Lately, I find myself saying the same affirmations in my head as the craziness of the day winds down. As I sit down with a sigh of huge relief while bathing the kids or lying with them in bed as they fall asleep for the night, I silently tell myself, “tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be better.”
Tomorrow, I will be a better mom.
I will yell less and play more. I will spoil them with my affection and not spoil with them bribes. I will be more patient, more kind and more loving in my words and actions. I will give them all of me, and not what’s left of me.
It isn’t the overwhelming wave of guilt that most of us moms experience from time to time in our journey through parenting little ones. It’s just a reminder I sometimes tell myself, on those harder days as I figuratively pat myself on the back for getting through the day.
I don’t think I’m a bad mom. I think I’m a normal mom. I’m a human being who has limits; who is broken and flawed. I don’t feel guilty about that most of the time; as long as, I know I’ve given them my best.
But, recently, it’s pretty clear to me that I succumb to the cycle of telling myself all of these redundant reminders and positive affirmations, without following through with them in action. Every day seems to be a hard day. When in reality, it’s just a normal day, and it’s my attitude and perspective that is forever stuck on the wrong side.
When the day breaks, I’m full of positive thoughts, only to be crushed with negativity as I argue with the Threenager about what shirt to wear for school. My patience tank is nearly empty by 9am, while dialing into a conference call as I simultaneously wipe off yogurt all over the baby’s face. And in every annoying crevice of the high chair that (never) gets washed.
It’s more than just a reminder for myself after struggling through a hard day. These days, it’s turned into a daily occurrence. An every day pep talk I give myself as a way of excusing my behavior as a mom. And, that’s not okay. It’s not okay that it doesn’t sting when my husband says, “come on babe, be nicer!” Because I’m the first to admit, I need to be nicer. I need to be more patient. I need to be more loving.
Most days, I don’t feel guilty for being human and falling short of perfection. Because, really, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. But, I also know that I should try to live up to my words. I do know that the real perfect parent, is the imperfect one. The one who realizes their flaws, but gives their best [almost] always. My perspective and attitude each day and the actions or inaction it brings forth to my daily parenting, affects my two littles more deeply than any test of my patience will ever harm me.
So while some days will be great and some days will not be great, I refuse to make these “hard day” reminders an “every day” part of my mothering these beautiful souls.
Actions speak louder than words; this reminder rings truer for me during these long days, but short years of raising my two precious, little boys.
So, tomorrow, I’ll be better. Not just in words, but in my actions.