Does the new school year have you reeling? Whether you have one kid or several kids, this time of year can be overwhelming as we want to make it the best year ever for our kids. We want our kids to be happy, active, social and well adjusted. Sometimes that can feel like a lot of pressure for Moms (Dads too!). Moms especially can end up with a lot on our plates, so let’s explore some of the motherhood myths.
Myth # 1: Kids must be enrolled in every sport and activity.
We want our children to make friends and get exercise, so what better way than sports? But wait, we also want them to join clubs and volunteer so that they are more well-rounded and to help with college applications and potential scholarships. However, that can mean spending a LOT of time in your car as a parent and kids can end up feeling dragged around which also leaves little time for family dinners or family activities.
Can you try this:
Take a moment to step back and think about what’s important on a family level.
- Are family dinners important (some/most/all) evenings?
- Is there enough time in the schedule for the desired activities and homework?
- Do you want your older child to have a part-time job to learn responsibility and save for a car or college?
- Is cost a factor? Some sports require a lot of gear and/or travel.
- Do you feel like you are constantly rushing and snapping at your kids? Could be a sign of being overscheduled.
- Do you want your kids to have free time for play, creativity, family fun, chores, etc.?
Taking a moment to look at the big picture and what’s important to your family can help define what you want on a day-to-day basis.
Myth # 2: You must say YES to every volunteer activity and help 100% of the time.
As moms, we definitely want to help our children’s school and our community, so we may say yes to every volunteer opportunity that comes our way. However, we can spread ourselves so thin that we end up feeling drained with little energy left for our own family.
Can you try this:
- Figure out where there is the greatest need at your school/church/community and volunteer there.
- Think of your unique skills and experience and how you can best apply those to help.
- Consider if there is a new skill you want to learn or further develop and volunteer in that capacity.
- Evaluate your genuine areas of interest and/or what you are passionate about and volunteer in those areas.
The reality is that you can’t be everything to everyone, so take a moment to align your interests and skills to have a meaningful impact so you can be thoughtful with your time.
Myth # 3: Your house must be clean 100% of the time.
Do you ever feel nervous when the doorbell rings or someone mentions they are going to stop by? We all lead busy lives and keeping our house clean can be exhausting and frustrating especially if the burden is not shared.
Can you try this:
- Have your spouse join you while cleaning – you can even make it more fun by playing some good music and even add an adult beverage (no judgement here!). If that’s not possible due to schedules then divide and conquer by splitting up the tasks.
- Assign chores to your kids. Studies show that kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills for the future. See, you are helping the kids when they help out. Win-Win! It also helps to remember that our kids may one day be a future roommate and won’t have their mom/parents picking up after them. You are paying it forward by teaching them how to help out.
- If your budget allows, hire a cleaner. There are options for deep cleaning, monthly, biweekly or weekly.
Finding ways to lesson the load can help with your sanity and keep the family peace.
Myth # 4: Every meal must be home-cooked, delicious and nutritious.
Although this is the ideal, it can put a lot of pressure on us and be very time-consuming. It can be exhausting and frustrating to feel like you are spending your whole day in the kitchen from meal prep, cooking and cleanup.
Can you try this:
- Involve your spouse. Cook together, divide the tasks or rotate nights. Again, make it more fun with music, a podcast and/or throw on your favorite TV show.
- Teach your kids to cook. This famous proverb comes to mind, ”Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Teaching our kids to cook is setting them up with an important life skill.
- Let the kids plan the meal from start to finish including shopping to practice their math skills. Budgeting is an important life skill, so it’s great to learn early.
- Join a meal club or start one with friends. One example is making a few batches of your dish and then swap with friends so you end up with different meals that you can use now or freeze for later. This gives you variety while saving time and money while also connecting with friends.
- Make a prepared meal kit, do take-out or delivery on your busier nights.
There are lots of options now to create healthy(ish) meals and putting less pressure on ourselves to make each meal perfect can alleviate a lot of pressure.
Myth # 5: You must devote all of your time to your kids, spouse and house while dropping any career aspirations, dreams or exercise routine.
It may feel like that sometimes, but definitely does not have to be the case.
Can you try this:
- Scheduling time for yourself just like you would for your kids or a doctor appointment. It’s important for moms to be healthy to take care of a family, so making time to exercise, connect and recharge are important. Think of a car with an empty tank – it won’t go very far.
- Balancing career with kids can be tricky as is transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom to re-entering the workforce, but definitely possible with the right resources and planning.
- Have you thought of what you want to role-model for your kids? It will look different for every family as everyone’s situations are different, but being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your identity, aspirations and dreams.
Finding what works for your family can take a bit of trial and error, but it’s worth the time to evaluate what’s working and what can be tweaked.
I hope busting these myths gives you a sense of relief. If you are struggling in any of these areas, you are definitely not alone. That’s why I became a certified life coach — so that I can help moms find more time for themselves, explore career options and design the life they want without the mom guilt. If this resonates with you, consider scheduling a complimentary call with me to discuss where you would like to see changes in your life.
It’s Never Too Late for the Life you Want.
2 thoughts on “5 Myths to be the Perfect Mother”
Great post! There is so much pressure on mom’s to do it all and be it all that it becomes unsustainable. This is a great reminder that its ok to do the best you can and leave the rest behind.
Thanks! So glad that it resonates and was a helpful reminder. 🙂