The Day I Let Go

After five years as a working mom, I hit the wall.

Actually, the wall hit me.

Tired beyond words from a demanding job and two even more demanding toddlers, I began to berate myself: “It’s 7 p.m. and you haven’t even started homework or dinner. Not only do you suck, your life circumstances are set up so that you can’t do anything but suck.”

I’m not sure if it was my 5-year-old crying in the living room for help on her homework or my 2-year-old pulling on my skirt, yelling, “I mont kakuhs (I want crackers)!” Whatever it was, I had a moment of clarity. On that very wall that hit me was spray-painted as clear as could be, “You fail as a mom if you don’t have a home-cooked dinner for your children and it isn’t ready by 6:30 p.m.” The crazy part is that I “tagged” this wall ages ago, before I even had children. I don’t know where I got the notion (I’m sensing childhood sitcoms or friends who have it together and make motherhood look so easy) — all I know is that it was keeping me in bondage to some lifestyle expectation that, at this point, I physically could not maintain.

So I did it….

I put the pot back in the cabinet.

I pulled out a can of soup.

I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Then, I played with my children, helped them with homework … and I was set free.

Truly, set free.

That’s not to say I make sandwiches and soup for dinner every night, but we do usually eat around 7 p.m. and I do allow myself a healthy “bought” meal or a simpler, quicker solution. The point is, I pulverized that wall, and allowed myself to be a great mom — in spite of me.

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