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I love being a mom. I love that I can stay home with them, even if I am busier now than I ever was before they were all in school. I chose this job, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So why is it that I so often crave time by myself, that I ignore them when they want something simple from me? Why am I impatient with my kids and impatient with myself?
As a mom, I’ve found that it’s so easy (too easy!) to be critical of myself. Instead of looking at the good we’re accomplishing as a family, I tend to compare myself with other moms…..The mom at church whose children are so well-behaved and sit quietly in the pew….The mom at school who wins the award for being a super volunteer….The mom across the street whose children have perfect hair and perfect outfits…..The mom across town whose house is immaculately clean and tastefully decorated.
My kids are restless in church and leave crayon peelings littered around our feet.
I volunteer, but not as much as I could.
I sometimes send my kids to school with messy hair and socks with holes in the toes.
This is the current state of my kitchen…..
I am critical.
And, frankly, it doesn’t do me any good.
This past week, in the Fishful Thinking discussion on Crowdtap, we’ve been talking about how we tend to be our own worst critics, and what situations bring out the critic in us. For me, I am most critical about my role as a mom and keeper of the house and home. I compare myself with other moms, I get down on myself for the things I’m not doing as well as I should, and I worry that I’m not doing enough.
In March, I wrote about Fishful Thinking’s 8 steps to being a happier mom. I pulled that post back up this morning as I was thinking about my critical self, and was struck by how this relevant these tips were. (I go into greater detail about each of these steps in the original post)
- Admit when you’re stressed
- Get enough sleep
- (Re)consider your priorities
- Go with the flow
- Savor the moment
- Take the long view
- Reconnect with your spouse
- Say thanks
Today I have a new tips to add.
9. Only be critical when the situation is critical.
The fact is, I’m doing ok. My kids are happy and well-adjusted. My kids and my husband know I love them, and they know I work hard for them. The important things are taken care of. The laundry piled behind me and the dishes stacked up near the sink (because of the broken dishwasher, I might add) are not critical. The hair-dos and the holes in the socks are not critical. How I am doing compared to my neighbors is not critical.
So I should not be critical of myself. I should be happy. My kids….and I….deserve it.
What triggers your inner critic, and how do you fight it?
PS–In case you didn’t hear, we won the Invisalign treatment for KitKat. Thank you to all who commented on Saturday’s post. Apparently, it payed off! I am hoping that this is just the beginning of a lucky streak, and that I will break through to the top 3 of the Avocado contest this week! I appreciate all of your daily votes!
PPS–If you’d like to join in the discussion on Crowdtap, with the chance to work with brands and earn a little money along the way, click on this invite.
PPPS–That crane up at the top of the post was made by my 9 year old….and yes, it is sitting on a penny. He has been cranking out cranes like crazy this weekend!
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