Monday morning I dressed James in shorts for school. We had Listen to Your Mother auditions the previous weekend, and I had zero time to do the laundry or anything else. When I pulled out the drawer that is normally filled with pants, there was only one pair of shorts.
“It’s not that big of a deal.” I told myself. “We’ve had a long run of warm days. It’ll be fine.”
I dropped the clothes in David’s lap. James still asks for help dressing in the mornings even though he doesn’t need it. I walked into the kitchen and started prepping lunches, his and mine. He doesn’t like the school’s cheese pizza, which was on the menu for the day, but Cady does so I knew she would want to buy her lunch at school. I passed through the laundry room and noticed a full load of clean clothes in the dryer. Pants!
“James do you want to wear pants today or are shorts okay?”
“I’ll wear shorts!” He yelled from the living room where his focus was intent on Sponge Bob being stung by a massive jelly fish.
We bustled around for the next fifteen or so minutes, looking for shoes and locating backpacks that were discarded in haste on Friday afternoon. Ready for the day, I scooted the kids out the door to wait for the bus while I finished a few more things before leaving for work.
It wasn’t long before the back door cracked open. “Mom, can I have a jacket? It’s kinda cold. Can I wear pants tomorrow?” I stepped outside with the requested jacket and snacks I had forgot to provide. He was right. It was chilly.
I should have searched harder for those pants. I should not have let him choose to wear the shorts. I should have made him change. What kind of mother am I? Who sends her kid to school wearing shorts in February (never mind that the high was in the 70s the day before)? These thoughts circled the rest of the morning and were shouting when I stepped out of my office building to find that it was still chilly outside at noon.
How often do we yell these thoughts at ourselves? How often do we whisper them out loud? In front of our kids? Who think we are amazing. How often do we undervalue ourselves as mothers, wives, employees, daughters, sisters, friends…
I immediately stopped myself. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa sister. You need to stop that right now. And as my therapist has taught me, I addressed that mean voice inside my head. What’s really going on here? You KNOW that we are not the WORST mother in the world.
Well… you let our son go to school in shorts when it is FREEZING outside. That’s pretty horrible. (My inner voice likes hyperbole.)
It isn’t HORRIBLE. He’ll be fine, a little chilly, but fine. What’s really going on here?
… He’ll be cold… And I’m worried about him.
And we’ve reached the truth.
Worrying about our children or the job we are doing as parents does not make us bad mothers. This is what makes us great mothers. We all make mistakes and screw up
every once in awhile a couple of times a day, but we live through it and so do our kids. Being a happy mama is not about perfection.
It is not about Pinterest worthy lunches, days filled with enrichment activities, or game nights with themed snacks (unless that’s your thing). Being a happy mama is about doing the best you can and forgiving yourself when you fail. Because, honey, we all fail sometimes.
The next time that nasty voice starts telling you that you are a “bad” mother I challenge you to talk to it. Find out what’s really going on. I will promise you that 100% of the time it has nothing to do with you being “bad” and everything to do with you loving your kids to distraction.
Do you have a happy mamas moment? Write about it and link up with us. We’d love to have you.