The past few days it has been raining off and on. Jake and I only have one car and he usually walks to school so I don't have to be cooped up in the house all day. Well, because of the rain, I have had him take the car. One of Marshall's favorite things to do is to play outside. We have a nice little area to play around behind our apartment building where Marshall can throw rocks, leaves, pick dandelions, etc. Usually he ends up falling or sitting a couple times and I would rather not do that with wet grass. So we have been cooped up inside for the past couple of days. Another one of Marshall's favorite things to do is watch movies. So if he is cooped up inside, he is begging to watch movies all day. I try to get him to do other things, like color, or play with toys, but those activities get old quickly and he is begging to watch a movie again.
Yesterday was a bad day. I gave in and let him watch movies most of the day. I don't think it helped that I was not feeling super great. The night before there was a huge thunderstorm that kept me up a lot of the night - (not to mention a little baby kicking my sides). I was tired, cranky, and did not want to hear him complaining all day. Still though, it was inevitable that I heard quite a bit of complaining from him. It must be the stage that he is in, but he now will give this little owl sound when he is upset or wants something, which will eventually grow into a tantrum if he does not get what he wants.
On Wednesdays, Jake usually has to stay at school until at least 8 p.m.. So it was just Marshall and I all day long and I could not wait to put him down for bed (early). When Jake got home, I did not have much to say, but I missed him and just wanted to be with him. I always forget how the couple hours while Marshall is awake and Jake is home gives me a much needed rejuvenation.
I love being a mother, and I love my little boy. But some days I just don't love it quite as much. I am always hard on myself when my day is less than ideal and when I feel like I failed as a parent. While I was bathing Marshall before bedtime, I sat on the edge of the bathtub with my eyes almost welling up with tears. I knew that the day could have gone better and I could not help but feel like it was all my fault.
I think it is important as mothers to admit to ourselves when we need help and when we need a break. Sometimes it is okay if you let your child watch movies all day. Sometimes it is okay to take a nap. Sometimes it is okay to cry and eat chocolate. Your house does not have to look completely perfect, and dinner can just be leftovers. You don't always have to shower, do your hair, and put on make up. It's okay to take a break.
Something that the Lord has been trying to teach me lately is that he does not expect me to be perfect. The only thing that He expects of me is to keep trying. Sometimes that 'trying' means listening to your body and emotions when you need a break. In fact, I don't think He expects us to run on empty. He wants us to give ourselves time to relax and meditate.
One of my new favorite things to do in the morning is to give myself sometime to meditate. The dishes and shower can wait. After Marshall and I have our breakfast, he runs over to the TV and I turn a movie on for him. Then I head back to my room and pray and study the gospel. Once that 'meditation' is done, I feel more motivated to do better, be better, and keep trying. It helps me to remember that even on days where I feel like I failed as a mother that it is okay.
My plea to mothers everywhere is to remember to give yourselves breaks, even if that means turning on a movie for your little ones. Just because you feel like you have failed does not mean that you are a failure. You are doing better than you think you are.