We all have things that, as new moms, we said we would never do. For me, I never bothered saying my kids wouldn’t watch TV or I would never bribe my children, because I knew from the beginning I’d give in on those things. But I had high hopes for documenting my kids’ lives.I started with, not only a baby book for each child, but a journal as well. At the time I still had time to keep up on my own journal and I had no idea how my balance of time would change once I became a mom to more than one.
Sure, I had good intentions. I wanted my kids to be able to go back and read my thoughts as they went through each stage in life, but each child’s journal has gotten shorter and shorter. My youngest son only has his name and birthdate written in his baby book and his journal is limited to a few pathetic pages. With a new baby due in June, I’m realizing that I either have to get in gear or change my expectations.
Some of the things we let slide are actually important. If you realize that you are letting go of some of the things that are a high priority to you, it may be time to have an honest look at the way your are spending your time and figure out how to simplify in less important areas.
So what do you do if you’ve slacked off on something as a mom?
Reevaluate Your Priorities
More often than not, the things that were important to us as first time moms are no longer important years later as we’ve gained more experience (and are running shorter on time than we used to). Take an honest look at what’s important to you and if you’re guilting yourself over something that is no longer a priority, then let it go.
If you’re slacking off on something that you still feel is important, than it may be time to do some juggling and delegate other tasks to give yourself more time or let go of something else that isn’t essential.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
If you realize you are slacking off on something important it may be time to simplify some other areas of your life so you can get back on track with the things that matter. Look at where you can cut back. Are your kids in too many activities? Is your to-do list filled with more things than you can ever possibly do in a day?
Cut Yourself a Break
We all have things we wish we could do better. Failing in one area does not mean you are a failure as a mom. If you are having trouble recognizing the things you do well, make a list. Better yet, ask your kids what they think you do well. That’s always great for an ego boost and you may be surprised at the things they feel are important.
Suddenly overhauling your life just isn’t realistic when as a busy mom, you already have so many demands on your time. Take baby steps and set mini-goals for yourself. In my case, I can’t realistically expect to get caught up on 9 years worth of baby books and journals in a week (or even a month). Instead, I’m setting a mini-goal to simply make time for it in my life. I’m aiming to take 15 minutes every Sunday to do just a bit of work in my kids’ baby books and journals. After those 15 minutes are up, I’m cutting myself a break and letting go of the guilt. All I can do is all I can do.
Look for Simple Solutions
Mom guilt is powerful stuff and sometimes it hits us over silly things that may not be idealistic. I know one mom who used to drive herself crazy thinking she wasn’t the perfect mom because she didn’t have homemade treats baked for her kids when they came home from school. Aim for good enough rather than perfect. Sometimes the solution is as simple as offering your kids a store bought treat after school or teaching them how to make one of their favorites on their own.
Where have you slacked off as a mom? Do you have a quick and easy solution to fix the problem and let go of the guilt?