When Mommy's A Mess, So Is Everyone Else!by Erica Diamond
Do you ever feel, as the centrifugal force of the house, that mommy’s mood sets the tone for the the whole family? Chances are there are constantly multiple things going on at once…different opinions, different ideas and different hormones levels! And chances are again, these many factors vary throughout your week. For example, sometimes my household is happy, and we’re grooving to Kool & The Gang and (shhhh) Justin Bieber in the kitchen, and other times mommy’s ranting about unfinished homework, laziness about helping out, too much Wii and TV, or disrespectful words. Sometimes we’re laughing, sometimes we’re tense. But one thing I know for sure -- when I’m on edge, EVERYONE IS ON EDGE.
Should I Fake It?
And see, this is where I sit on the fence…am I to fake it, and fake happiness when I’m tired or stressed for the sake of peace and harmony, or should I be my honest self, my true self, and show my kids that life isn’t always flowery, and bring everyone down with me? I always wrestle between protecting them, and giving them the truth. My heart says truth, but with a grain of salt, yes?
Sometimes I even go into the bathroom and literally BREATH, alone, and then try and come out like Carol Brady. But seriously, when the kids are all over me or misbehaving, and I feel like I could lose it, I go into the bathroom. For just 2 minutes. It works for me, don’t ask me why. I usually come out with my negative aura refreshed. I think when we sign up for mommyhood, we realize, but we don’t TRULY realize how our actions are so deeply affecting the lives of the little people we brought into this world. And it’s a huge responsibility and undertaking to “do it right.” But I think we all owe it to our children to do it right.
We've All Been There
I think we all have experienced this to one degree or another, at one time in our life. But I will tell you something I do know: emotions are contagious. If you’re feeling irritable or tense, your children WILL pick up on it. They will react, and chances are, react to a magnified version of it. So, if we’re happy, that mood rubs off. They’re kids, remember. They’re sponges. And if we’re tense, they’ll retain that, too. A few things to take note if you've been feeling this way:
Remember, your children will model your behavior. So, always watch how you act around your children. It will rub off. If you’re always trying to teach your kids how to handle their anger and other emotions, model that behavior. If we act frustrated or angry, they will think it’s okay to do so too. Remember the old saying -- actions speak louder than words!
Pressure to Be Supermom
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a part-time working mom, or full-time career mom, society has made us believe that we should always be Miss Susie Sunshine, and therefore put on a facade for the world. I, for one, wear my heart on my sleeve, so that has never been my way. But, many of us feel we should be perfect, our kids should always be well-behaved, get good grades, be athletic, smart, etc. When we set ourselves up too high, we leave way too much room to fall down. I think having realistic expectations sets us up for success rather than failure.
We are so busy taking care of everyone else, we often neglect our own needs, right? What’s self care to you? For me, self care today would be skipping the whole nighttime routine, NOT putting my kids to bed, NOT giving them a bath, NOT brushing their teeth, and having someone else do that, and me strolling over to the bookstore, and then dinner and wine with my hubby. Self care could mean the gym, a massage, a manicure, a coffee with a girlfriend, WHATEVER. It can also mean finding a hobby you like and re-discovering it. Self care is vital to our existence!
It's Our Choice
So today, I will practice what I preach. Mamma’s gonna try and get happy again. Set a good tone for the house. Chillax, and be appreciative of all the blessings. I think life will always throw curve balls our way, but it’s up to us how we react. It’s our choice.