Have you noticed that you spend so much time thinking about the organization of daily life that you often find you are sending your kids off with their dad or a grandparent, so you can look after more chores? My mental load is overwhelming. No one else can see the mental load of things to do but you can feel the stress. The constant thought process of making sure the kids are fed healthy meals on time; that they each get some individual attention; ensuring they have all the items needed for the day including sunscreen, hats, gloves, scarfs, change of clothing, towels, snacks can tax even the most organized brain. But what I think about the most is that this constant mental overload stops me from enjoying the moments with my kids…..adding to more mom guilt.
Don’t miss out on being truly present with your kids.
I work full time and when I walk in the door at the end of the day there seems to be an endless amount of issues to deal with. And on the days when I am home I often feel like I make one meal, clean up and then move on to the next meal. Some days tasks seem endless. I often find myself setting up my husband to go have ‘fun’ with our kids so I can catch up on ALL the household tasks like paying bills, cleaning, laundry and getting ready for the next day. My children are growing up fast and I realize all this mental overload is causing me to miss out on fun with my girls.
I grew up in a large family youngest of four siblings in a very busy household. Both my parents worked full time. My dad worked nights, so we always had a parent at home. Even with their busy schedules we were always encouraged to do extracurricular activities.
Throughout school I was always on a team sport, track and field or volleyball and in swimming lessons, ice skating, baseball, and horseback riding. Weekends were full of skiing, rollerblading or bike riding. Looking back, I am not sure how my parents managed to do it all, but they always found a way.
I was no stranger to sports and the outdoors, I even played on two baseball teams until my oldest was 2-years old. Stopping, because of time conflicts, is still one of the hardest decisions I made. So why now, that I have three very active daughters of my own, do I send them off with dad to play?
I am going to make a conscious effort to spend more one-on-one time having fun with my girls. I am going to teach my daughters all the cool and fun activities I was taught! And when we are on vacation I am not going to be the only maid or chef. I am half of a parenting unit and will share as many responsibilities as possible. Most importantly the FUN. I will not be so hard on myself nor should you be. When I see myself getting overwhelmed by the mental load and not being fully present, I will stop and reset in the moment. Don’t dwell on your previous reactions, just move forward.
“Just keep moving forward” – Lewis (Meet the Robinsons 2007).
We need to show our kids, especially our daughters, that moms can have fun and dad can hold down the fort!
Ladies, get out your runners, bathing suits, bikes, skis and get your FUN on!