I am a leaky faucet of snot. As gross as it sounds it’s even worse to deal with. I taught my youngest the tissue up the nose trick and he giggles every time he looks at me. I am fortunate in that I am a work at home mom. I am also in a very loving relationship. My husband doesn’t have unrealistic expectations of the house or our family. Both of these things are important because I took a day off and slept most of it away. My children are also sick which made them very snuggly and willing companions.
Too often we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards. The house must be clean at all times, the family well dressed, and well fed. Mothers who work must also manage the home and children. Mothers that stay at home must never fail to keep the house in photo op shape. It’s an awful cycle of abuse friends and relatives will jokingly continue. “Must be nice to sleep all day.” “My house would look like that if I had all that time you have.” “I can’t lose the weight because unlike you I work for a real living.”
I used to let these things tear at the fabric of my spirit. I would constantly overwhelm myself and under-nourish my body in order to get it all done. I was working, dealing with my son’s services, managing the home and chores, and still found lacking by these same people. I assure you that those that are unhappy with themselves will always find fault in you. I have a new plan of attack for all of the hate. I didn’t brush my hair, the boys and I are not even wearing pants, the dishes are full in the sink. We played, we watched a lot of tv, and there were many naps.
I no longer care what others think. These expectations are toxic and they didn’t make our lives better. I felt anxious and unable to sleep most nights because I felt like I wasn’t enough, wasn’t doing enough. Taking a nap wasn’t even a possibility when I was hospitalized with my chronic illness. The jibes of never enough were so constant and consistent that I let it into my soul, I let myself believe it.
I’m here to tell you that it’s all a lie. There are no Chore Police waiting to break in your door because you left the dishes one night in the sink. The laundry will stay put dirty, or clean but piled on the floor like mine, for another day. Do something radical for a change and take care of YOU. Grab a glass of wine if that’s your thing, or stay on track on your diet but do your favorite thing. Do all the things you love. It doesn’t matter what moves you as long as you give yourself that time.
I promise the people that are throwing jabs at you will be happy to continue doing so whether you do it all or not. Supermom/dad is a myth. We are all just doing the best we can for our families, struggling to get it done, and dealing with the fiscal side affects. My wish for all of you is that instead of throwing a jab out at a fellow parent you just share a little empathy. Take a break parents, I’ve got your back.