MMH Awareness Week

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week as promoted by the Maternal Mental Health Coalition. MMH is all about getting talking and bringing awareness to the topic and the signs that mothers, fathers and partners should all be aware of and to know when to ask for help.

To gain more information and to find more resources checkout: http://mmhcoalition.com/mmhawarenessweek/

And check out my video to reiterate #connectthedots:

Proud to be a “hot mess mom”! – and why you should be too…

“You can do anything, but not everything.” – David AllenUntitled design (1)

So how did last week’s challenge go? Who was able to take those 5 minutes a day and do something just for YOU? I know it wasn’t easy, so I’m proud of you for even trying. For those who didn’t get the chance, don’t give up! Start slow, maybe one or two days a week, and then add on other days when you can. You’ll find it gets easier with time. And for those that got it perfected, share with us! I want this to be interactive and a great place for people to boost each other up, and to take pride in your accomplishments.

Speaking of taking pride…I wanted to talk about ownership. Not like ownership in the sense of owning a car, or a house, or whatever. But owning who and what you are. So in light of that statement, here is me taking ownership – I am a hot mess mom. (I also can be a hot mess wife, friend, and daughter, but let’s stick with one at a time, shall we.)

I have tried over and over to be that Pinterest mom that takes her kids on scavenger hunts every weekend; to create some kind of nature collage from the dirt and leaves that we find on our nature walks; that has the cutesty, little chore chart that keeps everyone organized, and on time for all of our activities (instead of running out the door with one shoe on, the other hanging by its shoe strings in my teeth while I grab the littlest one before she makes a death dive down our stairs for the fourth time this morning). But I can’t be her! I’m just not that type of mom. I’m a working mom; a commuting mom; a cleaning mom (some of the time); a working out mom; a t ball mom (which I LOVE by the way); and a trying to be an entrepreneur mom. And don’t forget awesome and devoted wife as well. With all that, I don’t have time to fit in much else.

There used to be times that I hated that I was a hot mess. I hated that I just couldn’t pull myself together to have the kids ready 30 minutes BEFORE we were supposed to leave, instead of 30 minutes AFTER. I hated that I was always having to run to the store at the last minute because it totally slipped my mind that it was Dr. Seuss week at school and the kids were suppose to wear their favorite character’s costume, when, that’s right, TOMORROW!

Well, you know what. I’ve had just about enough of the hate. And so, I stopped. I stopped hating that I couldn’t get it together and started basking in the things that I do pull together.

So to all you other “hot mess moms”, here are the things you need to own, to be proud of, and to take joy in knowing that hot mess moms are also wonderful moms:

  • You are not alone. I mean there is a whole online store dedicated to moms who claim to be a hot mess: http://hotmessmom.com/store/. And if there is shopping involved, it’s always good.
  • Your kids see you as a rock star! Trust me; they do. They may not say it every day, and it may not always show, but your kids see all the effort you put into making that cute little pancake bunny breakfast; or showing up and surprising them for a book read at their school when you can take the afternoon off; or when you just sit down and take the time to read their favorite book with them out of nowhere, not just because it was bedtime; or play their favorite board game with them. They see this, and they totally admire you for it and love you even more for all that you do for them. Because you are their mommy superstar!
  • You know how to make the best of those silent moments when you get them. Wait, both kids are napping at the same time – hello bubble bath!
  • You are a woman of mystery. I mean if a movie is made about it, it has to be a good thing. Right?!
  • You’ve learned to laugh at yourself, and be okay with it. In the words of Mindy from The Mindy Project, “I figure if I’m gonna be a mess, I might as well be a hot mess.” That’s right. I mean there is no better mess, than a hot one.
  • You are great at empathizing. You know the struggle is real to drag yourself out of bed every morning, early enough so you can get yourself ready first, then get the kids up, get them dressed, fed, and ready for school; then out the door, to school, on time, so you can get to work on time – and that’s just the start of the day. When you see another mom who looks like she is literally thinking, “I cannot do this anymore,” you go over, with no judgment, and just put your hand on her shoulder to tell her, “You’ve got this. Take a long, deep breath, because you are an awesome mom.” And your kids learn how to comfort others by watching you. You see it in those moments you have when you feel like you are about to lose it, so you sit down, trying to keep it together, and your little one tugs at your shirt, saying, “Mommy, can I have a hug?” Winning!

So I admit it: I am a hot mess. And I am proud to be a hot mess mom.

I’m not perfect, and life has been better once I stopped trying to convince everyone else that I am. The more I tried to hide my flaws, the harder it was to relax, to enjoy life and be with others, and the less fun I became. I had to add a statement to my list of positive affirmations: “I’m not perfect; no one expects me to be; and I can ask for help when I need it.” Oh it felt SO good to say that out loud! So much rolled off my shoulders at that moment, and I felt freer, more ME than I had in a LONG time.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t take ownership of my responsibilities either. It’s not always easy, but I know what my role is in my family, and I find ways to make things happen; to get things done. They just might not be done perfectly; and I’m okay with that!

This world cannot be discovered alone. It’s too big for that! In the world of being a mom, be proud that “you can do anything, but not everything.” –David Allen

I’ve learned that my challenges can become my strengths – through perseverance, patience, and time. Let’s stop thinking that we have character flaws, and instead only character advantages. It’s a benefit to be someone who can empathize with others, who can be a superstar, who knows how to laugh in the face of adversity, and who knows to never take advantage of any given day. And that is something I can be proud to own.

What can you start owning today about yourself? What are your character advantages that you are proud of?