Should I kick this off with the usual, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” reminder?
Sometimes the long days of motherhood add up and we become overwhelmed. There’s an urge to run away – that’s not just me, right?
I’m not going to do it. I love my kids. I asked for this. I created this – the three boys with their chaos that pushes me to the edge every day and then with an unprompted hug they wipe their slate clean and then go right back to their crazy antics.
It’s just the ups and downs of motherhood. And honestly, I can’t cast all the blame on the kids – it’s life.
It’s work, chores, faith, marriage, friendships, pandemics, finances, social climate, responsibilities… it all adds up and just feels like so much; too much.
We must be proactive before it’s too much and the stress makes us no good for ourselves or those around us.
Shopping with my boys is dreadful.
I just want to be able to browse the clearance rack and leave certain that I didn’t miss finding the perfect pair of jeans, in my size, deeply discounted.
But my four-year-old is easily exacerbated if he can’t push the cart. My six-year-old took gymnastics for a year and wants to perform stunts on every clothing rack. My 11-year-old… he’s just got a bad attitude if the store isn’t all about guitars or hunting equipment.
Should I have a better handle on our shopping situations? – Probably so, Karen.
Trust me, I wrestle with that mom-guilt often.
I don’t want to suffer through shopping with them and I’m sorry to those that suffer along nearby.
Recently, after a painful trip in Old Navy, I corralled them back into our car. I had another store I wanted to visit and groceries to get, but I was done.
I texted my husband, “I need you to keep the kids while I go to town tonight.”
The way I was feeling I didn’t just need his help with errands.
I didn’t need a date night.
I didn’t need a girl’s night.
I needed a break!
So, I was intent on taking myself out.
I put on a little make up to mark the occasion but otherwise kept it casual and wore comfy shoes.
In the car, I turned to my Maren Morris playlist; she makes me feel ‘strong woman’ vibes.
I drove through the nearest Starbucks and ordered my favorite – Venti Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It’s a mouthful to order but it’s on their menu; they named it.
Then I headed for Target. But there I sat in the parking lot for probably thirty minutes, just scrolling TikTok in peace.
Finally, I went in and wandered aimlessly. I combed through clearance racks and read beauty product labels, all without having to referee anyone.
I found half-price clothes from Cat&Jack. I picked up some groceries and I treated myself to a new spray-and-go mop. With watermelon back in season, there’s sticky drips across my kitchen floor from little hands carrying big watermelon slices.
Leaving Target, I was able to see the cotton candy sky. The pretty wisps of pink and purple blending in the East Texas sky as the sun sets. Each time I see a sunset I think how beautiful it is and how I don’t see it enough. In the hustle of dinner times and bed time routines, I miss it. And this time I paused and wished myself to be mindful of them; to make a point to see more.
You see, there was no big ‘treat yo self’ moment and mom-life continues even “off duty.” Overall the evening was pretty uneventful and mostly unproductive – which was precisely the point.