Setting Priorities

I would do anything for my kids.  Move heaven and earth for them. I have stayed up all night perfecting presents, I have held vigil in their beds when they are sick, I have cleaned up so many horrible things that came out of their bodies, and daily I make sure they are clothed, fed, healthy, and happy. I do it all because I love them. I make them a priority. I, like you, make a lot of things a priority...but not usually myself. Sound familiar? 

You're Number One

You're Number One

I stay up late at night to steal moments to myself, but turns out that isn't really taking care of myself or setting myself as a priority. I know I am not alone. Just check out  here or here or here.

Parents...and maybe moms in particular need a moment...a moment to ourselves. I love it when it is quiet late at night and I can read or watch something that is inappropriate for younger eyes or I can blog.

I never put myself first. I bet you don't either. 

Part of my neglect of myself is to let things I care about go first...

  • Too busy this morning to eat or have a cup of hot coffee? I will grab some kid snack later or I will slurp down that cold coffee. 
  • No time to workout? Oh, I can do that later. When? Who knows!
  • Can't carve out a little bit of time for me to get my hair done, or to get myself something, or to have a moment.
  • And sadly I let Posing as Parents go all the time. I care about this blog, but if I run short on time, energy, or even patience this is the first to go. 

Why? I would be so mad at my kids if they treated themselves the way I treat myself. 

I would love to make a sweeping statement about how the buck stops here...things are going to change from now on...etc. But that isn't sustainable is it? So instead I am going to make a pledge of sorts to myself to help me focus on what is important.

A Focus for Me (and you, yes you)

  • Making Myself a Priority-You KNOW it is important and it is what you would want for any one you love. You got to love yourself yo and make you a big deal. What do want? What do you love? What brings you joy? What feeds your soul?

And if you want some more explicit tips check here, here, and here

You are going to fail, that is okay. Keep trying. 

You are #1, baby!



You Be You

As you know, because I have talked about it ad nauseum, that we had a big party this past weekend. There were lots of jokes about us being brave/ridiculous. There were comments about the party, the house, the Nerf war, but the one that stuck out the most is one mom said "wow, you are a really great mom." And it was so kind, but it made me feel bad. I joked that she wouldn't think I was so great if she heard me yelling at my 4 year old...which I do. I haven't been able to shake the feeling I had after speaking with this woman. 

I am not a good mom for throwing parties. By the way, that is something I love to is just a bonus that I have kids that let me do it. And the opposite is true, someone isn't a bad mom (or dad) because they don't do parties (or whatever it is that you may be talking about in your own life). Those sort of things don't determine our value as parents or as people. We are always looking to others to determine if something is good or bad and if we are measuring up. 

In grad school I feel like I really liked to explore the idea of Social Comparison Theory. (Truthfully, I think I liked it so much because it was one theory I truly understood and I could remember.) According to Psychology Today...

Social comparison theory states that we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against others. As a result, we are constantly making self and other evaluations across a variety of domains (for example, attractiveness, wealth, intelligence, and success). Most of us have the social skills and impulse control to keep our envy and social comparisons quiet but our true feelings may come out in subtle ways.
I wanna be like you. 

I wanna be like you. 

We compare ourselves to others all the time. It is human nature, but where we go wrong is when we base our worth on those comparisons. I have never felt that more than in Junior High/High School and now as a parent. 

Being a parent can be brutal. I remember when I first would go to pick up my son from school and I felt anxious standing around with these other parents waiting for our kids. I am a total introvert in new situations so small talk doesn't come easy for me. People would be chatting and they would know where to stand and what to do. I always felt like I was missing the page in the manual that everyone seemed to innately understand. In fact, I was sure I didn't even have the manual. There were people I would judge and make assumptions about..."they aren't watching their younger children the way they should," "oh, that woman thinks she's all that," etc. etc. I, for reals, made up stories about who they were and what they thought of me...I know, I seriously might be crazy. 

Then I started getting to know these people and liked them. Well, I liked like 98% of them. We are all in the same boat, we are all trying to figure it out as we go along...parenting and just humaning (that may not be a real word, but I am going to go with it). 

So I am not a good mom because I like to throw a party or two and I am not a bad mom because I lose my cool fighting with my 4 year old. I am just a mom and I am trying the best I can not to screw up my kids. And I am striving to be a good person and I am going to fail and also it isn't so black and white...good or bad. 

So here is our challenge...we are going to try to not compare ourselves to anyone but ourselves and we are going to reach out to others to help build understanding and maybe even expand our circles. 

An original.

An original.

You Be You-You have to be yourself. You can't worry about other people, just let your freak flag fly, because guess what? We are all weirdos. You are beautiful and amazing just the way you are. You can't go through life trying to please others or trying to be anything but who you are. 

You can do it!

You can do it!

Stick to Positive Self Talk-You need to think about how YOU talk to yourself. Are you hard on yourself? Do you make up stories about the world around you without any real information to substantiate your stories? Talk to yourself nicely.

Al Franken used to play this character on Saturday Night Live called Stuart Smalley who was a self help host. He would say things like, "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me." You need to Stuart Smalley yourself. You need to remember that we all have feelings of insecurity from time to time or instances where we compare ourselves to others in unflattering ways.

Their own beat.

Their own beat.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone-It is so easy to do the same ol' thing...that feels good when something is comfortable, but it helps us grow if we do things that are sometimes hard. You have to push yourself to change. And why do that? Well, we don't change to please others or to be like others. We change because it is good for us to keep evolving.

Holding On.

Holding On.

Make a Friend-Things are easier when you are in it with someone else. Seriously some of my best friends are people I didn't like at first. They were people I judged or compared myself to...and then something happened and instead of being frenemies we got to know each other. The journey is so much better when you have someone to share it with so get to know someone new. They could be your new BFF or at least another person in your world. 

Same but different.

Same but different.

Model Both Independence and Interdependence-Show your children how to be your own person. But also show them that it is good to make relationships, form communities, to be accountable to one another, and to rely on one another. It can be both. You can be independent and be who you want to be and do what you want to, but you can also have people that you can lean on at times and lift up at other times.

The duality of life is a trip. This not so great/but also awesome mom will see you on Friday!