Dear Moms: Stop Beating Yourself Up

I suspect like many Moms, I get reflective as Mother’s Day approaches. But do I have time to be reflective? Maybe not. I have to make sure that all the Moms and Grandmas and Nanas in our life get cards, and gifts where appropriate. And I have to make sure that we see them that day. Oh, and one is out of town, so maybe send flowers and candy? Should we host dinner? What will be on the menu? If the weather is nice should we try to eat outside? Do the kids have nice clothes that fit for seeing Grandma? Does my husband know the holiday is approaching? Yikes, that’s just a lot going on.

I recently saw an image on Facebook where a man’s brain is depicted as a single railroad track, and a woman’s is a mangled mess where 10 tracks all intersect. I chuckled to myself because I think it’s accurate. For me, it’s not a slam on guys at all but almost a compliment. They stay on the track of what is going on right then and there, while Moms try to tackle many things at one time. Necessity for Moms in many cases? Absolutely. Self-inflicted sometimes? Most definitely.

Back to Mother’s Day. It’s my day too. I should make sure to enjoy it. I have a husband and two very healthy and happy teenagers who should be helping too. So why do I put so much pressure on myself? Why do I take on the whole burden? Is it my control issues? Is it that I want to be the shining star who can do it all? Is it the pressure I feel from society around me?

Whatever it is I guess it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that this is the year I want things to be different. I want to stop beating myself up and start enjoying.

I’m going to treat Mother’s Day like New Year’s Day and start some new resolutions for myself.

1. Instead of nagging the kids with reminders to do things (I am VERY good at this by the way and I am sure they think it is equally as annoying), I am going to write them a list and walk away. Again, I think I can do this because I have teenagers who are going to be adults in no time at all and I probably need to quit enabling them just a little bit.

2.  I am actually going to tell people what I want to do when they ask. I am often wishy washy and say “whatever you want to do.” For example, I always try to plan summer activities around what I think will interest the kids. This year, I am going to add a few things to the summer of fun list that I want to try. Sounds simple, right? But this is a big step for me!

3.  I’m really going to worry less about what other people think. Now this isn’t as easy as the other two resolutions above, but it is probably the most important. I have an AMAZING (I mean rock star, kick butt, no one better than them) group of girlfriends who love me for who I am and know that deep down I’m a nutcase. But they don’t care. They love me for who I am and keep me on the straight and narrow. I need to focus more on their awesomeness and less on what the media says I should be thinking and doing. They are my role models, and yes, some of them beat themselves up, but they are always there for each other and we can’t ask for more than that.

So, as your Mother’s Day approaches I hope that you do have time to reflect and maybe make a resolution or two for yourself. You deserve it!

Pam is the Executive Director of the Orange Effect Foundation. She worked in the marketing field for the past 10 years, serving as Chief Operations Officer for Content Marketing Institute. During that time she found her passion to build and lead amazing teams because of the commitment of the staff at CMI. Pam also helped to create Content Marketing World, an event where over 3500 marketers come together annually to learn and network with the best and brightest. Pam's background is in social work, and she is raising a son with autism so the opportunity to start and direct this nonprofit is a dream come true. She has been a key leader in the CMI Golf for Autism the past 11 years and a champion for many other nonprofit organizations.

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