Last week, during one of our trips to Hilton Head, my Aunt and Uncle brought my cousin’s four-year-old son to visit. While he was there, my Aunt apologized to me when he was being loud, while one of the other kids was still asleep. I told her what my mom had once told me before (and it has stuck with me ever since): “I’m a mom, too.”
“I’m a Mom, too.” – four little words that mean so much more.
Those simple words carry a lot of weight, don’t they? They mean:
- I understand.
- I get it.
- I’ve been there.
- You don’t need to explain it… because I remember it.
- We’re in this together.
My kids are loud, too. (Before going on… let me say that my cousin’s child is just about as perfect as they come ♥. In fact, if you could create a four-year-old, you’d create this sweet little boy. He is the kindest, most loving, mannerly, fun child & our children LOVED having him around for the week!). Anyway, like I was saying… my kids are loud, and that’s just the start of it.
When they were four years old, not only were they loud, but they were testing the boundaries, trying out their newly-found independence, learning how to be friends, how to listen to other adults, how to respond when something didn’t go their way, etc…
Tonight, when I was thinking about the trip and thinking about how I already missed seeing them, I thought about when my mom first said it to me:
“I’m a Mom, too.”
It was a few years ago.
I was getting the kids ready to go to school, which meant that breakfast was in full swing: The milk carton was on the counter, the pan was on the stove (pepperoni and eggs are a staple in our house), the kids’ beds were not made yet, lunches were being assembled, and I was in the middle of rechecking everyone’s back-packs, before sending them on their way.
Just then, my mom stopped by. She was on her way to the gym and stopped over to drop off a special treat for the kids to take in their lunchboxes. ♥
All I could think when she walked in was: “Oh man. I don’t want anyone to see my house this way. It’s a disaster!”
So, I apologized for the mess, and my mom said something that has stuck with me:
“I’m a Mom, too.”
Four little words made me feel so much better.
Realizing that she understood, and didn’t think anything of it, because had been in my shoes years earlier when I was a child made so much sense at that moment.
“I’m a Mom, too.”
This means that I am (or was):
- the keeper of the home
- the giver of the hugs
- the patter on the back
- the helper of the homework
- the cleaner of the house
- the chef behind the meals
- the builder of the forts
- the one who understands what you are going through.
As I tell our son, beau, who is the forever-builder and creator, the mess on his desk don’t bother me, because they are signs that he is playing, creating and working. I can overlook the “mess” until the evening because his mind is hard at work!
If you ever feel insecure about something or think that you should be doing XY&Z better or faster than you are, just remember that you are a mom, too.
You are spending time cooking for your children… and cooking can get messy.
You are spending time reading to your children… books can be scattered on the floor during that time.
You are spending time snuggled with your children… and blankets are all over the floor.
You are spending time baking cookies with your children… and ingredients are on the counter.
You are spending time playing with your children… and playing tends to make a mess
My grandmother was the perfect example because when we would visit her at their home in Hilton Head, she would make dinner for us.
The difference between her and I is that after dinner, she would say “Let’s leave the dishes and go for a walk on the beach. We can clean them up when we get home.”
We always did clean them up when we came home, and we did it as a family, but she always knew that she was a mother (and grandmother) first. She knew that creating those memories came before (not instead of) cleaning because family is important.
Instead of saying: “I’m sorry. Ignore the mess” the next time that someone comes over and sees your life-in-action; remind yourself that “Some days are just meant for playing!”
As the old song goes… “Go away dust. Cobwebs sleep… Cause I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep” Enjoy your time with your kids today.
When you ARE ready to clean and get organized, my whole-home declutter system is a course that will walk you through your home, day by day, until it is exactly like you want it to be. It is presented by a mom of four (me!) so it is for busy families. Go through it at your own pace and have the home that is lived in, loved, but also clean & organized at the same time. ♥
Through it all, I really do love to have a clean, organized and well-put-together house, but that’s precisely why I think that it is OK to let it go sometimes. I know that it will be cleaned & organized throughout the day.
I know that I can be “all in” with the kids and let those other things take a back-seat for a while. You will get it back tonight. Just enjoy that time with your children… they won’t stay this age for long.)
Ps- You are welcome to download my FREE One on One Time Calendar: I’ll send you the calendar, plus other ideas via email. ♥
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Addi Ganley says
This is a great post that I try to tell myself everyday, With three boys in the house (my husband) and 2 dogs there is always some sort of mess, not to mention dog hair.
If I walked around cleaning everything up all the time I would never be able to sit back and enjoy my family. It is important to remind yourself that it is okay to have a mess and all Moms can relate.
Thank you again for your post 🙂
Becky (Your Modern Family) says
exactly, Addi!! 🙂 I completely agree.
Actually, life is about choice and priority. What’s your priority? Kids or house?
If you choose kids, lets pretend there’s nothing important more than them 😀