Today I was tired.
I know, moms are always tired. It’s kind of our ‘thing.’ This statement isn’t any sort of revelation for anyone.
But today I was just tired. I didn’t really want to do all the mom stuff I needed to do. Heck I didn’t want to do the non mom stuff I had to do. I didn’t want to make dinner, I didn’t want to do the laundry. I didn’t even really want to my own work.
I wish I had some great reason for feeling this way. I suppose I could blame it on the girls. They didn’t have the best night so I was up a lot. Even Ben woke up once during the night. I could blame it on the fact that we had company for a week. Gramma and Grampa came to stay with us for a week. We loved it, and I am so grateful they took the time and effort to see us. But it was a busy week with lots of activities we normally don’t do. The kids are still getting used to not having quite as much attention and spoiling now that their grandparents have left too.
If I keep thinking of excuses I could add on the heat we’ve been dealing with. That alone can sap your energy. We have to stick to indoor activities, so I have been extra busy trying to keep the kids entertained. We’re halfway through summer, which means we’ve been at this for a while. And we still have about a month to go.
These reasons, in my book, are kind of non reasons because, well, they are just life. They aren’t anything out of the ordinary to warrant a day off. But today I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to do anything. I powered through the morning, getting breakfast for the kids and bringing Ben to church with me. Normally that church time helps to revitalize me. Today I just couldn’t focus, instead day dreaming about taking a nap. I came home feeling like it was midnight and I had been running all day, but it wasn’t even eleven in the morning.
So you know what I did? Nothing. I just didn’t do anything on my to-do list. I made the kids lunch, then turned on the tv for them. Yep, I didn’t even try. I laid down on the floor and let them climb and play around me. I am pretty certain I actually dozed off for a bit. (Don’t worry, Pat was home too. The kids were safe.)
At nap time I didn’t start a load of laundry. I didn’t get to work prepping food for the week. I didn’t get any of the other work done I’d been meaning to do. I laid on the couch and took my own nap until the kids woke up. After that I let Pat make dinner and do most of the clean up. Pretty much, I got nothing done today. At least nothing I could check off my mental list that produced tangible results.
I have to admit it was nice and needed. But why even mention it? Well, because I think I’m not the only one who needs to take a day like this sometimes. In fact I know I’m not the only one. I have a hard time letting myself take a break. There is a constantly running monologue in my head of everything that needs to be done and it all needs to be done now. It reminds me of all the ways I am failing my family and of all the ways every other mom must be doing it better than I am.
Why do I feel this way? I mean, who really decides what our success at life is? If any of my friends came up to me and asked me this question I would tell them that they define their own success. I would tell them that working hard and doing their best to take care of their family is enough. They are enough. At the end of the day loving our kids with all we have is exactly what we need to do. If we have done that, we’re successful. I would never let someone talk to my friends the way I sometimes talk to myself. So why is it so hard to apply that lesson to myself?
Today was helpful. I got some rest I know I needed. The kids survived. Pat was completely happy to take on the things I just didn’t have in me to do, and it was good for me to let him. The house didn’t fall apart. We didn’t starve. The kids weren’t neglected in any way. Sure, a few things got pushed back a bit. I might have a bigger load of laundry to do tomorrow. A lot of my to-dos still need to be done. But the world didn’t end. It didn’t stop spinning because I wasn’t a super woman for one day.
I’d like to say I am going to really take these lessons to heart and try not to put so much pressure on myself. That I saw the light and will live in a totally different way now. But let’s be real, it isn’t that simple. We get bombarded with messages about how we are supposed to do it all every day. We should cook gourmet meals, keep a perfect house, and be constantly enriching our children’s lives. And I want to be a Super Mom for my kids. I want to be Super Mom, Super Wife, just Super Does It All Woman. That isn’t going to go away any time soon, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be my best. I do need to find the balance of life though. So I’ll keep trying to remember that being just me is enough, and that I am mom enough for my kids.
I wish I had a simple answer or formula to follow to get over this. I would totally share it with all the moms I know. But I think all we can do is do our best to remember we are doing just that, our best. That is enough. We don’t have to be perfect, and really no one is. We can take a day off to just be and the world won’t end.
So if you are like me and find yourself just tired, take a break You earned it. Then get back in there tomorrow and keep doing your best. You’re a good mom.