Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Rachel Martin's blog. It has been reposted here with permission. Rachel Martin, author of the blog Finding Joy and mother of seven, is dedicated to embracing the everyday moments of motherhood. Here she shares 10 realistic, encouraging tips for surviving and cherishing the child-rearing journey.
Like me, when I tell everyone, "Can't you just be quiet for one teeny second because otherwise I am going to go insane" last night.
Overboard? Yes. Even though the noise was ridiculous, and I really needed it quiet.
We make mistakes. In that moment, I didn't count to 10, didn't give the most calming and empowering parenting response — I just let my emotion and irritation with noise dictate my response.
After a bit, and a little quiet, I came back and apologized for my crabbiness.
That noise? Someday, truly, I will miss it.
So I made a mistake. Mistakes happen, and they don't define motherhood success.
In fact, if a mistake bothers you, then good. It shows that you want to grow, you want to change, you want to be better. Learn from the mistake.
For me? Often it is that counting for just a bit (that I forgot) before I respond or using a kinder tone when I do respond. I also try really hard to learn from the mistakes. Many times it is about me letting go of the things that I think are urgent — email, laundry, and more — and putting down my agenda so that it matches the family agenda.
OK. Tough love here. I've been in groups where we talk about how hard it is to be a mom and all we have to do every single day. We laugh about the hard stuff and lament and complain, and then we walk away.
Let's laugh, lament, complain (it's OK to share about those hard days), and then pull up our bootstraps and encourage.
If we leave a conversation with the thoughts of "This is way too hard. I can't do this," then we're just reinforcing that we can't do it.
Encourage each other. Talk about the hard day (that's OK), but then, instead of remaining in that, work to encourage and move on. It's that grace element of motherhood. We all need it. We all need to extend it.
I've written it over and over and over. And over. Being a mother is hard work. We've got to deal with labels and updates and posts and all of this talking about all we could be doing. But, seriously? Seriously most days are work.
It's work without all of the honors — the awards, and accolades, and way-to-go moments. Blessed work, but still work.
Sigh. The everyday will not look like a Pinterest pinboard (see the pinterest perfect real mom).
The real day will look rather boring. Get up, make breakfast, get kids dressed, clean up spills, switch laundry, etc. And that? That is OK. That is good.
That, my friends, is the normal that we all crave when life goes a bit haywire.
Sit down on Sunday night and write down one thing that you are going to do each day to surprise your family.
Maybe one day it will be breakfast for dinner. Another day will be sweet notes for your kids for lunch. Plan it. If it's not planned, it simply will not happen.
In fact, grab a piece of paper right now, and write down one thing that will bless your family later today.
Root beer floats for dessert? I think that will be mine.
I know. There are some that would argue, but honestly you must have quiet space within your week to recharge your batteries.
Maybe there is some show you love (Me? I'm an "Amazing Race" junkie. Secret dream — me being on there. Can't you see it? grin) and take time to watch it.
There is NO guilt in taking time to recharge. Get up early and have quiet time and pray.
Schedule a time every so often to get coffee with a friend so that you can laugh, lament, complain and encourage.
Guard that time. And do NOT feel guilt when you need to step back and recharge.
Make it a habit to take two minutes writing everything that you are grateful for.
I like to do this in the beginning of the day. It helps give good and healthy perspective for the day before the mass chaos begins.
Click 2 Minute Grateful List to grab your free printables. Make this a habit and put your list in a place where you can reference it throughout the day.
In fact, post your grateful moments as a Facebook status update — that's empowering.
Every once in a while I simply step back and look at my day through fresh eyes.
I've had those days when every single hair on the back of my neck stands up, and I cannot figure out for the world of me why I am so frustrated.
Step back. Break the pattern of the day.
Pull out those gratitude lists that you've written. Remind yourself that this is a season, a short season, one that someday you will look back at with a bit of nostalgia.
Ending with that because, well, that's the truth.
Remember that today as you go through your normal routine and pull up your bootstraps and keep going and writing your gratitude list.
You're awesome. And amazing. And, as my almost-7-year old tells me, "You rule, Mom. You rule."
See more from Rachel on her blog, Finding Joy, and learn about her upcoming presentation at BEECH Retreat here.