It’s time for dinner on a school/work night. My kids are tired. I am tired. But I open up my CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture), with every intention of crafting an organic, gourmet meal with just the right food pyramid proportions — then promptly decide to make Annie’s Organic macaroni and cheese and white toast with butter. I call it the carbo-loading meal (see recipe below). After all, it is the largest part of the food pyramid, right?
Annie’s Microwave Mac and Cheese
Open up package of noodles
Put in microwave for 3 minutes
Add cheese sauce, stir and serve
White Toast with Butter
Place 2 pieces of bread in toaster
Spread the butter and serve
Don’t get me wrong, I love greens. My CSA is just brimming with fresh vegetables every week. And it’s not just greens; there are purple, red, and even orange vegetables, too! It’s really quite a piece of art. Then, as reality sets in, I slowly watch my Van Gogh still life of good intentions rot away in the crisper — along with the mother of the year award.
But shortly after that reality sets in, so does another — my mom truth.
What I’ve noticed, and continue to notice, is how hard mothers are on ourselves. We cut everyone a break, but not the self. I have a full time job, two kids, two dogs, two cats, two cars, a house to take care of, employees, ex-husbands…just writing that sentence made me tired.
This is not meant to alienate the fathers or the folks without kids. We all have our stressors; we all have our breaking point. I can only share my experience of when I get so close to the ledge — and how I back off with, what I like to call, the Emergency Alert Plan:
1) Take a long lunch
2) Take a walk
3) Get into your body
4) Call a friend — and laugh
5) If you can’t get away…think again
6) 5 minutes is all you need, but do it several times a day. Get in the habit of stepping away for a brief time out.
Being a good mom — or living a robust life — doesn’t involve being perfect. It just means being honest with yourself, reflect on your needs and cut yourself a break. Only then can we start to fulfill the needs of others.
What are some of your (mom) truths?
Originally published at medium.com