Mother’s Day Challenge
One of the most frustrating things about Mother’s Days for us Moms is that, we know what we want but we don’t want to say it, so we hope that our loved ones will figure it out. Usually, though, they don’t and we’re left feeling unloved. This logic sounds ridiculous to a man, but, we’re not men. After Mother’s Day is over, we wind up feeling unappreciated, not very well understood and, well, pretty disappointed.
So I have a recommendation. Let’s try to do something really nice for ourselves this Mother’s Day. No, I don’t mean buying ourselves a massage, pedicure or a dinner out with friends. Let’s dig deeper and do something for ourselves that will really make us feel better – for months.
Here’s my challenge to each of you mothers who feels overworked, unappreciated or misunderstood… First, write down all of the things that you feel that you should be. You know, like: nicer, more patient, more assertive, less assertive, etc. We all have our own lists. Then, write down all of the things that you should do. Cook better meals, make more money, clean your house more frequently, spend more “quality time” with your kids. Having trouble coming up with your lists? You’re not being honest. Think about the “other woman” who lives in your heads and talks to you every day. You remember her- she’s the version of the mother that you should be. The perfect you, as a mom. Put her down on paper. Really let it out. Write down what she tells you that you should be doing, where you should be going, how much exercise you should be getting (mine’s telling me I should go to the gym as soon as I’m done) and how your kids would be behaving if you were more like her. Now you’re getting it. Spend some time thinking about her. What does she look like, what does she sound like? She speaks so much more nicely than you do- because she never raises her voice.
After you have done this exercise, carefully read over what you have written. I know, your kids should be in a higher reading group. Your daughter would be dancing four times per week if you had the money. Maybe you need a better job to pay for those lessons. That’s what she would do. Read the list over and over and add to it over the next couple of days.
Now- here comes the good part. Drag your pen to the bottom of the page and start scratching things off of the list. Tell her to shrink. You don’t need her in your head. She’s fictitious. She never will exist because she doesn’t need to. Here’s the best news of all: your kids don’t like her and they don’t want her as their Mom. They want you.
Replace the lists you have made with reality, Your kids want you. They want to be with you, laugh with you and do errands with you. They don’t need to be in a higher reading group, dance more, have a nicer bedroom or a cleaner house. And- they don’t really care that much about your cooking. They don’t care whether you buy brownies at the store, make them from a box or even make them from scratch. Those are YOUR issues. They just want to eat the brownie with you.
So give yourself a gift this Mother’s Day. Recognize that your kids really want you to parent them, not the mother in your mind. Scratch those wicked things off your list and let your kids really have their Mom. That’s all they want. And that’s what will make you feel a whole lot better. Happy Mother’s Day to you.