cutter “perfect” mom. I will always be on a hamster wheel holding everything together.
I can't just embrace the chaos. I wish I could follow the advice: “Stop stressing, Allison, you work full time, stop comparing yourself to mothers who don’t." But I can’t help but to play that comparing game and label myself as the inadequate mom.
Could I be doing more with my kids each day? Perhaps, but then other things would suffer, specifically the things that have a direct impact on our bank account and giving my kids a life at all. It’s so hard not to compare and feel like I’m not doing enough. We live in a society that regularly sends moms cues that they should be doing things like opting for organic over generic, taking the most Instagram-worthy pictures every single day, planning beautiful birthday parties and vacations. And, of course — mastering every angle of the Pinterest perfect project.
And don’t even get me started on the cleaning and having a perfectly decorated home. It’s exhausting. (And ahem, this is why I’m not always answering your calls or texts.)
And I’m not always the mom who's just surviving.
I do feel like I can give myself a gold trophy for the art of balance because I somehow always keep my head above water. But more days than not, I’m in that fast paced, survival mode where I have a to-do list longer than my height, and a child who won’t nap, and an older kid calling me “mean” for making him do the dishes. I’ll never be that cookie-cutter “perfect” mom. I will always be on a hamster wheel holding everything together.
When I’m going through all of these emotions, I’m hard on myself and often use that “lazy mom” label.
On better days, I realize that at that when the tasks have all been crossed off, the kids are bathed and in bed, my assignments are turned in, and most of all my kids are happy, I can allow the myself the label "rockstar mom" insted.
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