What would the perfect Mother’s Day look like to you?
Would it be a vase full of flowers? Breakfast in bed? A handmade gift from your child? An hour to yourself without your kids clawing at your legs? A day out with friends at the spa?
Things have changed a lot over the past 11 years of being a mom and so has my “perfect Mother’s Day!” For me, a perfect Mother’s Day would be one where I am unplugged from the online world and soaking up every moment I can with my family. I don’t care about the gifts or going out to eat, those aren’t the things you remember very long. I care about the memories that I can make with my kids.
I started Mother’s Day weekend a little early with a night out to the movies with some friends. Tonight was the opening of the new movie, Mom’s Night Out. It’s a movie about a young mom of three small kids who is “stress paralyzed!” Yes, that’s really a word…at least in the movie! While I may not have the same life as the main character, Allyson (played by Sarah Drew), I do share many of her same struggles in life. She struggles with being able to handle all the daily tasks for being a stay-at-home mom while her husband travels. She struggles with spending all day cleaning up and worrying about her kids. She struggles with the not being the “perfect” mom like those she sees at church on Sunday morning. How do these “perfect” mom’s do it all? Hint: They don’t! One of my biggest struggles is balancing my home life and my work life – especially since I work from home. Over the past 3 years that balance has been harder and harder to find each day.
With that struggle to find balance, I’ve also found it harder and harder to keep in touch with my local friends. My previous job had an actual start time and end time; my current job doesn’t quite work the same way. I’m essentially “at work” anytime I open my computer, look at Facebook from my phone, or see a notification pop up on my iPad. It doesn’t really matter how hard I try to avoid it, I almost always go back to work after the kids are in bed, while I’m sitting at karate practice, or in the car line at school. As much as I try to set boundaries and limit my online activity during family hours, it’s just SO easy to answer one question or reply to one tweet. I’m sure if I tracked all those “just one tweets,” I’d find that I work way more than my 40 hour week.
It’s not just work though, it’s life. Now that we have 2 kids, in school, in after school activities – our schedules are incredibly busy! If I don’t see people at school drop off (or pick up) or at karate lessons, I probably don’t talk to them. It’s not because I don’t want to talk to them; there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Guess what? It’s not just me!
Take tonight for example, I asked over 20 friends/acquaintances/etc. to join me at the movies tonight to see Mom’s Night Out, any guesses on how many friends joined me? TWO! Our lives are busy! I get it. Kids have homework, activities, and sometimes we’re just TIRED! Sometimes we don’t want to get out of our yoga pants and drive 10 minutes down the street. Sometimes parenting is just….exhausting!
It’s easier for me to foster friendships with my online friends because I’m online all day (and night). Some of my “friends” live in other states and I may only see them a few times a year at a blog conference, trade show, or special event. Some of these ladies I’ve never even met! How is it possible that these “friends” know more about me than the people I encounter locally? I like to think of my online friends as my “water cooler friends” that I would have at a regular job. Had we all lived in the same town I know that the theater would have been full with all my virtual friends at my side.
There is a saying that says, “it takes a village to raise a child!” and I believe that’s true. Parenting is not something that you can do on your own. Find your village – it can be online, at school, at karate, at church, anywhere! Find that village and share a bottle of organic Pacifc Rim Reisling as you try to find peace in all the chaos of life.
I guess that’s what the perfect Mother’s Day would look like to me; finding “the meaning and the joy and the purpose in all of the chaos” (borrowing a quote from Sondra played by Patricia Heaton in the movie). Taking time to reflect on family and friends to remind myself what’s really important in life. I should probably frame this letter from my daughter on my wall as a reminder, kids always say it best….
I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day weekend with those who are most important to you. I hope you watch lots of Disney Junior and always say goodnight to your kids! That’s what they like best about you.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a new wine to try the Pacific Rim Riesling I was sent was really nice and sweet. If you find time to see a movie please take the time to watch Mom’s Night Out and be prepared to laugh out loud at all the chaos. It’s a family friendly movie and even dad will get a chuckle out of it. …and husbands, if you haven’t done any shopping yet for Mother’s Day that’s ok! We don’t really need the “stuff” to feel loved, but if you need some ideas maybe she’d like a subscription to EcoCentric Mom boxes (coupon code ECOCENTRIC4OFF and save $4 off your subscription) or a new Maxwell Designs tote bag. <—affiliate links! Or just let her go to the bathroom by herself for 5 minutes and maybe help out by doing the dishes today!
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