Every Mom Needs This

By 9:00 AM this morning I had already cleaned up two diaper poo*nami’s. I had duly noted 89 complaints from my preschooler. I fed the family and caffeinated the husband. I did the dishes, vacuumed the floors, listened to my husband rattle off all the things he needed me to do for the day. And I paid the phone bill.

By 9:00 AM I still had not been to the bathroom. Or brushed my teeth. Or bathed. Or even changed my clothes. My hair was still in a ponytail from yesterday. A piece of gummed graham cracker was stuck to my cheek and as I was in the middle of peeling it off, my newly minted toddler spit up on my shirt.

I poured some coffee and realized that what I need is a pep talk. I need someone to say this to me (right now, please!):

A Pep Talk For Moms

You’re doing it right! Your work is appreciated! Your love and judgment and effort all mean everything! Didn’t change your clothes? Pfft! That just means you are awesomely efficient! The house is nearly clean! The kids are not starving! The husband thinks you must be Wonder Woman! You can talk-text-surf your way through another billing cycle! And there is more coffee! And it’s not even lunch yet!

Ok, ok…I admit I got a bit carried away with the cheering section of this little speech, but seriously, lady, you’re doing a great job. You put your family first even when they complain at you and forget to say, thanks, Mom! You don’t run screaming when you get peed on or when you find more skid marks in the laundry. Instead, you roll your eyes (and your sleeves) and you get to work. Sure, you have an occasional mom-meltdown, but who wouldn’t? No one is perfect. Right?!

The pressures of motherhood are sometimes stupidly intense. But when you step back and look at what is at stake, you begin to realize that your what’s at stake isn’t the same as what’s at stake for Suzy Q Perfect Pants down the street (or on your favorite mom blog being a total troll). The bottom line? You get to define for yourself just how much pressure you are willing to tolerate in your role as Mom. Just let the other stuff go. You sometimes use the TV as a babysitter? Join the club. Suzy Q calls you lazy for it? Meh. *shrug*

So this is what you do. You distract the kids and get a set of free hands and eyes to take over for a few minutes. Take your coffee into the bathroom and shut the door and then take a GIANT BREATH. You hit the re-start button. You tell yourself that you are Betty White, Wilma Flintstone, and Peggy Bundy wrapped up tight in one sweet package (your family should be so lucky!) You get yourself cleaned up. You repeat this pep talk to yourself. You hold your chin up.

And then you get back to the demanding but marvelous work of being a Kick Ass Mom. Because you are doing it right.

Yep. I could have used that pep talk this morning.

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.