Where I realize I can make the decision everyday to either be a good mom or a crappy one.

Last night I was awake from 3am-4:30am sneezing and blowing my nose and coughing. Just a cold but an annoying one! Anyway, so I was lying there awake trying to make my nose quit running and had all this random time to think. And my mind went straight to my kids. But not the “oh my kids are awesome” thoughts or even the “I’m so worried about this one b/c of this” thoughts. No, I started thinking about what a sucktastic mom I’ve been lately. Lately being the last year or so. Maybe longer.

You see, I’m a workaholic. Which is good I guess since I work two jobs! But it means that since launching Jodified about 4 years ago I’ve been obsessed with work. The difference is that back then I had three very little children so I was still forced to be a good mom. They needed me. ALL. THE. TIME. But the last year or so? Not so much.

And LISTEN. I am NOT complaining. Three little kids is HARD. HARD AS HELL.

So you know what’s funny? The easier my kids get, the worse I get as a mom. Now they’ll go outside and play without me or in the playroom or the art room or they LOVE when I let them watch unlimited tv. They get along really well and play together great most of the time (I know I’m pretty lucky here) so they leave me alone. Which means on a day like yesterday, when even Bailey had a half-day for teacher meetings, I could force them all to lay down and they did, for TWO hours. And I worked. Then Bailey woke up and I said she could watch tv. So she did, and I worked, alone in my room. Then Parker and Gray woke up and for the next two hours they played together while I worked with the door to my room shut.

So last night I was laying awake sneezing and thinking about how something needs to change. I can’t take advantage of the fact that my kids are ABLE to play alone. It doesn’t mean they SHOULD always play alone. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have hours of intentional time with them, or at least several minutes during a busy day. I don’t want to lose this time. They’re not babies anymore and I can securely look back on their babyhood and know I was a good+intentional mom. Because I was. I was the queen of art projects and nature walks and exploring the city with three small kids (don’t hear me say I was perfect, b/c OH how I wasn’t, but I was intentional b/c I had to be!). But this is almost an even more important stage and between my two jobs and all the stress, I’m missing it. I’m so afraid I’m going to look back on their childhood and just not remember much of it. Because while they were out exploring and playing and laughing and just being kids, I’m inside holed up with my computer trying to answer emails I’m a week behind on or package orders that were due out weeks ago or edit photos that are due the next day.

Around 4am I had formed a plan for today because the thought that hit me somewhere between sneezes was that EVERY DAY IS A DO-OVER. Every single day God gives us a chance to get it right. Every. Single. Day. It’s a gift He gives us really. And luckily, my kids, while KIDS, are still pretty little. And I kept thinking that if I make a change today, and every day here on out (because I know I’m going to have days where I fail miserably), that they might not remember the utter chaos and lack of Mommy-time they had this last year.

I still had to work and the kids had school but in the morning it was small things I tried harder to do. Like not yelling to make them hurry up and turning the radio off in the car while Gray talked incessantly on the way to Terri’s. I decided to park and get out to pick-up Bailey instead of waiting in the car pool line. I took just her to the grocery store with me and let her push the cart all by herself. When we got home I unloaded the groceries, chatted with Terri and then the kids and I headed outside. My plan was to take a walk to the local park but the kids wanted to ride bikes. So we did. And 10 minutes in Bailey asked to take her training wheels off. Of course I didn’t have the right tools so we walked down, introduced ourselves to a neighbor I hadn’t met yet, got his help and well, I TAUGHT HER HOW TO RIDE A TWO WHEELER!

Yep! Just like that! Something I thought about ALL summer and never made the time to do. Something she’s been BEGGING us to help her with for MONTHS. Something that took her no more than 10 minutes to master!


She is SO proud! Oh my gosh! When she did it the first time without my help the smile on her face could have brought world peace. I haven’t seen her more excited or PROUD of herself I don’t think! It was awesome.

And all because I realized I could hit the stop button on the way I was parenting, or NOT parenting, and get a do-over. A new day. A day to get more things right than wrong.

I’m not sure she’ll remember today, (I actually remember, vaguely, my first trip on a two-wheeler) but I hope she does. And if she doesn’t at least I will. Because it will forever be the day I took back my life as a mom. The day I realized it’s ok to admit to sucking and start again.

Did I have an entire day with my kids? Nope. We had 45 minutes in front of our house. I’m a working mom. But MAN it was a good 45 minutes!

(Parker’s skirt riding up and her undies sticking out had me laughing out loud!)

(I made her change!)

(Ignore the nearly flat tires!)

(I love her concentration)

When 5pm rolled around we went inside and I let the kids help with dinner. Something I NEVER do. Then we ate together, had baths and I read. We laid together on my bed and I started reading the chapter book they’ve been wanting me to read.

It was glorious.

And I still got all my work done.

Are there dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor and dirty clothes everywhere? Totally.

But was I a good mom today? Damn straight I was!

And I hope to do it again tomorrow!

7 thoughts on “Where I realize I can make the decision everyday to either be a good mom or a crappy one.

  1. Inspiring! What a great reminder for all of us. I you touch my heart all of the time Jodie. Thank you so very much!

  2. I’m in exactly the same boat…kids play so independently now, and it’s hard to not utilize every second of that time. Tons of guilt over here, so thanks for the inspiring blog post! Also, PLEASE tell me that you made Bailey’s apple shirt???? Looks like an actual apple was used as the stamp, but what kind of paint did you use?? I’m obsessed with it.

  3. Each day is a new start — point well taken. I’m glad you feel better. I too occasionally suffer from parental angst an my kids are teenagers.
    There will come a point when you will have to loosen the ties that bind you to your children, and hopefully by then they have grown to be smart, independant people Because You Let Them. It won’t be any easier, but it comes with the satisfaction of a job well done.

    Thank goodness there are no Report Cards for parenting!

  4. Once again you and I are really in sync. I’ve been feeling like the suckiest mom recently. Today I had to write about stress and made a list of my top 10 things stressing me out, then started thinking about what to do about them… I had some important realizations and I’m not sure how to fix all of it yet but at least I have some direction.

    Not only is every day a do-over, every minute is. It’s never too late to change course mid-stream and move toward a different outcome.

    (I also love Bailey’s shirt and want to hear about it.)

    Love your honesty, friend!!

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