There have been some major life changes in our home over the past few months, including an impending divorce, so my kids have been on my mind every second of every day. What can I do to make this transition as smooth for them as possible? How can I get them through without completely screwing them up? So many questions, so much to think about. At the same time, I have to remember to think about myself; because if I’m not taking care of me, then it’s going to be that much harder to take care of them.
With that said, I’ve come up with my “Mom Goals” for the new year. Things that whether life is peachy or kind of crappy right now, as moms we should still be remembering to do for ourselves to make us better moms.
This seems so cliche for this time of year, but it’s so important. I want to put down my phone more, sit down and really listen instead of being up and doing while the kids try to talk to me. There’s nothing more important right now to me than the kids knowing that I’m here. I’m here to listen, to hug, to be a shoulder to cry on, whatever they need to get them through this time or any time in their life. They need to know that their mom cares and wants only the absolute best for them. By being present, I’m confident that they’ll know these things.
When your kids are younger (mine are not, they’re 8 and 13) I realize Me Time can be hard to find. It’s so very important though for our sanity. Whether it’s 5 minutes locked away in a closet or a bathroom just to breathe or read a book, 15 minutes early to bed to decompress, or a quick walk around the while dad hangs out with the kids after work, make time for you. I’ll be going back to work after being a SAHM for 10+ years, and going back to school, so it’ll be important for me to still make that time for myself.
One on One
Spending one-on-one time with each child is a big deal, one that I’ve always tried hard to balance. My oldest is a girl, so it’s easy to find things for us to do together. She loves to shop, or go to Starbucks for a drink, etc. Whereas my youngest (the boy) likes all things super heroes and Star Wars (neither of which I care much for). But it’s important to me that I find that time to spend with each kid and I want to do this more. Even if it means sucking it up and cuddling up to watch one of the million Star Wars movies or heading outside to freeze to death in the snow.
When I’m going through an emotional time (whether it’s big life changes or that time of the month), I can be so quick to anger and am easily stressed out by the little things. (This is NOT just me, right?) I mean, being a mom is hard work and I’m about to jump into being a single mom, living on my own (for the first time EVER, yikes) and going back to work after a long stint as a SAHM. So taking deep breaths, counting to 10 and trying to chill out….I’m going to need to remind myself to do this quite often.
Think Before You Speak
This is something I’m constantly telling the kids and yet don’t do very often myself. In the evening rush it’s so easy to brush the kids off. After all, it’s question after question, request after request and most of it is about stuff that they know I’ll say no to or that we really could talk about later, when the day is a bit more calm. So instead of jumping at them with a snarky remark about timing or to talk to me about that later, I’m going to think and hopefully have a nicer response. I want to let them know that what they have to say is important and I do care, but we just need to talk about it in a bit, when I can think more clearly and give them the time they deserve.
Love Them Hard
A given, right? But there is nothing I want more in this world than for my kids to know how loved they are. I want to hug them and kiss them and tell them exactly how important they are, to build them up and make sure they know that no matter what is going on in our lives at any given moment, they are SO LOVED.
Hopefully these goals will help me to be a better person and most importantly a better mom.