Life got away from me.
I found myself caught up in my own stuff, constantly telling my girls “just 5 more minutes.” Unfortunately, I have always strived to be the best at everything. I wanted to be the picture perfect mom, with the clean house, perfect wardrobe and healthy home cooked meals.
In the meantime, being a good mom had fallen behind. My house was clean, I was the working mom with several jobs, the room parent, and the mom involved in everything. However, I was not being a good mom.
Reality hit when my daughters started calling me out on promises I didn’t keep. Things I said I would do and just flat out forgot. So, I had a little heart to heart with myself. I decided it was time to fix it before it was too late, before I was the mom realizing I missed out on my kids being kids. These are the things I did to become a better mom.
My girls are extreme early birds. So, this was tough to work out. Getting an hour to myself to exercise, drink coffee or work is so important. Typically, I do all three at the same time. I ride my spin bike, reply to emails, and drink my coffee. In order to get a full hour, the girls have an alarm clock that turns green when they are allowed to get up. I set this for 6:30 and they know that need to stay in their room until this light turns green.
I literally schedule my life down to the hour every day. I use my iPhone calendar, a Plum Paper calendar, and the reminders apps. This allows me to keep track of my writing commitments, kids commitments, and I can also share important events and reminders with my husband with a simple click. Organization is key to maintaining a career, a home and being a present mom.
I actually set an alarm on my phone to make sure that I step away from chores, and work to spend time with my girls. Playtime even has it’s own ringtone so the girls can keep me accountable because they know the sound for playtime. The days can get away from me with a never ending to-do list, and making sure that I have dedicated time with my children is so important.
Leaving my phone at the door
When it’s playtime, the phone gets left at the door. This is huge. If the phone enters the room and the girls get off on one of their Barbie wardrobe malfunctions, it’s easy to reach for the phone. So, they have my uninterrupted attention.
Making time for the little things
“Just a second” became my saying. I was always so busy that a simple ponytail for a doll was an inconvenience. I had to change my thinking. The one minute that it takes to fix the hair is not an inconvenience. It’s helping my baby have fun.
Taking time for myself
This is so important to being a better mom. I always felt bad doing something for myself because I spent so much valuable time working. Now I try to go to yoga and the gym a couple times a week. Even take a shower by myself with the door closed. Being away from your kids gives you a chance to hit the reset button.
Accepting that there will always be work
I would always tell myself that if I just get this one thing done, it would be okay. I would be caught up. Well, guess what, that one thing would be done and there was something else waiting. This is by far the hardest thing to do, but I have to accept that there will always be something else to do. I will never be done and that’s okay. We all work too hard. Prioritize and try not to tackle it all in one day. The work will still be there tomorrow.
It has been adjustment, changing even these little details of my life, but the love and laughter that I hear from my baby girls is worth the struggle. Everyone is happier and more connected in our house. I only have one chance to be a better mom, and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.
“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill