I am a capable mom.
If I say it enough times I will believe it.
Even more, if I put myself in situations that are tricky, or overwhelming, or tiring then I cannot doubt it because in this case success isn’t always doing it flawlessly but rather in simply doing it.
A buffalo-sized blind spot in my parenting has been believing I am not capable.
I underestimated what I could take on as a mother and what my kids could endure or accomplish. I created an anxious atmosphere in the home where I would always say no to my husband when he wanted some time away, to work overtime, or to run out for errands. If the kids weren’t napping I would say no. I wouldn’t cook certain things when I was alone with the kids because I had this notion that more dishes and complicated recipes had no privilege in my day. I was too tied up being a mom. I would opt to stay inside rather than bundle up and get the kids out of the house. Chasing a curious baby, constantly removing small objects from her mouth, playing with an unstoppable toddler sounded too tiring for a tired mom.
I was stranded on parent island with wild cavemen children. I wasn’t capable of managing all of this.
It was unfair to my family. It was insecure of me.
Thankfully God has placed some wonderful moms in my life. These moms DO THINGS with their kids, DO THINGS for themselves and tote their kids along. (Yes I’m talking about you, Sophie and Rachel). They don’t think or justify, they just DO and everyone finds a place to land and make it work. Even when it doesn’t work their kids are still learning about being a little uncomfortable and adapting.
I’ve said it before, I am trying to do the opposite of my initial reactions, stop imposing so many rules.
When plans are presented, spontaneous or not, I try and make my head nod no matter what is rising in my throat. My counters are lined with a layer of dishes, which still is a big mental block for me (ahem, recovering perfectionist) and I’m trying to fill every single day with something fun out of the house, or something new, or something messy for the kids.
When my husbands asks to do something now I see his motive isn’t to make my life harder. I know his heart gets tired too and he needs a break as much as me. We try to each get an afternoon to ourselves on his days off, which has given me some guaranteed space to do whatever fills my heart. What do you do that fills your heart?
Ironically along with this newfound YES-NESS my two and a half-year-old has found an adoration of NO-NESS, or as he puts it NO WAAAY! All my health inspector ways; motivating-action-in-others and trying to influence change has been wrung dry and I need some new approaches. Even if it is something he enjoys (like school, or playing outside) he still refuses to do it and runs away. Getting dressed, shoes on, out the door, it is all met with adamant turndowns. Don’t even get me started on trying to get him back home and into the house. Any tips mamas?
Do me a favour. Finish this sentence about you as a mother. Even if you don’t fully believe it yet, state it aloud and own it. What is a struggle that has draped over your heart, been a block in your thinking, held you back?
You are capable.