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Motherhood: The Ultimate Tug-of-War

Ah the nostalgia of being barefoot in the grass on a beautiful summer day during your childhood. Feeling the warm sunshine on your skin as you hold onto one end of a rope while your friends tug on the other. The discomfort of the rope burns was outweighed by the roaring laughter as one side finally lost and fell to the ground while the other leapt in the air to celebrate their victory. Fast forward 30ish years and here we are thinking of that game again, but this time, in a completely different context. This tug-of-war I experience constantly, like I imagine most mamas do, is between our hearts and brains.

Today is like most days, comprised of a packed schedule that revolves around work, household responsibilities and taking care of a 4-year-old. All while fielding nonstop questions and giving in to the constant demands on my mind and time.

Everyone says, "Enjoy every moment, because they grow up so fast." While this is 100% true, I find my cup being drained more and more these days with no respise to help fill it back up. But here's the kicker: I find myself rejecting time for myself, because I don't want to miss these fleating moments of my son's babiness. When I do this time and time again, my mood sours and my patience evaporates. It leaves me with very little left to give my husband and stepson, and literally nothing left in the tank for me. It's my mama heart vs. my brain. A constant tugging from each side.

I saw this meme recently that made me laugh out loud, because isn't this our lives? Mamas give everything to make sure our littles are completely cared for inside and out, while we're walking around looking and feeling like hot messes. Now I'm not saying giving your all to your babies is wrong, but perhaps a better balance can be struck.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, parents need to make time for themselves too. I'm really going to try to start taking my own advice since in the end, it'll make me an even better mother. Last night, my son looked at me and said "mommy, you don't have patience tonight." A good wake-up call that I was burning the candle from both ends, melting away my composure and sadly, my sanity. I apologized and told him I would try to be more patient tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here and I'm committed to taking care of myself more, which will in turn, help me take care of him in a more calm and happy way.

I really leaned into this whole motherhood journey, which has changed every fiber of my being. I would definetly not change that, but instead, will try to be more mindful of who I was before him and that I need to give her a chance to live life for herself too. How do I do this? Well, I'm still working on that but here's the plan so far: get back to practicing self-care (even if this means making time to watch a show I want to watch - there is only so much Bluey and TMNT I can tolerate :), share more parenting responsiblities with my husband (as a maternal woman, I tend to take on everything leaving no room for my partner to be heavily involved), and take fun adult-only trips like an upcoming vacation to Nevada with my better half (Vegas baby!).

Kids have kind hearts, curious minds and pure souls, all of which my heart wants to nurture and soak in while it lasts. But as a reminder to all of us, our brains are just as important to listen to as well. In this day in age, I feel like women are expected to be able to do everything. And while I think we are absolutely capable (insert arm flexing emoji here) and are truly masters at multi-tasking, it's OK to carve out time just for us. Not just ok, but necessary to the well-being of ourselves and the families we work so hard to take care of.


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