Being a mom is hard. Possibly the hardest thing ever, actually. As my kids grow and change, and while some things do get easier, there always seems to be new uncharted territory or challenges to overcome; each weirder, grosser, or more emotionally charged than the last. It's often necessary to give myself a pep talk and I've learned there are definitely things every mom should tell herself at least once a day (and sometimes once an hour).
My advice? Start with, "You can do this," because you totally can. Besides, even if it seems too much to handle, it's too late, now. Your kid (or kids) are here and you'er stuck with them, my friends. But seriously, put on your big girl panties and figure this out. You have small humans (and likely some adults) depending on you. You can do it, because you are awesome and because you have to.
Of course, you don't have to do it alone. It's OK to ask for help. It is. Everyone needs help sometimes, and asking for what you need is not a weakness; it's being smart and self-aware. At least that's what I tell myself when I reach those moments when I can't do it all or I am going to lose my sh*t, and I can't figure out the next thing to try. I call my mom, my husband, my mom friends or my sister, because someone has got to have some ideas and, if they don't, at least we can commiserate.
I repeat these mantras (and more) to myself every day. If I keep telling myself I can do it, eventually I will start believing it, right? Or at least I will be able to fake it until I make it, and you can, too. Trust me.
"You Can Do It"
You can. Trust me. Even if it's hard and even if you think you have nothing left to give and even if you feel like "quitting," if only for a fleeting moment.
Some days it's gonna suck, but you'll make it. You've got this, girlfriend. You can do it. I believe in you.
"It's OK If You're Not Perfect"
Stop trying to be perfect all of the time. You are going to drive yourself crazy. No one is perfect. No one. Even if they look perfect on social media, I guarantee that picture was one of a 100 and uses a filter. You don't have to be perfect to be a good mom or a good person. Stop.
"Everyone Loses Their Sh*t Sometimes"
If you lose it and yell, or throw a tantrum or need a mommy time out, it's OK. Remember, no one is perfect. Tomorrow is a new day, and even if things don't get better, you are in good company with all of the other real moms who lose their sh*t, too. We should seriously start a club.
"If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em"
Throw a tantrum, eat ice cream, or have a dance party. Whatever it takes to get through the day. Who says moms have to be mature?
"It's OK To Ask For Help"
Asking for help doesn't mean you are "weak" or a "bad mom." No one can do everything. It takes a village, often one made up of other tired, or fed-up "been there, done that" moms, partners, and friends to make sure we all get through this alive and relatively sane. Ask for help and give it when others ask.
"Tomorrow Is A New Day"
It is. Once the kids are in bed, relax. Take deep breaths. Watch some Netflix. Have some wine. Get some damn sleep before your kids need another drink of water or crawl into your bed after a nightmare. You deserve it. Besides, you will need your strength for tomorrow's bullsh*t.
"If At First You Don't Succeed, Try Again"
They say that a sign of insanity is trying the same thing again and expecting a different outcome. So maybe, just maybe, try something different next time. Consider parenthood one long, exhausting science experiment. Try something new and see if it works. If it doesn't, you didn't fail because you are just a scientist. Scientists expect failure at least half of the time.
"Dare To Be Different"
It's OK to choose a different path or parenting philosophy. You do you. You are perfectly capable of figuring out what works for your family and shouldn't take sh*t from others for being your own version of a good mom.
"Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First"
Be your own BFF. Like the flight attendant instructs you during the pre-flight announcements, you've got to apply your own oxygen mask first before you can adequately start assisting others. I try to ask myself daily what self-care I've done today and how to fit in some "me time." If you don't monitor your own needs, no one else is gonna fill your tank. (I promise I didn't mean for that to sound dirty).
"You Are A Good Mom"
You are a good mom. Sometimes even a great mom. Your kids are fed, clothed, and happy most of the time. You rock. You are doing it. Don't let anyone, especially the voices in your head, tell you differently.