As moms we often find ourselves apologizing to our kids, to our families, and to our friends when we fall short of perfection. When I look at the amazing moms in my life, I see something that goes beyond perfection. True, real, raw beauty that shines from the inside out. Whether it's the way you love your children, the words of support you offer me when I'm down, the adorable pictures of your kids you send me, or the times you make me feel normal by telling me that you too are exhausted and stressed out. Or maybe it's the times that you make me laugh so hard that I almost pee my pants! Without further ado, here is a list of don'ts for my mom friends (and of course all the other amazing moms out there):
1. Don’t apologize for being late.
I am so excited to get out of the house when we meet for a play date or a rare mom's night out. I am so grateful to spend any amount of time with you, so please never rush for me or feel bad about being late. We all know how long it takes to get out of the house when we have kids. If it's not a diaper blow out, or a missing favorite shoe, it’s a bad hair day, or a last minute meltdown. Not to mention gathering up all the kids stuff and the kids themselves and getting into the car. Chances are, I'm late too!
2. Don't apologize about the way you look.
Whether you're in glorified pajamas (my standard dress for school drop off for my seven year old. She asks, "mom, are you really dressed?" To which I answer, "kind of" with a wink), yoga pants, or dressed to the nines, I always think you look beautiful. Whether you decided to put on makeup, or are au naturel, whether you have your hair in a pony or just got your hair done, whether your nails are painted or chipping to pieces. I love you just the way you are!!
3. Don't ever feel silly asking questions about parenting.
I think there is a ridiculous preconceived notion that in whatever we do, we should all be experts or pretend to know it all. Guess what, no one knows it all. Even that super smart astrophysicist on YouTube who knows way more than most of us. I bet there are things that, GASP, he doesn't even know. I remember as a new mom, how silly I felt asking questions that I thought I should innately know the answer to. Now as a *wink* seasoned mom of a 7 and 2 year old, I finally get it- I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. As long as I know I'm doing my best and learning and growing as a person and a parent, I am learning to accept that. When you ask me a parenting question, I will gently give you my opinion, while also telling you that there are probably a million answers to that same question. Then I'll tell you to follow your gut, cause a mommy's gut rarely lies. I will also tell you that if you "Google" it, take all info with a grain of salt.
4. Don't ever feel bad if time has passed since we've seen each other.
The thing about true friends is that time can pass and when you see each other again, it's as if no time has passed at all. I cherish every moment, whether frequent or often, long or fleeting that I share with you. I know that is super cheesy, but it's totally true. So, no worries if you haven't gotten to the phone for a while or have been in a chaotic time in your life, I'll be here when the storm settles (and of course during the storm if you need me).
5. Don't clean up for me.
When I come to your house, I am there to spend time with you, to let my kids get some social time, and most of all to chat and have fun. If the house is crazy, I will smile and see all the life and fun that is happening there. If you do happen to be one of those friends who seemingly effortlessly keeps their house clean, I will appreciate your talent for doing that as well. As long as it didn't stress you out to get it that way. We are all different in what keeps us sane as parents. I know I have moments where I relax into the mess and appreciate it and times where I whip through the house like a cleaning whirlwind and am glad I did it. I have learned that the last thing I should do is feel guilty if it doesn't happen that day. As long as we are all happy!
6. Don't ever be afraid to share your truth with me.
As moms and as people there are times when the truth is gritty. I am here for you through thick and thin and I am so honored when you choose to share your struggles with me or you let me share mine with you, because it makes me feel like we are all in this together.
7. Don't ever feel embarrassed around me.
Whether there's spit up in your hair, a crazy poop blow out on the couch, and your pretending to eat play food, or wearing a silly hat. I will never laugh at you, only with you! Sometimes we all have to laugh at the chaos of parenting because taking it too seriously feels heavy. Being around you often feels like a weight off my shoulders on a tough day.
8. Don't ever tell yourself you aren't a wonderful mom because you made a mistake.
With so many parenting moments throughout the day, we are bound to make mistakes here and there. This is what makes us human. This what helps us grown in the immense way we do as we navigate life with kids. The mistake that seemed huge to you, seems like a tiny particle of sand in the beach full of the wonderful things you've done as a parent today to me.
9. Don't worry about canceling plans.
With kids, you never know what will happen in a day. Curve balls and kids seem to go hand in hand. If you have to cancel our plans to maintain your sanity that day, do it! I'm sure I've done it before too and I will admire you for knowing what is too much for you and setting limits for yourself.
10. Don't ever look in the mirror without admiring your unique beauty.
You are beautiful, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!! I know how easy it is to criticize our appearance after we have kids, because let's face it, our bodies will never be the same. When I see a fellow mom, I see a gorgeous person who has created life and there is nothing more beautiful than that! When you look in the mirror, appreciate all of your uniqueness and beauty.
One more thing...
The next time I do one of these things, don't hesitate to remind me to take my own advice. Sometimes we all need a reminder to value and treat ourselves the way we do the people we love!
Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing mothers out there!!
I am so grateful to have the most amazing friends (not just my mom-friends) and I don't know what I'd do without all of your wisdom and beauty in my life!