Motherhood seems to be synonymous with the word sacrifice. We give up our bodies to grow and nourish the children, we give up our time and freedom to raise them, sometimes our own health and mental status to work and take care of the house and pretty much everything around us. We juggle so many things at once (I wanted to type balls but then I started laughing because I’m 12 inside). Heaven forbid we breathe for 2 minutes alone and all hell might break loose.

I even say this as someone who is married to a perfectly capable and helpful and supportive husband. He is nothing short of amazing with helping with the kids and the house. I read all these memes and twitter and insta posts about how useless some husbands are and I shake my head at mine because I cant complain about him online. But even there I had some things I needed that I wasn’t getting, and we had to figure it out together.

I am getting too old. And that is becoming my motto. Well, more specifically, I have been telling myself, “I am entirely too old for this shit”. Whether it’s drama with friends, family, or it’s doing something I don’t want to do or going somewhere I don’t want to go, I just tell myself I don’t have to. My time is so limited. Between working, making dinner, taking kids to activities (okay it’s just going to soccer once a week for us), laundry, groceries, and trying to stay sane, I don’t have a lot of headspace for anything else.

So I changed my approach. Life still isn’t perfect but I am a lot happier now.

  • Just say no-well, probably to drugs, but also to anything you don’t want to do, to anyone you don’t want to talk to. This is not as easy as it sounds. There were people that were bringing negativity to my life. There was unnecessary sadness and anxiety just by talking to them. So I had to slowly distance myself from them. Of course when it’s family it’s not so easy, but I have limited my contact with those family members who bring about the same feelings. When it comes to activities, I don’t really go unless it’s obligatory or I want to. Time on this earth is finite, why spend time doing what I don’t want to do. I’d rather sit on my couch eating potato chips watching tv than go out to the bar, because, old age.
  • We need to talk-Yes, scary words. But I have found the more open I am with the people around me the better my life has been. Honesty is not easy. It can be downright painful. But I have not regretted a single honest conversation I’ve had. I don’t carry any hidden feelings around with me, I don’t have to fake my feelings when I’m harboring silent anger. If I hold back what I need to say or feel, I’m sacrificing my own spirit, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
  • Let’s make a deal-It is not written in stone anywhere that the mother has to do all the work in the house, and if it is, we need to take a jackhammer to that thing! Task delegation is a huge life saver. There are other capable people living under my roof. I already mentioned my amazing husband. Our unwritten agreement is the person who cooks doesn’t have to do the dishes (and guess who loves to cook, don’t guess, its meeee!). My kids are thankfully old enough to do simple things. Saturday means throwing your clothes into the washer and after they dry you sort into piles and put away after we fold them. You clean your mess, you push your dishes in the sink. Simple things but they go a long way. They aren’t back breaking chores, although if you ask them I’m torturing them, but guess what, I’ve worked a full day and I don’t feel like doing it either.
  • Let it go-Elsa had a point. And this is part of being too damn old for somethings. I have to choose what I am going to give my energy to. So if someone is purposely trolling me online or family is being difficult I have to choose what I will let my mind and feelings fester on. Most of the time when people are outwardly being difficult it’s because they are struggling with something of their own. At least that’s what I have started to tell myself.
    • I smile and nod if it’s family, hit the block button if it’s online, and move on. I used to feel like I had to fight back, to win, to make my point known. But I know who loves me, I know who I am as a person, and arguing won’t change any of that. I won’t bring anyone else down for the sake of making myself feel better. Sometimes my anxiety forgets some of this, and that’s what my medication is there to help me with!

I am not perfect, will never be, but who wants to be that. I am also done sacrificing myself for anything else that I don’t want to give myself to. Life is too short. It is also filled with greatness that I feel like I am missing by giving myself away to the slog of the daily grind. So I’m going to keep trying to be the best I can be for me and my family, for as long as I am allowed.