I bet you’re a wonderful mom. I bet, even when you lose your temper, when you cry after you’ve finally put your little ones to bed, you’re still a wonderful mom. I bet, after hours of tugging on your arm, whining “mom”, and screaming, crying, tantrums, and explosions, you’re still a wonderful mom.
You’re super mom. You’re awesome mom. You’re “always in control” mom.
But, you’re also more than mom.
I was sitting with my sister and her two kids – it had been an absolutely awful week, between fighting with my husband, fighting with my toddler, and fighting to keep my sanity. I was crying in my moment of “weakness”. And I looked up from my tissue to my niece staring at me like I was an odd creature. “I’m sorry, Jen, for crying in front of your kids.” And I’ll never forget what she said back to me.
“They need to know you’re human, too.”
I’ve kept that with me for so long because I always wanted to seem like I’m in control. I’m the mom that has her shit together, the one that always provides, stays calm, and has dinner on the table after working for eight hours. But the thing is, I’m not. I’m more than a mom.
I’m a wife, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, and sometimes, most importantly, I’m just me.
I think, us as parents (because dads, you’re included in this too) get so wrapped up in being the parent, that we forget to feed the rest of our “self”. And what’s even more important is that our kids need to see us as more than parents.
I travel for my job, and I get asked quite often whether or not I enjoy being away from my kids. And while it pains me to admit this, I do. I do enjoy being out of town, speaking at conferences, and meeting new people. Because it reminds me that I have another portion of myself to feed, and when I don’t have kids tugging on my arm to grab them their fifth glass of milk, it’s a little bit easier to remember that.
Feed yourself, your relationships, your habits and hobbies. I want my daughter to know that I’m there for her, but I’m also apart from her, and that I’m more than a mom.
Lindsey Sanford Schmitt is an ultimate Frisbee loving, marketing exec who loves Reno a little too much. She knits, reads, writes, and loves long walks on the beach. She’s trying out this new “standing-desk” thing – and finding that it’s not quite so bad. Lindsey is a recent mom of two, her little one was born on September 21st, and she still can’t sleep. Above all else, she believes in being honest with our struggles, to paint a more accurate picture of what motherhood means – leading to a supportive community of fellow swimmers.