It's been a while since I've written a blog post on here (not that anyone has been missing it!). I was going to share some pictures of my kids from the last couple of months, but decided to change that after a movie I watched tonight. Avery was in bed and Jason was watching Monday night football, so I decided to check out what Hallmark had on On-Demand. I was hoping to come across a Christmas movie, but didn't find any. I did find a movie called Mom's Day Out. This movie was harmless of course, but it urked me. Here's the run down - a stay at home mom, married to a busy-always-on-the-phone realtor, becomes annoyed when her husband and teenage kids (who steal her makeup, make huge messes they can't seem to clean up on their own and bark grocery orders as they are walking out the door on the way to see their friends) don't remember or celebrate Mother's Day. Her old friend comes into town, her friend with an exciting career and wardrobe, and invites her to spend the weekend getting pampered at a spa, going to a resort and going out to nice restaurants. The wife is frumpy and frustrated, ever the cleaning-after-everyone-else mom, hair in a ponytail always wearing sweats, and constantly ignored. In the process of being gone, her family realizes how much they've been taken for granted and give her a wonderful Mother's Day by cleaning up after themselves and the dad shows up with flowers and an apology. It's a sweet movie and like I said, harmless. But it prompted me to really think - is this what moms really think life is like? So, here are a list of a rules I feel are important for all moms out there that I thought I would share, taken from the plot line of this movie.
1. Don't be a slave to your kids.
If you are constantly feeling like your children are leaving messes that you are having to clean up, and they are past the age of 5 (younger, sometimes) then teach your children how to clean up after themselves. If I look around my house and it's a war zone, and my three able bodied children aren't in there helping me clean, and that means vacuuming, sweeping, dishes, etc, then something is wrong with that picture.
2. Don't wait until your children are teenagers to cultivate relationships and friendships with friends.
I realize it might be hard to plot time out in the busyness of life, but do it anyway. Find friends you like, that appreciate you, that love you for who you are, and who will tell you LIKE IT IS, and spend time with them, even if it's only an hour at Starbucks. Text them, talk to them on the phone. Do what it takes to stay connected to all types of friends, even if those friends aren't in the same phase of life you are in (AKA, a mom or wife). You might learn a little something. And when your children are too "cool" to spend time with you, you will have friends that still think you are the coolest thing around and a years-long friendship that you now have more time to cultivate.
3. Don't put your dreams on hold forever.
I realize that not everyone's dream is to work. But if there is something you've put on hold, because of kids, that you enjoy doing to be a mom (which is important) and your kids are getting older and you find yourself with the ability to do more than just change diapers, like start a blog or join a reading club, then do it. Don't wait until they are graduated to continue your own life.
4. Don't let being a mom be your only identity.
You shouldn't stop being you to be a mom. Sure, it's hard when kids are little because you are just making it, but as soon as things get calmer, AND THEY DO, be YOU again. Spend time doing things you love and that God made you to do. Things that are you and you alone.
5. Spend money on clothes and accessories.
Hey, I have my yoga pants, no makeup, ponytail days, But I also have makeup and outfits that I wear, too. And just because you don't look perfect and have extra weight and not shaved legs doesn't mean you can't look cute and dress in style, especially a style you love. Have that go to outfit that makes you feel fierce and beautiful, and wear it, even if it's on a Tuesday and the only thing you are doing that day is cleaning the house and picking kids up from school.
6. Have a list of things you want to do and make plans to actually do them.
Have you and your husband been planning a cruise but never seem to have an extra $2,000 laying around? That's doesn't mean you just don't do anything because it's not the perfect thing. Get a sitter and spend the night at the local marina, gazing at the lake and spending $75 on a nice meal. Things like this might not be perfect, but they are creating memories and giving you things to look forward to. Have that friend that moved to another city that you've been meaning to visit? GO!! If it only takes you a tank of gas to get there, all the better. Is that city some small podunk place? Who cares! Have your friend find the nicest restaurant or hot spot and go there together. With those friendships you are cultivating, it doesn't matter where you go, as long as you make the effort to do it.
7. Don't feel guilty by pampering yourself or feel selfish by doing things for yourself.
One day you will wake up and realize you've never had a manicure at a nice salon. You will be 45 with grown kids and never have spent a weekend without them and not know why your own money never went to your hair getting done or that facial you always wanted. I'm not saying go into debt, but every once in a while, spending money or time just doing things that make you happy is necessary and expected (and it doesn't take that much, in the grand scheme of things). Maybe spending the money to put the kiddos in a day care facility one day so you can just be free for the afternoon to do whatever you'd like is what you need. It's not selfish, it's needed!
What are some rules you have for other moms?