Today's post is something that I really struggle with, and the more Moms I talk to, the more I find out that I'm not alone. It seems in this day and age where we are bombarded with everyone's 'best of' moments through social media, I feel the constant need to be THE best Mom ever. You know, to constantly be doing fun things, making everything a teaching moment, and for her to always be having fun. Let's be real here- this isn't possible. If we were sitting and chatting over some wine and you were telling me you were struggling with these things, I would tell you the very same thing. You're going to make yourself crazy.
We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and this is especially true in Motherhood. I have a friend that looooooves baking, and almost every day makes something healthy and fun with her kids. I see her doing that and instantly feel guilty... do slice and bake cookies count as a baking project with her, cuz that's about the extent of baking I'm capable of... and even then, there's a good chance they're going to be burnt. I have another friend that is so good at getting down on the floor and playing with her kids. She sits there and plays doctor, or barbies with her kids. I've tried doing this too, (yall, it's so boring!!!). I'm no good at it!! Basically, I want to be able to take Em on family trips and bake, and play, and do all the fun things, all the time, every single day.
Being a working Mom (yes, especially Moms that are working at home!!) means that I have to prioritize my time, that I can't always be there, available and ready to play and do the most amazing things all the time. I start to feel so guilty because I'm not giving her my undivided attention some days.
Can we be honest here for a second- kids don't need our complete attention all the time. They need to learn how to play on their own, use their imaginations, and not rely on us so much all the time. I need to be okay with not always being in "Mom mode."
I was talking this out with someone the other day and she made such a great point. There are some seasons where we will spend so much time together- in the summer, we will go to the pool multiple times a week, we will get ice cream, and go on adventures, and that is all so great and so fun. But there are also seasons where I need to get work done, and that's okay too. As long as I'm being purposeful about spending some quality time with my family, that's okay. All Emmie needs is a little one-on-one time with me for it to make her day. I don't need to have this 'all or nothing' mentality. If I can spend 15-20 minutes creating with play dough with her, that little block of time is the quality time that she needs for the day. But, those 15 minutes need to be completely focused on her. Put the phone away, turn off the email notifications, and sit and talk and play with her. It's the little moments, where we can be fully present that are going to make the biggest difference.
Ashley Eiban is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Farmville, Richmond, Roanoke, and surrounding areas. Currently booking a limited number of weddings and portrait sessions for 2017. Available for travel world-wide.
Ashley is Mom to 5 year old, Emerson and is passionate about balancing Motherhood and your chasing your dreams and providing for your family. Contact me today for additional information!