Long car rides with kids require planning and lots of patience. I have taken 10 hour car rides with my kids several times, and these are some things I have learned for surviving the trip (mostly the hard way). By the way, this is the continuation of my first post “The Joys of Travel.”
Sure, you could always be more timely, more organized, more patient, more understanding and more on top of every detail, but you’re not perfect, no one is. We all make mistakes. The problem is when we end up feeling guilty after making a mistake, we do not know how to resolve it.
Guilt is a very negative emotion and if left unresolved, it can lead to resentment and anger. While it may be impossible to be totally guilt-free, you can take some steps of eliminate some of the mommy guilt you might be feeling:
- Look at your schedule objectively. Prioritize and be realistic; Get the essential things done first, then see what else can be squeezed in. You don’t have to do everything today. You are not superhuman, despite what your husband and children believe 😉
- You cannot spend all of your time with your children. Try and set aside a little bit of quality time each day. The dinner table is the perfect setting for this. Giving your children 30 minutes of your (quality) time and attention at meal time, is very realistic and obtainable. Keep in mind that a little can go a long way.
- You probably feel that if you have commitments outside of your kids or if you have to be absent for one reason or another then your child will perish. On the contrary, spending time away from your child can be a good thing. Whether you work outside of the home during the day, or you take a weekend away, allowing yourself to miss your kids can be a healthy thing. Creating some space will increase your desire to reconnect with your kids. Forcing yourself to spend all of your free time with your children may lead to resentment and exhaustion. Give yourself permission to recharge your battery once in a while, knowing it will benefit everyone.
- Examine your cognitions. Are your thoughts telling you, “I’m not a good mother,” “I don’t spend enough time with my kids.” These automatic thoughts can become a runaway trains for your thoughts and emotions. Replace them with positive messages such as “I am a good mother,” “I spend as much time as possible with my children as I can.” The more these negative thoughts are replaced with more positive ones, the more you will find yourself believing them!
- If you work outside of the home, there is probably a good reason why: you like your job, you need the money, you get satisfaction. Not everyone is cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. If a woman isn’t satisfied in her set role, then she may become miserable, which will also affect the children. Make a list of the reasons why you work, this will provide you with reassurance that you are doing the right thing for your family.
Mother’s guilt is the natural outcome of wanting to be a good mother to your children. Just remember, it can be toxic and it can weight you down. Remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can and in the long run you will feel lighter, happier and better able to embrace everything that comes along with the blessings and the challenges of motherhood.
Have any of these things been said to you? Click the comment, I would love to hear!
Being the mom of a handful of children, I am not sure I have ever been out in public when I don’t get at least one dirty look, followed by a set of standard questions and comments – the same things stated over and over again. Sure, they are said pleasantly, but boy is there a serious thread of sarcasm…
For those of you who are new to my blog and don’t know me, I have one adolescent girl and four young boys under the age of 13. I had (only) one girl for ten years and compared to the four boys, that was a cake walk. I think moms of multiple boys should be handed some sort of survival guide.
Having my kids close in age has made life interesting to say the least. Interesting is probably not the most accurate word, but I want to sound like a nice mommy. There is much controversy surrounding the ideal way to space out your children. I would love to say that I spent a lot of time planning my family and thinking about the best way to space out my children, but I can’t. I had 4 kids in 5 years; clearly, there was no planning whatsoever. Continue reading
Let’s face it, before we have kids we think that life is all rainbows and butterflies. We have this wonderful fantasy of being the perfect mother. Then real life takes over and all of our preconceived ideas and wishes are out the window.
Here is a list of things I said I would never do before becoming a mom:
I haven’t been to the bathroom alone in almost thirteen years. Yes, I was really thinking about this yesterday and I guess it means I have too much time to think, but I can’t say that out loud because then my husband will make me get a job!!! Why is it everyone besides me gets alone time???? I had been in the shower yesterday for no more than 30 seconds – keep in mind there were five other people home and available and yet a nasty little voice opens the bathroom door screeching! “Mom, Davy was making fun of me!” What the hell did he want me to do? I am in the shower, soaking wet with a head full of shampoo! What use could I possible be to a child at this moment? Do they want me to fly out of the shower naked? The part that really pissed me off was that there were four other dry, able- bodied adults at their disposable and yet I was their first line of defense!
Through humor, you can soften some of the worse blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive. -Bill Cosby
They say a clean house is a healthy house. While there may be truth to that, I had to let go of that fantasy years ago. With little to no planning, I became the crazy mother of 5. I had 4 kids in 5 years to be exact. I have an adolescent girl (from a previous life) who has given me a run for my money, and four boys under the age of thirteen. At one point, I had boys that were ages 5 and under and let me tell you that IS the definition of insanity. I have a husband who works five hundred miles away and that is only home on weekends. For all practical purposes – at least in terms of homework, dinner preparation, and the carpool scene – I am a single parent.
Reflections of a Halloween Party – From Hell!
Don’t ever throw a Halloween party and invite forty 3rd and 4th grade boys! Two weeks before Halloween I decided it would be a “great” idea to combine both of my boy’s birthday parties. I thought this would be an easy breezy way to “get er done.” I bought adorable Halloween themed invitations and meticulously wrote one out for each boy. Of course, the school philosophy says to include all the kids in the class so that is what I foolishly did. That was mistake number one and this would be the first and last time that “all the kids” would ever be invited.