I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. All opinions expressed are my own.
We are almost three weeks into the school year and even though I still feel a bit like I’m drowning, it’s better than last year. Last year I felt like I started behind and never caught up. I’m going to take this as progress. Truth be told, I’m always a bit in awe of how other mothers seem to have it together. How do moms with 3 or 4 (or more!) kids handle all of the school paperwork and homework and after school activities and social calendars and appointments and STUFF? This super-hero nature of motherhood is part of the inspiration behind Children’s MOTRIN’s Unstoppable Moms campaign and The Motherhood has asked me to join them in spreading the word and celebrating all of the Unstoppable Moms out there.
The Unstoppable Moms campaign asks moms to post their own tips and tricks on the MOTRIN Facebook page under Kelly Ripa’s question of the week. For each post received, Children’s MOTRIN will donate $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide. Safe Kids Worldwide works to keep kids safe from serious unintentional injury. They educate around concerns like medications in the home, seat belt and car seat use, tippable furniture, helmet use, and the dangers of button batteries. They advocate for safer products, and they conduct research to help inform policy change. In addition to supporting a great cause, moms who leave tips are eligible to win weekly giveaways of $100 gift cards.
If I had to pick an Unstoppable Mom, I’d have to go with my older sister. Her girls are both in high school, but I’ve always been amazed at how she juggles a full time job (she’s a teacher), with additional work responsibilities (school clubs and committees), and parenting. My nieces have always played sports and engaged in other extracurricular activities, as well as having their own social lives. My brother-in-law is active in their lives as well, but I know that most of the coordination and the chauffeuring has fallen on my sister. She’s always on the go and it makes me exhausted just thinking about it!
As for me, most days I don’t feel unstoppable. I’m sure a lot of moms feel that way, even though somehow we’re still managing to get things done. This year, I think my mom-cape was really put to the test. LadyBug got very ill last fall and we weren’t sure what was going on. It turned out to be a kidney infection that resulted in kidney damage. It was a very scary time for us. While that was going on, we were house hunting and were working to get our house ready to put on the market. But if I thought that was tough, I was in for a rude awakening in January and February. With an offer in on a house, we were scrambling to get everything in order. In the meantime, we had met with LadyBug’s medical team and determined that she needed surgery to make sure we didn’t have another close call like we had that fall. It all came to a head on a day in February where I flew back on a red-eye from a work trip to California the day of LadyBug’s surgery. We were in the middle of some tense negotiations over the house we were selling, and the clock was ticking on the offer we had on our dream home. There was a major storm forecast in the midst of it all. I was at my breaking point, but falling apart wasn’t really an option.
I think most of us have moments that get us to this point when we think we just can’t make it through. The first thing I did was table anything that wasn’t absolutely essential. In this case, if it didn’t have to do with LadyBug’s health, or the basic well-being of our family, it went on hold. My real estate agent put all discussions off until the end of the week. I also stopped dealing with any situations that were adding to my stress or worry. I put all of my focus on my kids and husband. The next thing I did was to let my husband know how I was feeling and what I needed from him. I also tried to find out what he needed from me. Big Guy and I complement each other in situations like this. Where I am worrying about the worst-case scenario, he is better at staying present and calm. He helps us all stay on an even keel. On the other hand, because I tend to think about the bigger picture, I’m better at asking questions, and pinning down the information we need to know. Reaching out to him and asking for the help I needed was so important. Once all of that was taken care of, I was able to really focus on my kids and their well being. Those are generally my coping strategies whenever I feel myself starting to struggle: 1) Put off or discard anything non-essential, 2) ask for the help I need, 3) focus on whatever is most important. Today LadyBug is doing great, we’re living in our new dream home, and the biggest worry on my mind today is getting my work done!
These are pretty general tips, but in the survival guide of life, I think they should be at the very top! I’d love to hear your everyday tips for being Unstoppable Moms… I could especially use some for getting through difficult homework days! Don’t forget to share yours on the MOTRIN Facebook page so you have a chance to win. There are also some great tips there from other amazing moms! I’ll also be sharing some more tips over the next few months.
Disclosure: I am part of a compensated campaign with The Motherhood and Children’s MOTRIN. All opinions are my own.