So I’ve noticed that recently, my youngest daughter Ava Jade, is really taking off with her vocabulary! It’s been so fun to see her personality bloom, and it’s so nice to have a better understanding of what she wants and needs! One of her new favorite phrases is ,’OK’ I love it when she says, ‘OK Mommy!’ This is how it usually goes…
“Ava, let’s read two books before naptime. You pick.” Ava responds,”OK, Mommy,”
“Hey Ava, let’s go for a walk outside, ready?!” Ava loves that so again,”OK, Mommy.”
And, “Mommy will catch you at the bottom of the slide.” Here comes Ava, “OK, Mommy!”
I just love it and I get that a lot lately! Hopefully it lasts–crossing my fingers!
Well as I thought of my sweet little Ava’s cute phrase that she’s coined, it happened to remind me in a subtle way that we as loving and diligent Mommies, are in fact, OK! We’re trying to love, nurture, and raise our children in our own special ways.
So what I wanted to say to you wonderful women out there raising your children to the best of your abilities is this: “Moms, it’s OK!”
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind are ‘OK’ while raising your family:
1. It’s OK to….Be honest with your emotions!
Sometimes being a mother can be hard work! We experience frustration, anger, sadness and guess what? That’s OK! I remember as a new mother with my first daughter, I felt guilty that I wasn’t in a motherly bliss while changing dirty diapers and nursing my new baby through the night. We have permission to feel all of those emotions without guilt, along with the good (thankfully)!
2. It’s OK to……Take care of yourself!
I have an analogy that helps us illustrate this point. Have you ever heard the flight attendant on an airplane tell you that you need to put on your oxygen mask before you help others put on theirs? Well, the same goes for us in regards to being a caretaker. If we take care of our health, our appearance, our sleep, our spirituality,and our emotional needs, etc. then we are better able to take care of our children and families in return!
3. It’s OK to…..Keep your identity!
What is your purpose? Your passion? What drives you? I feel like sometimes we feel pressured that we need to resign our former identity and focus 100% on our new little bundle of joy. If that works for you, then great! If you feel like you need to stay involved somehow in your hobbies or work previous to your title of ‘Mother,’ then great, too! I personally feel that I NEED music and other joyful things in my life. It really fulfills me! As a result, I feel that my ‘tank’ is full and there’s more of me to give! I also would like to refer you to this amazing article I read by Dr. Julie Hanks if you’d like to read more about this!
4. It’s OK to…..Accept help/love/kindness!
Often times, us mothers’ feel like we have to do everything, and I mean everything, by ourselves! We are the caretakers, chauffeur, chef, maid, tutor, piano teacher, coach, and the list could go on and on. After my third child was born, I had a hard time getting my oldest daughter to elementary school in the mornings. After being stressed out too many mornings, I finally reached out and asked for help. I just needed someone to at least help get her to school and then I could handle the rest! It has brought me to tears sometimes thinking about the kindness of our dear neighbor who offered to drive my daughter for a few months when I really needed that extra help and kindness.
5. It’s OK to….Stick to the essentials!
Some days, we are on the ball! We’re on time to school, we have our homework and reading done, and we have practiced the piano and done the chores, and followed it up with a healthy dinner and a fun family activity! Other days, we wreck the house, pile up laundry and dishes, throw tantrums, and have silly dinner–i.e. toast and chocolate milk. The key is to stick to the essentials. Some of the essentials to stick to are: nurture, give love, bond/interact/connect, play, teach, provide a safe environment, provide healthy meals/snacks, encourage healthy physical activity, to name a few. Not essential: perfectly sparkling and clean home at all times, and everyone photo-ready especially first thing in the morning.
6. It’s OK to….Adjust your expectations!
Sometimes I hear my friends say they are such failures as moms. But to me, I observe that they are just seeing in black-and-white terms. If their expectation of certain parenting situations are not met at 100%, they consider it a failure! So I feel like we should simply adjust our expectations, (not throw them out the window). For example, if my two-year old is not sharing, I can adjust my expectation of “my child should share perfectly and happily” to “my child is learning to share and I will help them with this process.” By re-framing and adjusting expectations, we are able to lessen our perfectionist tendencies where it does not serve us.
7. It’s OK to…Pray!
If ever we need heavenly help, it’s in our role as mothers. So mommies, go ahead and use this help! I feel that we are on a special errand, and with such a task comes special privileges as we ask. I also make it a point to teach my children to pray to their Heavenly Father. We pray every morning before school, and every night before bedtime, as well as on our meals, and during our Family Home Evenings each Monday night. This helps us to have increased peace and love in our family. Also, in the middle of heated situations or arguments between the children, I will often find myself praying out loud so that they can hear that i’m asking for help! Sometimes I don’t know what to do, but then as I ask in prayer, things become more clear.
I hope you liked these tips! I just have so much love for all of you out there doing your best! And in the words of my little Ava Jade, it’s “OK Mommy”!