I saw this idea about 6 months ago. I immediately gravitated to it. It's the type of thing I like to think I would do as a 'good' Mum. It's fun. It's exciting. It's long term. I decided that even though my kids were already born and lived many of their childhood years, I would do this.
6 months later, I see the idea again, I haven't done it. I think how amazing it would be to do and I start thinking of all the things I can add to the emails.
Then reality sets in.
1. You saw it 6 months ago and didn't do anything, why will you now?
2. What are you going to add?
3. If you start all three now, Dan will have more in his than the other two, that's not fair.
4. What on earth would I set their email as?
5. How will I remember to do this?
6. What if I forget?
7. I'm such a bad Mum.
8. Did I really just think that? Yes, I did. Because if I was a good Mum I would have started this 6 months ago and not forgotten.
And so it goes on. The guilt we bring on ourselves. The conversation above happened in about 10 seconds in my head. And to be honest, went on a lot longer and had a lot more negativity in it, than I'm showing you.
And I realised that actually I don't have to do this to be a good Mum.
WOW! What a revelation.
Yes, it is an AMAZING idea. Yes, it would be so much fun to do. Yes, it would be so fulfilling to see my children open up all those emails from years gone by.
But hey, I'm not super woman! Andy and I were just last night discussing how crazy life is right now. What with building and living in a rental and kids growing up and work and you know, we all live it right. The 'busy' syndrome is what I call it. And it's just not ok.
I mean where would I get just another set of '5 minutes' (it's only 5 minutes a day right?! Ha!) to do it?
And then the 'positive' side of my brain kicked in.
"T, you know you're a good Mum right? You know you've already done this, just in a different way... right? "
"What do you mean?"
"Well, all those scrapbooks you've created. All those albums filled with pictures of your kids, pictures of their artwork, stories of their lives. That's the same thing".
"Oh, yeah! Right! But what if I hadn't done that? Why does doing this, making email addresses for my kids or scrapbooking make me a good Mum?"
"Being a good Mum is about loving your kids. About being there for them. About helping them learn and grow. Teaching them right from wrong. Saying no. Saying yes. Being a good Mum is about jumping off flippin ridiculously high diving boards because you want to be part of their day. Part of their memories. Being a good Mum is just being you."
THAT conversation was a lot longer in time. There were a lot more gaps as my brain caught up with what it was saying to itself (yeah ok, I admit it, I talk to myself. A lot!). It was a harder conversation to have with myself.
Why is it so much easier to be negative to ourselves than positive? WHY?
And so I realised. I need to stop feeling guilty. I need to stop right now. And quite frankly so do you (yes, whoever you are reading this. You!).
We are doing the very best job we can do for ourselves and our kids. Right now. We are. And if we're not, then that's ok. We can take a deep breath. Ask ourselves. What can I do today? And tell ourselves that NO we don't have to feel guilty about the other days. The days that you literally fell asleep on the couch because you were so tired, or forgot to do something. Because those things and those days, although they feel like they happen all the time. Don't really. They are the few and far betweens. The love. The reliability of you being there for your kids every day. THAT is what the good bits are. That is what counts. And WE are doing it.
So. Stop. Put that guilty hat back in the cupboard and enjoy today for what it is. Cause this is our only today. This is our life. And just a heads up..... it's not a dress rehearsal. THIS IS IT.
Have a great day my friends. You are amazing! Tell yourself. Ok. Right now, out loud. "I am amazing"......and stop that guilt trip.