Health | Better Together: Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries, Vol. VI
I won’t bore you with any of my ideas on being fit or eating right because, although I do appreciate those things, I am no expert and I still take cream in my coffee and sugar in my tea. :P (And every so often, I binge on crunchy cheezies laden with MSG—the devil, I know!) What I do hope is that I’m able to give you the smallest bits of wisdom, if not just a little reminder, when it comes to health for the soul.
Sometimes my day goes something like this: “MOMMEEEEE, WAKE UP!” Oh, the joy of seeing my children’s sweet little faces as they pine for me to spring from the bedcovers an hour before they’re supposed to wake up. I skip to the kitchen to prepare them a bountiful breakfast, which they may or may not eat because they are likely too tired. After I succeed in clothing my oldest son as he does a weird rendition of the Harlem Shake while transforming into Optimus Prime, I get out the door and drop him off at school. I might have a client or two waiting for me when I return home, and then it’s off to the grocery store because we somehow forgot something again! Upon return, maybe I’ll clean up some poop, finish organizing a single drawer while Leif disorganizes the rest of his bedroom, and work on my Nobel Prize acceptance speech, all while beating the world record for eating the greatest amount of toast and butter. Finally, I’ll pick up Noah, go to the park, make dinner (or make my husband make dinner), etc., etc., etc… I’ll spare you the bed time routine because that’s a novel unto itself. I’m living the dream. (Note: I have not as yet been awarded a Nobel Prize and the world record is still in progress.)
All sarcasm and silliness aside, life really is busy and crazy with little ones. As much as I LOVE being a mother to my beautiful and perfectly behaved children, I sometimes go to bed at night feeling bad about the way I lashed out at my husband, yelled at my kids, or simply let them watch way too much Netflix. I tell myself to be more patient and pray my kids don’t turn into brainless couch potatoes or worse—hipsters. :P
As a mother attempting to get my priorities in line, somehow I left myself out of the equation. But, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Amiright? Hehe. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I need a break from my kids. And you know what I’ve realized? Sometimes my kids need a break from me. When I get even a moment away, suddenly I remember how little and wonderful they are. I think having children is so incredible and exhausting because you love them SO much you would lay down your life for them. And you do. Every day. But at the same time, you can feel like they are driving you up the wall, as my mother would say. It can feel a bit like living in two separate places all at once.
Your mind, your spirit, your soul, they need time to charge even more than your body—however tantalizing that pillow is looking right now. I have learned so much through motherhood, but I will leave you with these three things to aid in your health and general sanity:
Before I had children, I always thought I’d be such a “cool” mom and do all the same things and hang out with all the same people and NEVER join a mom group (LOL). But seriously, mom groups are the best! Find community, even if it’s difficult. You’ll quickly realize you’re not the only one with the toddler who MUST listen to Baby Beluga on repeat while facing northeast in order to eat vegetables. ;) Also, whenever I’m in a pinch, I always have a friend to help me out. As the saying goes, it takes a village … and maybe a cleaning service.
Lower Your Expectations
I know this sounds horrible, but I found myself getting stressed so easily and, in turn, accomplishing less and less because I had such high expectations of myself. I am not supermom or superwoman, but the little things we do every day are super. I find the more I embrace being a woman and a mother, the more at peace I am ignoring a mess so I can have some “me time,” or setting aside my must do list so I can play with my kids (or with the husband). And now that I’m not trying to do everything, it’s funny how I am able to accomplish so much more.
Now, repeat after me: I forgive myself. I am not perfect, but who is? You will fight with your partner, you will be short with your kids, you will eat that Krispy Kreme doughnut, you will fart in public and then crop dust it around so no one knows it’s you, and you will do all sorts of other things that human beings do. But seriously, you are raising the next generation! I don’t know how it’s possible to not see value in being a mother. You don’t need a another job or another project or an awesome pair of boots to be validated—well, maybe the boots. What you are doing is literally life changing. So go easy on yourself!
Treat your heart well, for from it flow the springs of life.