If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that last weekend I took a day trip to Sonoma with eleven other moms. It was filled with breathtakingly beautiful views, hysterically funny conversations, and a variety of delicious (and not so delicious--hey, they can't all be good) wines. Bottom line, it was a pretty amazing day.
Let's rewind to weeks, days, and even morning of this trip for all the things you didn't see--the things most people don't post about on social media or talk about or even think other people suffer from:
-The mom-guilt I felt about deciding to be away from my babies an entire day when I only get two full days per week to spend with them
-The home-manager guilt I felt about not being productive in prepping some meals for the week or cleaning something or getting that walker for my baby that is buried somewhere in the garage
-The financial guilt of dropping some serious cash on myself that I had nothing to show for at the end of the day
In case you thought guilt was all there was, don’t worry-there's more.
How about the insecurity of meeting 9 new people and committing to spending an entire day with them?
Or the anxiety about leaving my totally capable husband in charge with 3 kids under 5 for a solid 8 hours, including a swim lesson?
Or the stress of finding something cute to wear that fits and doesn’t ‘make me look fat’.
But, you know what?
I said, "Yes".
Because that's what I'm doing a lot more of these days. Saying, "yes" to things that aren't so comfortable, things that aren't my norm, things that 3 years ago I would have probably said, "No" to.
And it’s not only a ‘yes’ for my own well-being. It’s a ‘yes’ for my entire family’s well-being. Let me explain...
-'Yes' makes me less resentful towards my husband
-'Yes’ makes me more productive during other hours instead of wasting them away on things that, quite frankly, are time sucks in my day
-‘Yes’ because, shit, sometimes you just need to say ‘fuck the laundry’ and do something fun
And the most important ‘yes’ I’d say...
-‘Yes’ to exemplifying to my kids what I wish for, strive for, work for so they will in turn do the same
Which brings me to my next point…
Why are we as moms preaching to our kids to try new things, yet we're all staying in our comfort zone?
Why are we telling our kids to be friendly or make new friends, yet we're shy and insecure about opening up to new people?
Why are we are working so damn hard at instilling confidence and self-esteem in our kids by loving the hell out of them, but not treating ourselves with the same or even half the amount of that love?
It is time, mamas, to start practicing what we preach. Our kids are learning by what we're doing, not what we're saying. Ok, also by what we're saying (anyone's kids repeat the f-bomb before?), but definitely more by what we're doing.
So start saying, "Yes" to all the things you'd want to hear your kid say, "Yes" for when she's an insecure middle-schooler or a curious college student or a thirty something mom. Would you ever want her to miss a great opportunity because she felt scared, or anxious or guilty? No! Of course you wouldn’t.
Remember, it all starts with you, mama. If you don't love you, you can't teach them to love them. You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? Now, go say YES.