There are two mom-isms I like to live by. That I believe in. I breathe them deep into my lungs day after day. And when I am true to them, they carry me through the ups and the downs of being a momma. If it weren’t taboo, I’d literally tattoo these principles across my face. So that every time I looked at myself in the mirror I would read these words first…
“There are a million ways to be a good mom.”
“It takes a happy mom to have happy kids.”
And these words. They stop that self-doubt in me. Those questions like,
“Am I doing this right?”
When the world starts to judge the way I do things. The choices I have made for my family. These words remind me that I don’t owe anyone an explanation. That what I am choosing makes me happy. And, as a happy momma who wakes up with thankfulness of what my life is vs. the weight of what it is not, I can rest easily knowing and believing I am a good mom. And that feeling alone is everything.
Obviously, just being a mom and being happy doesn’t alone equate to happy kids. But, assuming you’re already desperately worried for your kids. You eat, sleep, and breathe their every development. Every move or thought they have can make or break you. Then it’s important that you have your own happiness and fulfillment as a solid foundation to tackle your day. Because — if you’re like me — the temptation to stay in your PJs and not leave the house is too great when you’re not inspired. By something. Anything. And as great as my three littles are. I can’t rely on them to inspire me to get up and get moving. It has to come from within. And staying home all day is not the life I want for my kids. I want them to know this world. This city. I want them to experience all that this world has to offer them. Even at the ages of 2 or 4. I want them to be shaped by their experiences. By their adventures. And it’s a daunting task sometimes. Getting out with this family of mine. To push through the hard and find the joy. I have to seek out and live in my happy to stay on course in the life I want for my littles and myself.
Do I need to say it? Three kids is a lot. Three BABIES is a lot a lot. And I’ve had to push a ton of myself to the back burner to not only raise these little ones but simply survive. My days start off exhausting. Hours earlier than the sun. And to keep it real. It’s just plain hard to enjoy these days sometimes. It was especially hard in the early months with Miss R.
This job is no joke. It is thankless. Hard. Exhausting. And excruciating at times. And the pressures to succeed — whatever that means — are heavy. There are times I literally feel like it’s killing me. Or at least my joy. And it brings me back to the importance of my principle of being happy. When I find my happy. My inspiration. I make decisions in a different way. I delicately balance between what makes us happy and what is right. We’re told over and over again that every decision you make from here on out should be for your kids. And it’s true. It’s just that we forget that our decisions have repercussions.
And we look micro when we should be looking macro.
It’s not always as simple as what some might see as the obvious choice.
And for God’s sake, remind yourself to give the middle finger to the haters that try to judge your decisions.
There are countless decisions we mommas make daily. Hourly even. Some big. Some small. And the outsiders. These haters come in 2 varieties.
The “Who Cares” Crowd:
They don’t even understand why anything you are doing matters. They take the importance of what you are doing and reduce it to a question of hot dogs or chicken for dinner. When these decisions are so much more than that. And people without the job of raising, shaping, and forming little lives just find them to be so trivial.
“There are bigger things going on this world. Suffering. War.”
And this is one of the most annoying statements to me. Because nothing is bigger than what you’re leaving on this earth. And for us momma’s, who we’re leaving on this earth. If you’re so damn concerned about war and politics and where this world is headed then you’d better give a fuck about us and how we’re raising these kids. No, don’t comment on it. Don’t judge it. Facilitate us. Understand us. Hold the door and have a little patience because we’re doing the grunt work for the future of this world that you’re so frivolously enjoying. Whoa! Sorry, slipped into a girl rant there…
Ahhh, these seem to be even more common. They LOVE to criticize. I do appreciate that they at least care. Somewhere inside of them is a person who probably means well. Or, they’re just fucking no-it-all’s that have either never raised children, did it in a time and place where “the help” was roughly $26 per week, or simply got so self absorbed in the span between today and when they were in my situation that they’ve simply forgotten how much they hated the very person they’ve become. And, for some strange reason, the decisions made in the name of happiness (or the macro) are met with the greatest disapproval. They are always the ones that people hyper-analyze. Is it right? Who’s happiness should come first? The kids? The mom? And I have felt this critique. I have lived it.
One of the biggest choices I have made as a mom in the name of finding happiness is to move my family from our big house in Stapleton to our tiny apartment in the city. OMG! What a terrible person! Those poor kids who are loved unconditionally won’t have a yard. Yes, this decision has been met with controversy, judgement and questioning. And sometimes, I find myself screaming like the Who Cares crowd,
“There are bigger things going on this world. Suffering. War. Does it really matter?!”
And here is my explanation for making that move. Though, I did just say above that I don’t owe any explanation. You get one anyways. For the sole purpose of hopefully inspiring any one of you mommas to find your happiness. And to tirelessly drive my point home.
I was drowning. In my big house. In my little perfect neighborhood. Surrounded by all that is the “perfect childhood” upbringing for my kids. With manicured lawns. And a child in every house. But in every house, there were also parents of those kids. And for whatever reason we never fit in with these parents. (random guess here might be um… the beard, my supra hightops, our naked kids running wild, our broken garage door, the dead grass, oh I don’t know… the fact that we looked young enough to be their children. That we drank beer and cussed on our front porch? Just guessing) And well, it just didn’t inspire us. Everyone is different. See my other principle: There are a million ways to be a good mom. And while I absolutely get how that lifestyle is a lot of momma’s happy. It wasn’t mine. We did not wake up in the morning feeling alive. To be honest, I woke up each morning feeling a little bit more dead than the night before. And that big house. With the playground in the basement. It was a crutch in the worst sense. I went months without leaving. Except to run errands. Grocery. Gas. Preschool drop-off and pick-up. And I kind of lost my way through raising my boys. And I would lay in bed with Dave and beg him to move us back to SF.
To pack up. To go. Please. Right now. I need it. Oh I need it so so badly.
But my man, He knows me. And night after night he would hold me. Brush my hair out of my teary eyes and tell me that what I missed I could have right here. That what I missed wasn’t something that existed in a single place. It was adventure. A life where people feel like us. I missed that tiny apartment in the city. That feeling of boredom that forced Brooks and me into our best outfits to go out into our city. To find whatever it was that we would do next to pass the time. To be creative and spontaneous. That’s where I found happiness. Where these kids weren’t a burden. They were a ticket to adventure. And having three this close in age doesn’t have to break us. That we can find it. That place where we’re living the life that we want. For us and our kids. So that is what we did. And we sought out for our little city life. And we found it. And we live it. And I am happier than I have ever been. And my kids. They are thriving. And living with giant smiles on their faces. And this city and all of its adventures are shaping them just like I wanted it to. So that decision I made. In the name of happiness. It has been everything.
And while they may not have a yard, or a basement with an indoor trampoline. They have inspired parents who are true to themselves. Is it unfortunate that their parents need to live in a place that isn’t exactly “kid friendly” to be inspired? Maybe. But what you cannot do, is let those micro benefits blind you to the blessings that will result of a life lived happy. I truly believe that God put these little babies with me. With me specifically. That we are puzzle pieces with an exact fit.
And if I am not living true to myself. To who God made me. Than I am not truly giving my kids the person God had intended for them