TGIF my butt. When you are married with children (even worse if you are a single mom) Fridays do not symbolize the beginning of a couple of days of R & R. They are merely the start of the two most busy days of a mother’s life. Seriously. Even though I can get a lot of housework done during the week and general family needs like grocery shopping, errands, etc., the weekend is when everything (and everyone) else needs my attention. I think my kids store up their dirty clothes in a secret drawer somewhere and then haul it all out Saturday morning.
“MOM! Where’s my soccer uniform? MOM! Where’s my favorite gymnastics leo?”
The weekend is full of soccer, gymnastics, kids birthday parties, project deadlines, and usually some sort of house maintenance. So, no – I wouldn’t say TGIF. I think Thank Goodness It’s Monday is more appropriate. That has started to become my Mental Health Day. A day to recover from the craziness of family weekends. Unfortunately yesterday was just Mental. The Hare was home sick, running season started so I was preparing lessons and running exercises, coaching and working on gymnastics meet programs before heading out the door to band practice. Today won’t be much different – The Hare is still home but I’m keeping my fingers crossed now that she is on amoxicillin. (Drugs are good.) I’m still working on meet programs, and have orchestra rehearsal tonight. However, I am proud to say that my kitchen sink is clean. Small blessings.
I felt really out of sorts not being able to sit down and write for the last two days. It has become a wonderful part of my daily routine already. Therapeutic. Over the weekend I saw a news clip on Associated Press talking about “mommy blogs” and how moms bully other moms on-line. I apologize for not being able to link you to the most recent news feed, but AP ran a similar story on their parent website in February. (When Moms Bully Moms) The news wasn’t all that surprising. I, of all people, am well aware how cruel women can be, but it doesn’t make it any less depressing. We should be supporting each other, not tearing each other down. The role of mother is a tough job. The job description is never accurate, the hours suck and the pay is lousy and yet most of us not only show up to work everyday – we would never consider changing jobs. So why wouldn’t we use our amazing technology and resources to say to other moms, “good job” or “keep up the good work”? Instead we are quick to judge, criticize or gossip. We are all guilty at times, me included.
The secret to success in the cosmetic and fashion industry, unfortunately, is fueling the fire of every woman’s insecurities. Events like “Mom to Model in 15 minutes” or “Million Dollar Mommy Make-Overs” pop up all the time. The obvious message is that moms shouldn’t look like moms. But why is that? What does a mom really look like? For years, I fed into that as well, convinced myself that I had to look fantastic everyday. Every hair in place, full face of make-up, “dressed for success”. But now that my children are older the reality is that they really only see me from the inside out most days. Their eyes light up when I show up at school with no make-up and sweatpants to bring a forgotten lunch or homework assignment. All they see at their soccer games or gymnastics meets is my smile from the side-lines, not what outfit I’m showcasing. They care that there is food in the house, not what I wore to the grocery store or how many people I impressed at the bank.
I am tired of the “mommy wars” on breast-feeding, working or not working, spanking or not spanking, hormone free food, religion, schools, sports activities…the list goes on. It’s time to speak up – and speak up loudly – in support of one another, regardless of religion, sexual preference, economic standing or race. It’s time we put aside our “mommisms” and build a better attitude about ourselves so that we can build a better attitude about everyone else. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone this week and tell just one mom “good job” in some way and plant a seed of success and a greater sense of self-esteem.
And how did I get to this today? After having a mini-melt down about losing my Mental Health Monday. I allowed feelings of inadequacy to cloud my emotions while I surveyed the sink of dirty dishes, the un-folded basket of clothes and the fact that I never had a shower yesterday.
Personal judgement that stemmed from the one thought of “what would people think”?
A quote for today:
“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” ~Sally Field