Bad Mom Award Goes To...
Why being a 'bad mom' really makes you a GREAT mom
Now that I have two children I struggle to feel like I'm doing it right. The mom thing, the wife thing, the friend thing... but what I have been having to convince myself of lately is that I'm not a 'bad mom' I'm actually a pretty damn good one. And so are you.
Letting your children cry
The first day it really hit me that I was a 'bad mom' was days after my second son, Kekoa, was born. It was our first day home from the hospital that I didn't have my husband home to help me and I hadn't slept in three days, maybe more? (Everyone told me 'stay in the hospital as long as you can the nurses will help you with everything'.. 'the food is actually pretty great' yada yada... staying in a hospital and having nurses wake you every two hours to draw your blood and take your blood pressure is not a good nights sleep. Those people who told me that are cray cray. Oh and the food? Barf).
So I went home immediately. But what I didn't realize when I went home was that I was going to be alone.. with a days old newborn and a one and a half year old. I wasn't prepared. When everyone told me it was 'hard' I thought they were exaggerating. No, no they weren't exaggerating. I cried off and on all day and constantly asked myself why I thought it would be a good idea to have two kids? Two boys (not by choice, but still). When I picked up Kekoa, Kainoa cried for me. When I put down Kekoa and picked up Kainoa, Kekoa cried for me... and boy was that newborn baby cry hard to hear.
So, by lunchtime I was a wreck, the house was a wreck and I decided that if I wanted to maintain my sanity I was unfortunately going to have to be a bad mom. I put Kainoa in his room, told him it was 'quiet time', shut the door and walked away. As I walked away and listened to him cry I felt like the badest of the bad moms.
But you know what? I am not a bad mom. I needed time to take a shower, clean up the house, and to give myself an encouraging pep talk. Kainoa cried for about five minutes and fell asleep on the floor in front of his door. And thats okay.
It's okay to not have a routine
Before I had Kekoa I had my days planned to a T. Wake up, make breakfast, give Kainoa a bath, play with Kainoa, lay Kainoa down for a nap, work while Kainoa slept, feed Kainoa lunch, clean and shower while Kainoa eats lunch praying to God he doesn't destroy the house in the 10 seconds it takes to shampoo my hair, run errands and maybe hit the beach or pool, cook dinner, enjoy some me time when hubby gets home, and then go to sleep. Wake up and repeat.
Easy peasy planned out days are not going to happen when you have a newborn. I repeat, THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Not right away at least, and that's okay. Now-a-days I feel like everyone has this persona that they are perfect. Perfect mom, perfect mom yoga pants, perfect mom Facebook posts, and perfect mom schedules. Welp, I am not a perfect mom I'm a pretty bad mom. Most days I don't put clothes on my boys, hell, most days I don't put clothes on myself. Why? Because between Kainoa's dirt fetish and Kekoa's spit up nothing is sacred. And that's okay too.
Let people help you
When I was pregnant, with Kainoa, the first time around I was so adamant to not have anyone visit when he was born. I thought it would take away from quality time as a family but what I didn't realize was how BIG of a help it is to have family/friends visit. Even if they don't do anything when they come over and you just sit on the couch and let them hold your baby while you sit... and just sit. Do it. You need it. You deserve it. Don't be like me who thought 'I don't need help' because I learned quickly that I was wrong, very wrong.
This time around I had an amazing group of women come together and bring me food so I wouldn't have to cook the first week back. We also had a lot of family and friends visit. It makes a world of a difference to have help and to not feel so alone during such a difficult time in your life. And trust me it is difficult, but it's up to you to make it the best time possible, and friends and family will do that for you. Does excepting help from others make me a bad mom? No, because if I had to cook it would be microwaved hot dogs every meal and I would go crazy from not having adult interactions. And that would probably classify me as a bad mom.
Get out of the house
For goodness sakes, just leave. This one was probably the hardest for me. I didn't want to leave and I came up with every exscuse not to. I'm too tired, I have no one to watch the kids, oh and my personal favorite what if something happens while I'm gone?
1- You are going to be tired until your youngest child turns 18, better get used to it now. (I'm still working on this one)
2- Your husband; your friends that love kids but don't have their own yet; your family. It's not that you don't have people to watch your children, it's that you don't want to ask someone to watch your children. If you have to leave your husband at home with the kids so that you can get out do it. Even if it's just to go for a walk or shop at Target and not buy anything, do it. Theres always that one couple in your friends list that don't have kids yet but want them. CALL THEM. There are two of them they can handle a newborn and a toddler. Take time out of your day to enjoy life, alone (or with your spouse).
3-Nothings going to happen in the 30 minutes it takes you to walk a mile or window shop downtown. If you can handle watching two kids alone then your husband can handle it, your friends can handle it, your family can handle it.
YOU NEED A BREAK. You need time to refresh and relax. To not listen to crying or to not have to watch the same Barney show three times in a row. You need a massage, a new dress, or maybe just some fresh air.
Does that make you a bad mom? No, your human, and your a damn good mom.
Images from: Patricia Allison Photography, Brandie Ballard Photography, Colleen Cordle Photography, and New Wave Photography