Being a mom is not easy. Sure, it’s amazing and wonderful and the most magnificent blessing. But still, it’s hard. We moms tend to measure ourselves to other, seemingly perfect moms, and think that somehow we’re falling short. We’re too hard on ourselves and sometimes society is hard on us, too!
“I do think there’s a great temptation to measure yourself against other moms, maybe even your own mom or the mother who is your neighbor who’s perfect, or the one who’s at your parish every day for Mass. But the point here is that Our Lord doesn’t want to do that. When you hear that voice, ‘It’s not as good as your mom’s pie’, no, no, no! I think you need to use the three R’s there: Recognize, Rebuke, and Replace. Recognize that is a lie, rebuke in the name of Jesus, and replace it with the Gospel truth. The Gospel truth is that moms are doing phenomenal work … and that God doesn’t want to compare us to anybody,” said Jim Otremba, Licensed therapist and regular contributor to Morning Air® on Relevant Radio®.
As a mother, you’re doing God’s work! Lots of moms are very hard on themselves and have really high expectations. It’s important to have realistic expectations for your family and yourself. “The kitchen and the laundry are always symbols of life—they’ll never be quite done … there’ll always be that spoon or that glass, or here’s another pair of underwear that needs washing,” said Otremba. “They’ll always kind of be in process so we need to recognize to have realistic expectations. Don’t lower the moral expectations, obviously, I’m talking about expectations of having that perfect house.”
In addition to cutting yourself a little slack, there are other ways you should treat yourself this Mother’s Day. Do you make enough time for yourself? We know you’re busy, moms, but there are ways to find time. “How much unproductive screen time do you have? Some of it can be okay downtime, but if it’s consuming too much time then it’s taking away from self-care. Because ideally our self-care time, our downtime, shouldn’t be in front of a screen, it should be doing things that can bring us new life,” said Otremba. Make time to focus on your own spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing so that you’re in tip-top shape to then attend to your family’s needs.”
There are also many moms who are parenting on their own without a spouse or family to give them support. That’s where we, as friends and fellow parishioners, come in. Can you reach out to a mom, especially a single parent, to give them time to care for their own needs once in a while?
It takes a village. It’s cliché, but so very true. Moms today need much more help that they are getting, especially since so many are working outside of the home, parenting as single moms, or juggling crazy schedules, housework, and other responsibilities without ever finding time for themselves. If you’re a mom, take extra time for self-care this Mother’s Day. If you aren’t a mom, find one in your life that you can reach out to.
Happy Mother’s Day!