Our two-year-old son, Kellen, has been going through a rough patch for the last several days. As soon as I started telling everyone what a sweet, obedient, compassionate kid he has turned out to be, Kellen seems to have decided that he would rather be mean-spirited, disobedient, and openly defiant. I couldn’t count the number of times that he has told us “no,” has purposely wronged his sister in some way, or has looked us straight in the eyes while deliberately doing something we just told him not to do. It is amazing how exhausting it can be to parent a child who is acting like that. All day long.
know this is just a phase, and it will pass. But in the meantime, sometimes it helps me to make a conscious note of all of the things I can do that help me be a better mom…especially when I need to give my “Mommy All.” These are basically just things that help me to be happy and feel at peace with myself…which, in turn, allows me to focus my complete and uncluttered attention on my children. My top five list is as follows: hope
- Time spent in daily prayer and devotion.
- Time spent writing something (even a paragraph) every day. It’s how I make sense of the world.
- Time spent in some form of physical activity, preferably outside.
- Time alone with Daddy (and not just in the “OMG, I can’t believe she just wrote that” kind of way. Just time to connect and talk and be “in love” without children climbing all over us.)
- A Starbucks Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte (or Cinnamon Dolce in the “off season”)
It’s a pretty simple list, is it not? I don’t need expensive handbags or designer jeans to make me function optimally. Just a little “me” time and some coffee. Of course, just because I was able to create this list doesn’t mean that I am always able to accomplish those things each day. Usually, the whole “parenting” gig really doesn’t give me that much free time. (Ironic, I know. The very people who would benefit most from my “me” time are the ones who keep me from getting it.)
BUT…the list exists, and I like knowing that it is there. It is like a lifeline on the very toughest days when my patience is being tested to the limit. I know that all I have to do is find time for the “Top Five” sometime soon, and all will be right in the world once again.
When that doesn’t work out, at least there’s always a way to get coffee. Even when you have to drive twenty minutes and past twelve Dunkin’ Donuts to get to a Starbucks. When you’re grasping at your last slivers of sanity, the drive is totally worth it!
And…bonus…sometimes the kids fall asleep in the car!
So what helps you to be a better Mom?
Kate is a contributing writer for Mommy Moment. Kate is the proud mom of Anna and Kellen, two preschoolers who are starting to pick up all of her best habits: a passion for reading and exploring new places, an intense interest in organizing, and a total disregard for sleep. See what she has been up to over at www.adventuresinparenting.me
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