Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Balance and Mama Guilt

I finally slept in this morning until after 5. I've been a little stressed the last couple weeks and the first sign my body gives me that I'm not balanced, is I stop sleeping. I've been known to get up at 5am to go mop the kitchen or scrub the shower. It's not uncommon for Mr. Howard to wake up to a wife elbow deep in Clorox bleach because - as I was laying in bed - I couldn't stop thinking about how dirty the bathtub is. It's scary.

But what's more scary is when I STOP cleaning. That's a sign that the stress is too overwhelming. Seriously. I hate those quotes that say essentially you're being a crazy person and a bad mom if you care what your house looks like. "I hope my children look back on today and see a mother who had time to play. There will be years for cleaning and cooking...for children grow up when we're not looking." All those quotes just make me feel more guilty. Who's going to do my laundry if the only thing I'm concerned about is playing with my kids? Look. That's just not reality. I can care about my house AND be a good mom.

But lately, I've been so stressed that I've stopped cleaning. Instead of waking up at 5am to clean, I wake up at 5am thinking about how I need to clean. And then lay in bed stressed about it. It's ridiculous and then I end up feeling even more guilty.

Yesterday I made a few confessions. So today's confession? I suffer from this horrible condition called guilt. I feel guilty that I am not being a great mom with my exasperated tones...and chicken nugget dinners...and piles of laundry on Aiden's bed...and mac and cheese lunches. I feel guilty that our Christmas lights are still up on our house (thankfully our two neighbors have theirs up too!) and that our backyard still isn't landscaped. I feel guilty that I don't have our friends over enough and that I'm not great about scheduling playdates for the kids. The bottom line is that I feel guilt.

And the reality is that I don't think it's ever going to go away. Because - the root of my guilt is just wanting to be a good Wife, Mommy, homeowner, employee, friend, and human being. And I don't think I'm ever going to stop wanting to be the best I can be at all those things. So I'm just going to have to figure out this thing called balance. And picking your battles. And maybe, just maybe, some day - I'll have it all figured out.

So, last weekend I decided to stop feeling guilty for a little bit and get out of the house. Our Christmas lights are still on our house and our yard still isn't landscaped, but our kids had fun at a party with their friends - so we won the battle of "happy kids" and lost the battle of "productive mom". There's always next weekend to win the battle of productive mom and probably lose the battle of happy kids. Ha! You can't ever truly win.

On Sunday, it was pouring rain again. Absolutely POURING. In fact, our lake in the area actually got 10 feet of water in the two days that it it was coming down pretty consistently. Before we left, Mr. Howard took a few photos of me and the kids. Miss Isabella Lynn and Me:
The twins refused to look at Daddy for the photo. But I think it captures their personalities pretty well. I'm pretty sure Aiden and Izzy started out playing and ended in a fight after this picture. I thought Connor was leaving the photo and wasn't going to participate (because he was originally sitting next to Izzy), but then he walked around behind me and put his head on my shoulder. What a little ham.

My Super Little Man.
*Disclaimer: I know Aiden's not wearing his seatbelt properly. We weren't moving yet.*
They were holding hands and then took turns kissing each other's hands. What sweetie pies.
We went to visit baby Chloe when she was only a day old at the hospital and I cannot even believe we just celebrated her first birthday. That is insane. How has it been a year?

The adorable big brother to the birthday girl (birthday girl is pictured in the background being held by her Aunt):
 Birthday Girl Chloe:
Eating her birthday lunch:
Here are four out of six of our kids. You can barely see Aiden's head in the background (he had no time for photos...he's far too busy!) and Chloe was out with the adults.
This was the balloon stomping game. They tied balloons to their feet and they had to try to stomp the balloons of the other kids. Such a hilarious event.
Isabella may be a girlie girl, but that girl loves her trucks and cars!
We had to take our cupcakes to go in the car because we had to drive to retrieve Connor's lovey toy, "Monkey", from our friend's house. I may or may not have eaten my cupcake secretly in the front passenger seat while attempting to distract my kiddos by telling them to look outside at random objects. Okay. I did. They were delicious. I would have eaten another had the kids not seen me put them in the car. Boo for kids who are starting to outwit their Mama.
P.S. I may have lost the battle of "clean home" this week, but I am WINNING the battle of "healthy body"! I did over 3 miles running yesterday, am all set for zumba today, and have eaten clean, healthy foods all week!


J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mommy guilt is the worst:( I totally get the cleaning guilt I want to sit and play with the kids but all it can think about is all the work I have to do, uuugg. We can just do our best and cover the rest in prayer. Hope you get some rest!

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The best thing to counteract "guilty mom" which I get too... is justify it with happiness. Time is precious... use it having fun, eating things that are yum, and sharing good times. You are awesome! The laundry gets done one way or another...

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We are SO related. :-)

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I can only imagine the Kirkpatrick genes that run through our body - you know, the crazy ones? Haha!

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Vanessa! How's it been going with your transition to working mom? Has it been hard? You rock too, by the way!

J Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You are so right, Tesha! Pray, pray, pray!

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