How I learned to have TOUGH SKIN in motherhood & why it’s important…
Motherhood comes with a whole new set of boundaries and learning curves that you probably never even flinched an eye over or considered pre-kids. For many, we go into motherhood/parenthood thinking “Oh, it can’t really be THAT BAD, can it?” Well, the answer is yes & no. While motherhood and parenting are extremely rewarding in more ways than one, it also comes with a lot of challenges, stresses, and overwhelming moments.
I would have once described my mothering style to be very type A. I was strict, stern, firm, had a slew of do’s & don’ts, what was & wasn’t allowed, and to be fair – pretty much helicoptered the heck out of my first two kiddos. My second born started emerging his strong-willed personality around the age of 3. He was about to change my life, mothering skills, and way of thinking to a whole new level & I didn’t even know it.
At the same time he was entering upon this new found strong-willed mindset, I was just giving birth to twins! Talk about a major overload in more ways than one. Not to mention, a daughter who was just about to start kindergarten. My hands were definitely FULL as much as my plate was! The demands of keeping up with two tiny infants and a defiant 3 year old along with a 5 year old, was enough to make my head spin a million times over.
I will never forget the first day I mustered up the courage to take all four kids out in public by myself!!! Guys, I talked myself out of that situation so many times before it. Playing every worse case scenario in my head and eventually chickening out. But the thing is, you can’t hide forever. Especially as a SAHM who is depended upon to run the house, do the errands, cooking, bills (& the list goes on). The day I finally took that brave leap of faith, I can assure you I built up the highest amount of anxiety in my head over that one trip alone.
However, what I quickly learned is that as a mother, you have to have thick skin and not give a single thought or care to what others think or say, or how they might perceive you and your kids & your specific situation. I often get told how admirable my strength is when it comes to this mindset or attitude. However, it really is something all of us mama’s need to learn to have and let go of the pressures of being that “perfect/ideal mom”. In the end NONE of us, and I mean NONE OF US are perfect mom’s. No, Nancy… you do NOT have your life all together! Stop mom-shaming and covering up your hidden life behind negative words and judgement.
This past weekend we went out with all four kids as we often do, because how else do you mange to have fun or do anything if you just stay at home 24/7? The minute we stepped foot inside the store the kids became unglued. Well, one in particular and mostly – which is my strong-willed kid. He was embarrassing and not to mention
LOUD a few times! One occasion picking his nose to the next, blurting out that the store should all fart now.
Just because my child blurts something obscene out, does NOT make me a bad parent or reflect a negligent parenting style on my behalf at home. No one see’s what actually goes on behind my closed doors. No one see’s me fight day in and day out with my strong-willed and 100% defiant child. No one see’s the stress, anger, hurt, and tears that run down my face on the days I feel absolutely defeated. Therefore, it is not my place to beat own myself up over something my CHILD chooses to say or do. I do not control their thoughts, their brain, or their body to willingly do as they please.
I control a small portion of them, and one that I do my best at day in and day out to mold and shape them into a decent, kind, respecting, and humble human being. Many days, it feels like I am far from having those kinds of kids. But, I don’t stop just because I feel like I am not fully “winning” at this motherhood journey.
One day, I know my kids will be grown and come back to me just like I have done with my parents, and say: “Mom/Dad, thank you for teaching me all the values and lessons you did. I know I was so hard on you and probably made your life more difficult or a complete challenge at the time, but I want you to know that because of you, I am proud of the person I have become today.” And that my fellow mama’s and friends, is what this motherhood & parenthood journey is REALLY about.