Darling, I'll Always Choose You
Every mom understands the daily struggle. We have about a million things to do and an impossibly long checklist. Cooking, cleaning, appointments, errands, and more. It can be hard to balance everything and it always leads to the same thing, mom guilt. Did we do enough today? Are we living up to our child's ever changing and expanding needs?
I've certainly had my share of moments where I regretted the way a day played out. In these moments, we vow to try harder. We promise we'll be more present and that somehow we will still accomplish everything we need to in a day. Here's the reality moms, we are human. If you set goals for yourself that aren't achievable, you're setting yourself up for negativity when you look back on your day or week.
I decided that I couldn't bear the idea that these regret filled days and weeks might become a regret filled life if I didn't get my priorities in order. So, I've decided to share my realizations in hopes that it will encourage other moms to live life their way and forget about all the crazy unattainable expectations we put on ourselves.
The decision I've made is simple in theory. I decided to choose my baby. It seems obvious in fact, you probably feel like you're already doing that in every way and as often as possible. But to really truly choose my son, I had to take steps and make changes. It required a shift.
The first thing I did was toss aside all the pressures other people were putting on me. To be clear, I don't mean stop being a decent person. You should absolutely still be there for others and help those who need you but you don't owe anyone anything. Stop worrying about keeping your social media up to date. Stop stressing over your inbox of messages, I promise nearly all of them CAN wait. Stop being at everyone's service all the time.
Simplifying my daily life was also so important. It's actually okay if every room in the house isn't spotless all the time. Clean one room a day and otherwise just make sure things are sanitary and carry on. It's okay if your child doesn't go to every possible activity under the sun. It's okay if you leave the chore until tomorrow if something better comes up today. Allow yourself to actually make your priorities the priority without feeling guilty that everything on your list isn't done every single day.
When I made these changes, I loved it and I allowed myself to not feel bad about that. Now, with few exceptions for truly important and necessary things, it doesn't matter what I'm "in the middle of". When my sweet boy toddles over to me, it's full stop. Everything is set aside to embrace him, play with him, or do whatever he needs or wants me to do in that moment. I have yet to regret this. I have yet to feel bad that I didn't finish my email (I can pick up a draft once he's napping or otherwise occupied). I love that I am refusing to sacrifice a single moment of his littleness. I am entirely unwilling to miss out on any of the love he has to give.
We're all doing our best. No matter what approach you take, there will still be days where you feel like you failed and nothing went right. That's life. It's not realistic to expect that you can put everything and everyone on hold at your convenience. It doesn't hurt children to learn that every now and then. But when you can, choose your kids. Even if it's less than ideal or means you have to catch up a bit later. You will never, ever regret choosing that hug or that storybook time over the errand or text message. I promise.