Love & Life

What Millennial Moms Need

By the headline you are probably thinking … um, that’s easy, all moms need wine. Duh So I guess that’s it then. Here’s to my shortest blog post ever … just kidding.

Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with wine, expect for the hangover that comes with it (at least for me) the next day. I mean, Jesus had the coolest party trick when he turned water into wine, am I right? But … and I know I am going to get some haters here … I am not one of those moms that drinks wine. GASP

I can’t tell you anything about wine. I know it comes in basically two colors and two flavors – sweet and church, I mean dry.

But let me tell you, the Mommy Wine Club is booming. They are taking new members every day, so I hear. I mean, I meet all the criteria to be in the club so I think if I applied I could get in.

I’m in my 30s – that’s 5 points. I am the mother of three kids, in fact, three young kids so that’s  double – 12 points. My husband travels for work and is in the Army – 6 points. I drive an SUV (3 points) and the color of my SUV is Sangria. Bonus Alas, I just don’t think its the right club for me. But by all means, if you want to sign up to be treasurer – you do you.

Now, I may not be part of the wine club but I can talk about caffeine; yoga pants; retail sales, especially at Target or on Amazon; Pinterest crafts (within reason); TV shows; pertinent celebrity questions like which Chris is hotter (Pine, Hemsworth or Evans); and hilarious kid stories with the best of them.

Listen, I am all about making new friends but I want you to think about the last time you said something nice to yourself. I mean really nice, not just some mediocre “I didn’t do as bad as I thought I was going to” thought.

We should talk to ourselves the way we talk to our friends and what if, hear me out, we focused on loving ourselves and becoming a friends with – you guessed it – ourselves. Think about it, you spend more time with yourself than any other person. I don’t know about you but with this one life I have, I don’t want to spend it hating myself.

What if we focused some of our energy and time on growing and learning to love ourselves instead of thinking that cute shirt on sale on Amazon is going to fix our problems, or that second bottle of wine is going to flush out all our insecurities?

That being said, a person has to want to grow and work on their issues and some days, you just don’t want to do anything like that. I get it. The return policy on being an adult stinks. Some days you just want to be left alone to do whatever you want to do without having to explain why you need a break. I get it. I really do. And some days, we need that cute shirt – especially if it’s at Target and it’s 40 percent off, one-day only sale. That’s like a sign from God, right? But that shirt is only a Band-Aid, a quick fix. You feel better about yourself for a bit but eventually it wears off. And your back to feeling insecure and anxious about whatever it is inside your heart that needs attention.

Ladies, I’m not dissing the quick pick-me-up, we all need those, but I have been wondering these days – what do moms really need? We say we need more friends but do we? Or do we need to nurture the friendships we already have and let new friendships happen organically. We say we need more time, more money, more wine – but will any of that truly heal a heart that’s hurting? Will it help you move on from the glares you got at the grocery store because your kid was upset?  What about that friend who ghosted you, or that family member who lectured you about your parenting? What about that argument you had with your spouse that wasn’t quite resolved so now there is underlying tension between the two of you? What about the ache in your heart, grieving over a loved one? Do you think a trendy sweater or a Merlot is going to fix that?

Moms, we need compassion for ourselves and others. We need it more than new acquaintances, more than a trendy handbag, more than We need compassion, patience and love. And I know people say it and it can be annoying but, yes, your kids are watching. They are sponges.

For example, my mother and I have similar facial features. Growing up, people would say how pretty I was (the typical thing people say to a young girl, especially back in the 80s and 90s) and then turn to my mother and say “she looks just like you.” My mom, without missing a beat would say “I know, poor thing.”

Now, my mom is a modest, humble person to a fault. She doesn’t give herself enough credit about anything, especially her looks. I don’t think she’s ever really considered herself pretty – and she’s a beautiful person inside and out. And while the comment was all part of her self-deprecating humor schpeel, it bothered me growing up. If people say I’m pretty and my mom tells me I’m beautiful often but when people compare us she puts herself down am I really pretty or is everyone just being nice because they don’t know what to say? And can’t I be more than just pretty? My mother’s low self-esteem had a slow trickle effect on me and I don’t blame her. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized I needed to check-in with how I really felt about myself. And what I found was someone who looked to others for approval on everything. I’ve made real strides in this department but there is always room to grow and I hope I never stop learning ways to love myself. So when I ask moms to find compassion for themselves, it’s not from a judgemental place at all. It’s from my own personal life experiences.

We need to give ourselves a break, ladies. And I don’t mean a mommy time out in the bathroom. I mean a legit, life altering kind of break.  I have a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) but not as comparison to other people. I have FOMO with myself. I want to be living my life to the fullest so therefore that’s what I do- I keep my schedule full so therefore I am always living. It’s rare to find a single day in my week where I have absolutely nothing planned except only to be judged by Netflix when it asks “Are you still watching?” Why yes, I am Netflix. Thanks Mr. McJudgerton. 

Our worth is not defined by what we are or aren’t doing with our lives. There is a time and place, a season for everything. And I’m starting to see the drier seasons in my life as opportunities for me to really dip deep and plants new seeds of compassion, hope, love and patience for myself … most days. It’s a life-long lesson. But I hope you would consider that, too.

When was the last time you checked in with yourself and how you were really feeling? How about your inner child? You know she is always there, right? You maybe haven’t seen or heard from her in a while but she is there and she’s rooting for you.

Think about what compassion (aka self love) and what it means to you – is it a hot bath and a glass of wine? Is it at-home facial and pedi? It is a good book or movie? Maybe its eating healthy and attending that hot yoga you’ve been talking about for months, maybe it’s actually saying something nice to yourself or smiling when you see yourself in the mirror – whatever compassion looks like for you, take the time. I really think millennial moms need more compassion than any other generation of moms. We have social media, the internet, friends, co-workers, family, etc, expecting to do and be it all for everyone. We are supposed to be the generation that can have it all and we can but no one said it was easy to balance it all. And if we dare take time for ourselves – well, that’s just selfish. And that’s one of the biggest lies we believe.

You can’t pour from an empty cup or wine bottle. When your wine (aka love, patience, energy, etc) is empty at the end of the day and you have nothing left for your spouse or yourself, what then? Who do you think suffers more when mommy’s tank is on E? You know the answer and I hope you give yourself a break. I hope you know that you are an amazing mother but that you are also human. So yeah, we need something that starts with the letter C and I don’t mean a chardonnay.

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