I've accomplished more than I thought was possible. I pulled all but the latest order for my husbands business. And that's only because it came in late last night. I even took a chance on taking my kids to Target on a Saturday evening without losing my mind! We went to the park nearby on Sunday and I let them run wild.
I've learned a few things during my time off. First off, I am WAY too OCD for my kids. I think I must have swept the floors at least half a dozen times daily. Secondly, I should face the music and realize that in between meals I'm lucky to complete one task. Thirdly, for every mess I cleaned, two more popped up. Mostly when I heard the silence. You other moms know what that sounds like. Its that ominous, up-to-no-good sound void. Every time I was busy with something, so were they. And the way they blame each other... Okay so its my boys. My daughter doesn't tend to get into things like they do. But as soon as the jig is up, fingers point and voices try to climb over each other until I yell, "Enough!" My oldest spent a lot of time filling up his bathroom sink with water and adding toys. My youngest and only little girl didn't want to eat very much. Things I used to make her all the time like peanut butter sandwiches weren't appetizing for her this past week.
My best friend told me to relax. I did what I always do - laughed. Moms don't relax. They don't get real vacations. They sign away their lives the minute that test reads positive for a new life being made. They also lose that "perfect" body they had. I tried to sit down every once in a while. But then I feel lazy and tired and don't want to get moving again. So back to work I'd get. And then I ran into an old friend of mine. We hadn't kept in touch much over the past couple years but it was good to see a friendly face. He complimented me on how well I looked having carried and delivered three kids. And then he asked me something that most people don't. "What's your secret? How did you get back to looking so amazing, so quickly?" What I wanted to answer was the same way I do when anyone talks about how I look, "Oh you know, eat healthier and less while being crazy active!" But let's face reality and answer the truthful way, "Stress. I'm always stressed about something." Then came another question that gave me pause, "When you look in the mirror, what do you see?" I could've said, "I see an amazing nerd!" Which is what I tell people often. But again, deep down, I don't believe it. "A worn out mom." A tired, worn thin, stressed out, mid-twenties, young mother who struggles to be the perfect woman and do everything right. And then considers herself a failure when she can't meet her goals...
This friend of mine often seems like the carefree, almost on the verge of being a hippie type but occasionally he says something deep and meaningful that makes you think. His response was along the lines of how sad it was that I don't see what others do, so clearly. And that it's a way of thinking embedded deep within the neurons that needs to change. He told me to instead look in the mirror and tell myself what I am. Or what I want myself to be. No, I can't tell myself to be the perfect balance of thin/weighted and have a good cup size up top. But I can change my attitude towards myself by telling my reflection that I'm beautiful, intelligent, and worth more than the time of day. I can also choose how to feel when others try to put me down. I can choose to accept their words for truth or say, "No. I know better and you can't get me down." His words sparked something that others never did. And now the encouragement that others have offered has new meaning as well. I may be tired. I might be stressed out. But from now, I'm going to think of myself more positively. And hopefully one day, I'll see myself through others' eyes.