Mothers can have bad days – kids misbehave, work gets on top of you, the house is a dump, your husband is being useless, etc. Mothers often tell me that when they are having a bad day, they think of me and they instantly feel better. The chaos in my life provides them with some comfort in those manic mama moments.
But I have to let you in on a little secret: it’s not that bad. In fact, it’s pretty darn good. Sure, I don’t get a lot of sleep and nights out on the town are few and far between, but that’s what I signed up for when I had six kids.
Between my babies, business and blogging, there are quite a few balls in the air. So the question is often asked about how I manage it all. I could go on and on, but since this is a blog and not a book, I’m keeping it short with just a few little things that are firmly entrenched in my brain that help me get through my busy days.
Keep everything in perspective
When things are hectic at Mabel’s Labels and stress is creeping into our lives, my business partners and I look at each other and remind ourselves of this: We are making labels; we are not saving lives. This is not to downplay how seriously we take our business. If a customer has not received labels on time, that is a dire Mabel 911 situation. Should we let it keep us up at night? Probably not. We’re better off engaging in more proactive responses such as finding out what went wrong and changing our system. Fix the mistake, move on and remember: no one died.
Don’t take your kids so seriously
My kids are kids, not projects. Don’t obsess over whether your kids are academically gifted, going to get MVP or be chosen for the competitive dance team. When my kids grow up, they will be like most others – they’ll get a job. They may become teachers, bricklayers, doctors, bus drivers, parents, whatever. Hopefully they’ll have a fulfilling personal life. I want them to be happy and the best people they can be. Stop taking them so seriously and worrying about what they’ll be later, instead of what they are now.
Don’t take yourself so seriously
You’re a parent, not a miracle worker. You’ll make mistakes and feel crappy about it. So learn from it and move right along. Dwelling is pointless. Sometimes as you try to balance all your roles, you’ll notice everything becoming unaligned – several balls you are juggling come crashing down at once. On those days, order pizza, give the kids bowls of cereal for dinner, let them watch too much TV or go to bed without brushing their teeth. I think they will be OK if they don’t have veggies with dinner two nights in a row. No one is going to turn you into the bad mother police for letting the kids eat hotdogs off their laps on the family room couch. While they’re doing that, for goodness’ sake, go get yourself a well deserved glass of wine!
So this Mother’s Day, give yourself an invaluable Mother’s Day gift. A healthy dose of perspective will make you happier than a dozen roses or new pair of earrings ever will.