I know I’m a few weeks late on this, but at this point in my life that seems to be just how I roll! This week I’m joining Susan’s Art Therapy Lesson 5: Write a love letter to yourself.
Yes, you. The bleary-eyed mama in the reindeer leggings you just can’t put away because they’re so darn comfortable, with your hood pulled over your head.
I know how you’re feeling.
You’ve only been awake (if you want to call your current state “awake”) for ten minutes, and you’re already feeling it:
I shouldn’t be on the computer, you’re telling yourself. I should be eating breakfast with the kids.
They’re happy. They’re quiet. It’s okay to take a few minutes for yourself.
Breakfast? Hrmph. I should have gotten up earlier to make them a real breakfast. Pancakes or french toast or eggs or something. This is the third day this week they’ve had cereal.
They like cereal. You know as well as I do that if they didn’t like it they would throw it on the floor. Or the wall. Or at each other.
Yeah, okay, maybe you’re right …
You glance at the kids to make sure they’re still enjoying their breakfast: Topher, slurping milk out of the bowl with a straw, and Ellie, fishing each piece of cereal out of her bowl with her fingers and shovelling it into her mouth, waving her spoon in the air like a flag.
Then your eyes fall on the pile of dirty dishes still in the sink from last night’s supper, and you feel it again:
I should have done those before I went to bed, you tell yourself.
You worked until 11:30 last night. It’s okay to leave dishes in the sink. They’ll get done when they get done – nobody cares except you.
But I should be able to get them. I’m home all day!
With two kids. I’m telling you, it’s okay to leave dishes in the sink. Nobody cares except you.
STOP FEELING SO GUILTY.
I don’t know why you think you have to do it all, because you don’t – and it really is that simple.
You’re not perfect. Trying to pretend that you are is a waste of time. Nobody has it all together all the time.
Let me rephrase that: Nobody expects you to have it together all the time.
No buts. You need realize that it’s okay to take time for yourself. It’s okay to send the kids to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an afternoon, an entire day, or even a weekend, if you need it. That doesn’t make you a bad mother.
Spoil yourself every now and then. Make a hot chocolate, grab some tim tams, and hide behind a cereal box so the kids don’t see you enjoying your treat.
I saw that smile!
Have fun today. Enjoy yourself – and enjoy your kids. One day you’ll miss all of this, so soak it in while you can.
And for heaven’s sake, forget about the dishes in the sink!