This post was originally published here on February 27, 2012. I am reposting it in honor of Mother’s Day weekend because I think we can all use this reminder no matter how old our children are. As a bonus, JNJ will donate $1 to Save the Children* for every video play between now and Mother’s Day on their (now) classic commercial for moms! Check it out below.
Today I took Oscar to his preschool and he was so excited to go back that he hopped right out of the van without so much as a glance in my direction. This is kind of a big deal because in the first couple weeks when he had a few days off between school days, the first day back was like starting all over. Not so this time. He was ready and I couldn’t have been more proud.
I was talking to Jerry this week about the transition from 9-5 employee to 24 hour mom. Anyone who is not a mom hates hearing the phrase, ” I can’t explain it, but it’s the best and hardest job ever”. Anyone who is a mom knows exactly what that phrase means, and how heavy it can be. Staying home all day with my kids isn’t hard. Changing diapers and doing laundry isn’t hard. Making dinner isn’t even that hard most of the time. What is hard is the mental aspect of mothering: the planning ahead, the calculating and decision making that is happening in my brain at. all. times. It truly is exhausting.
As a mom, it’s really hard for me to play with my kids for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s not because my life is too busy or that I don’t love them enough. It’s because my brain is going non-stop. I am constantly thinking about what they need next, what I will make for lunch (snack, dinner etc), when we will go to the store to get more diapers and when will I be able to get some work done. Motherhood is remembering to fill out the preschool forms on time and actually bring them into the preschool on the correct day. It’s remembering sleeping schedules, eating schedules, medicine schedules, and doctor’s appointments and doing so without being stressed out about it or projecting that stress onto the amazing and incredibly impressionable young faces that are watching me non-stop.
With preschool, there is a reprieve. A beautiful couple of hours where my 3 year old is being taught and my 7 month old is napping. I can actually catch a few of my pinball thoughts and put them into action instead of letting them continue to ricochet around in my brain. I can quiet my mind for a few minutes to know that, no I am not perfect, but I am doing ok. And I am getting better at this whole mothering thing.
Last night while watching the Oscars, this Johnson’s Baby commercial literally brought tears to my eyes. I know there were writers upon writers to get it just right so it would tug the heartstrings but not feel cheesy. I know it was supposed to do exactly what it did. But you know what? I don’t care. I needed to hear it. As moms, we all need to hear it. At the end of the day, whether you have found a minute to quiet your thoughts or you are struggling, I want you to know, to really know that you are doing a good job. You’re doin ok mom. You are.
For more from this series, check out my other posts on motherhood.
*Up to $50,000