Putting the “Me” in “Mommy”

12096483_10208414129255831_8463120311703134225_n

“Mommy” is without a doubt one of the most special words in the English language. I treasure the title and everything it stands for. To my kids, “mommy” means protector, helper, ice cream scooper, lullaby singer, kisser of boo boos, and, not to mention, a source of love and understanding.

It’s a job I love. It’s a job I was born to do. But it’s not all I am.

I am still my own person. It’s been years since I set my own schedule for sleeping and socializing, but I do vaguely remember that I have interests that have nothing to do with Disney princesses or LEGO Ninjago characters.

I don’t want to lose myself completely in motherhood. At times, it seems like a forgone conclusion – being a mommy is like digging further and further into a rabbit hole until there’s no way out. But as I dig, I leave a trail of breadcrumbs – little reminders of who I was, who I am, and who I will be.

I love music.
I went to countless concerts before kids came along. I shouted the lyrics to every Usher song at the top of my lungs. And there’s no reason I have to stop. I make it a priority to keep going to concerts, because that’s one of the things I love, even if I may not go as often as I used to.

I love my job.
Going to work brings me joy. I have the opportunity to work with adorable children and fantastic families every day. I didn’t go back to work after the kids were born because I had to. I wanted to. And nothing has changed in that department.

I love my husband.
He was around long before the kids came into the picture, and he’ll be around long after. They’ll grow up and one day move away, and it’ll be the two of us again. I don’t want us to be strangers when that day arrives. We intentionally set up a great support system so we can enjoy nights out, even vacations, just the two of us.

There are days it’s easier to prioritize myself and my interests. But some days, I’m lost in the crazy hustle and bustle of parenthood. And that’s okay. Whether you love movies, music or anything else – dedicate a little time and energy to remember who you are. The “me” in “mommy” will thank you for it!

Happy Guilt-Free Mother’s Day

mday4

I’ve heard so much about “mom guilt” recently. Moms feel guilty for just about everything – not spending enough time with their kids, spending too much time with their kids, too much screen time, too much sugar, not enough fruits and veggies. It’s enough to send a new mom into a tailspin!

Why do we feel so much guilt?

The media: We see perfect moms on TV every day; how can we ever be like them? The stay at home moms spend all day taking care of the kids, making healthy snacks, keeping the house spotless and being the perfect wife. The working moms head off to jobs that they love and still have time to cook a perfect dinner and spend time with girlfriends. Don’t lose sight of the fact that these women are fictional. SuperMom is as real as SuperMan.

Our social circles: So-and-so breastfeeds, but so-and-so uses formula. This mom only buys organic snacks, while this mom lets her kids eat (gasp!) high fructose corn syrup. We feel like other moms are watching us and judging us on our every choice. But guess what – many aren’t. They’re struggling with their own issues and their own mom guilt, just like we are.

Ourselves. I’m here to tell you – most of the guilt comes from within ourselves. We feel like we have to measure up to some unattainable standard. Every decision we make feels like it’s the wrong one, and it could scar our kids for their whole lives. But it won’t. Kids will be ok, even if they have a second serving of ice cream or watch “too much TV” one afternoon.

So, this Mother’s Day, whether you choose to spend the day surrounded by family or all by yourself, I want every mom out there to enjoy her day guilt-free. Stop wondering and worrying whether you’re doing a good job. Trust yourself and your choices. If your children go to bed each night with the security of your love, then you’re doing a great job.

Happy Mother’s Day!