Five ‘o clock would near and I could feel the anxiety build inside me. There were three children under the age of five roaming around the house. They were snacking and had toys all over the floor. I sat on the couch nursing the youngest contemplating what should be tackled first before my husband came in the door. That was if he actually arrived home in time for dinner. I knew that he spent his days dealing with all kinds of stress. But it wasn’t like I sat in a bubble bath sipping champagne. It had to be perfect, toys should be put away. Dinner needed to be in the works and it needed to be something that would be suit him. He told me that since I had a babysitter to help me that there were no excuses. If it were only that easy.
Two Styles of Mothering
Five ‘o clock in the new life is much different. The children are much older and a divorce transpired. And I accepted grace into my life as a mother. Looking back now, I have had two drastically different styles of being a mother. The first when the children were babies was the married mother. I was expected to make the picture perfect at all times. I had all kinds of help to get the task list accomplished. But I was ridden with unnecessary stress and lacked the freedom to be the mother I wanted to be.
As a single mother I am much more relaxed. Dinner may not always be made or even started at 5:00. The toys are now backpacks and sporting gear. And they are all over the floor once again. But the anxiety that was caused by trying to get it all done is now gone. The picture isn’t always perfect. I by choice don’t have all of that help to get things done. That’s not the mother I am any longer. Just like life, motherhood can be very messy. And I have come to find there is a lot of beauty in a mess.
So my advice is to take a minute to look at your own styles of mothering. Be okay with your own style changing throughout your life. As long as you are the mother you choose to be that is truly all that matters. I regret the time lost trying to be the mother someone else thought I should be and not embracing my own style. It has taken me a number of years to figure out that the children won’t remember if their sock drawer was perfectly organized. The children will remember the happy momma with a sink full of dishes and the time to play Monopoly.