In my quest to be a “good” mom, here are the things I am choosing to give myself permission to allow.
I will nap when the baby naps. Even when my baby is in high school. And I will not feel guilty about “wasting” those precious daylight hours when I could be doing something productive. This mama needs rest too.
I will first take advantage of things we already have before buying toys. Especially the garden hose on a hot summer day, old milk cartons, homemade play dough, and rocks and sticks in the backyard.
Some days we will stay home all day, even if it means playing hookie from Toddler Time at the library or music class or even putting off the grocery shopping for one more day. Toddlers – and mamas – need rest days with messy hair and wrinkled pajamas.
I will not keep every piece of my child’s artwork.
I will take as many pictures as my camera phone will hold and not feel bad about it. Ever. Same goes with posting them on Facebook.
I will wear a bikini even though my body doesn’t look like it did before I had the baby.
I will feel proud about buying second-hand clothing for my little one. Her clothes only fit for a short time.
I will stop feeling guilty about not writing anything down in her baby book.
Occasionally I will let my kid watch television, because it’s the only way I can survive. An episode of Sesame Street is not going to kill her if it means me being able to have a conference call from home.
Every once in awhile I will send my child to school or the church nursery or somewhere out in public in pajamas, mismatched clothes, or something really random that she picked out herself and insisted on wearing, and I will choose to embrace it instead of thinking it reflects poorly on me as her mother.
I will give up the battle of trying to get her to wear a hair bow. I will embrace the messy hair.
Some days I will go head-to-head with my toddler when it comes to eating healthy food. And some days, if I just want a peaceful dinner in a restaurant, I will pretend not to notice that she only ate french fries and bread.
When I have an especially bad day, I will let myself go and pick up my sleeping child and rock her for some extra cuddles. Because it makes me feel better.
I will continue to tell my child that her medicine tastes like pie. Because she likes pie, and it helps her take her medicine.
If I have the time and energy, I will maintain my own hobbies that bring me joy. And during the seasons when I have neither the time nor energy, I will not feel guilty about simply surviving.
I will let my child wear Christmas pajamas year-round.
I will have as many dance parties as possible. I will dance in the car without caring who sees me, and in my living room every single day if my child wants me to. And I will count the dancing as cardio.
I will teach my child funny hand motions (that I made up) to songs simply because it entertains me.
I will let myself waste money on unnecessary doctor visits if it gives my mama heart peace. Better safe than sorry.
And I won’t feel bad about coming to the doctor with a long list of questions.
I will go to bed early after a hard day of parenting. Or, I will let myself watch tv on my phone while taking a bubble bath – whichever option feels right on that particular day.
I will go out with my girlfriends, even when I feel guilty about leaving my family at home. That monthly supper club I’m a member of is good for me, and makes me a better wife and mother when I get home.
I will get down on the floor and play with play dough or sidewalk chalk or have a tea party, even when it means that dinner won’t be made (hello PBJs) or my house won’t be spotless, or an errand won’t get checked off my list.
I will treasure the good days and forgive myself for the bad days.
In this season of working full-time and being a mom full-time, I will let go of the urge to strive for perfection. (Oh friend, what if I could actually DO THIS?)