Tonight as I was making dinner I could hear my children laughing in one of their bedrooms. They were playing and having fun and most importantly staying out of my hair while I made dinner. I decided to go see what they were up to and as I walked down the hallway I suddenly got the feeling that I wasn’t going to be happy with what I found. They weren’t in either of their rooms which meant they were in my room. As I walked in, I slipped on something slippery and landed straight on my ass. As I looked up from the floor the two of them were jumping on my bed and having what I can only describe as a baby powder/baby lotion fight. Imagine a food fight but with baby products. I know right?!
My husband was at work and I had a brief moment as I laid on the floor where I could have decided to stand up and go all Liam Neeson on them. Instead I calmly got up and said: “You will both clean this up NOW!” and I walked out.
I returned to the kitchen and did some Lamaze breathing (see I knew that crap would come in handy at some point.) I then proceeded to send a text to two of my girlfriends and I started to laugh. That’s right there I stood, knowing full well that my entire master bedroom was covered in baby lotion and baby powder and I decided to laugh. When I became a parent, okay maybe not the moment I became a parent, but at some point into my first child’s life I decided that I would have two mantras on parenthood.
1. Laugh. Because if you don’t laugh you will cry and crying is just not a daily option over laughter.
2. Stop taking life so seriously. No really stop.
Somehow along the way I’ve forgotten my own parenthood mantras. I take things way too seriously and all too often I could cry in the bathroom rather than laugh in the living room. Tonight for whatever reason I remembered the promise I made to myself almost six years ago and I decided to laugh. That doesn’t mean I allowed the kids to think it was okay to act like a couple of prisoners trying to teach the warden a lesson, but it does mean that I laughed about the fact that said warden fell on her ass in a pile of Johnson & Johnson baby lotion. I smell fresh and I’m moisturized so…win, win.
So tonight I decided I’m making a new list of parenting rules for myself. I’m printing it out and hanging it on my refrigerator because somewhere along the way I’ve let the stress take over and I’m not the mom I want to be. Feel free to print your own copy:
1. Laugh. Just laugh because crying is not ALWAYS the best option.
2. Cry if you have to. It’s okay to cry every now and then.
3. Stop taking life so seriously. No really stop it.
4. Allow the kids to be kids. They only get one chance at this and they will love you for it.
5. Set boundaries for them and for you.
6. Embrace the mess.
7. Make time for yourself. You deserve it.
8. Get together with your girlfriends more. They make you #1 and if for some reason you are going to #2 they will hug you and give you wine. (The numbers refer to this list only so stop worrying about rushing off to the bathroom)
9. Ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you finally figured out you’re not a Transformer.
10. Take one moment every single day to breathe…just breathe and look at your kids. Really look at them. Look at them when they don’t know you’re looking and you will remember all the reasons you signed up for this gig in the first place.