Confessions of a Disorganized Mom

It is difficult to be a parent In this era of social media, where everybody is striving to broadcast the best version of themselves. I know that what I’m about to write will expose me to a lot of judging, but I am going to confess anyway. So, here it is:

I don’t put enough effort into teaching my kids how to be tidy, so they often spend time looking for a pencil and eraser to be able to do their homework. In general their room is a mess 80% of the time.

Eating spagetti with hands, messy child
My son eating spagetti with his hands

I sometimes forget when my kids have extra activities at school, such as swimming pool visit, or need to bring extra materials.

I don’t always remind my kids to brush their teeth.

Around 40% of the time I don’t check what clothes my son has put on for school.

My kids’ clothes are often stained, and I have long-lost the war against the dirt on the shoes.

Between the four of us we have exactly 6 pairs of matching socks (I don’t count the black socks that my husband uses, they all seem to match, because they’re all the same).

Around 40% of the time my kids eat bread and butter and milk when they want a snack.

Half of the time my daughter’s beautiful hair is unbrushed.

We don’t play board games much, because most of the sets have either cards or playing tokens missing. The average duration of a complete set is 10 days maximum.

The list goes on, and I must say that I already feel so bad that I can’t continue. It’s not that I don’t want to do all these things. Well, sometimes I don’t, but most of the time it just happens.

What I never fail to do is to try to listen to what my children want to tell me. To hear their fears, joys, desires and dreams. And that is one of the things that is visible on them.

During the New Year’s party my son decided to perform a few “magic tricks”. Everybody enjoyed his spontaneity and openness. He was confident and had a great time, even though most people were strangers to him. My daughter and her friend also had an impromptu performance of rhythmic skills with mugs. After they were finished my husband and I got the best compliment we’ve ever received as parents: that our kids were friendly, open and confident. Nobody noticed the unbrushed hair and not matching socks. We must be doing something right, after all.

10 Things I Want to Teach My Teenage Daughter

  1. Life is not that short. You will hear often that you only live once and that you should seize the day, and all of this is true when it comes to opportunities that only happen once. However, life after a wrong decision may not seem to go that fast at all. Don’t hurry for your life to  happen, enjoy who you are now.

    Beauty fades
    On Beauty
  2. Beauty does not really fade, only youthful looks do. Our society is obsessed with youth and outer appearance. That is why you will hear often about inner beauty and how looks are not important, and then the same people who tell you this will scrutinize and judge others based on their looks. Learn to see people as a whole, for who they are, not as shells, because that is where the beauty lies, and it does not fade. It will invite a lot of goodness to your life.
  3. Your friends will disappoint you, too. And it’s ok. Don’t push them away because of expecting them to be perfect and act like friends from a Hollywood film, they are as human as you are. No proverb or saying can grasp the complexity of human relationships and needs, so don’t measure your friends against what a definition of a friend is. Your heart will always tell you if you should keep somebody in your life or not.
  4. Boy’s aren’t stupid. They are great and they are different. Be kind, respectful and be a lady, always. Remember that love starts with you.
  5. Perfection exists only in memories: hindsight is the key ingredient there. In life, looking for perfection will just produce daily frustrations and a constant feeling of failure. Of course, perfect moments will happen, but don’t waste your energy on striving for perfection around you.
  6. Failure will teach you more than success, if you want to learn. That’s what winners want to say when they claim that the key to success is to never give up.
  7. Success is elusive, and personal. Even though nowadays you will be bombarded with images of success, there isn’t one shoe that fits all. Learn about yourself and create your own success story. It doesn’t have to be big and public to make you happy and give you a satisfying life.
  8. You are growing up in the times of over sharing. Paradoxically, it does not bring people closer, it alienates them more. Don’t try to capture every single moment on camera, allow your brain to create memories, even if they are sometimes inaccurate: you want to remember how it felt to be there, not just what it looked like.
  9. Use your body as the best tool that you have, not as a hanger for clothes that will go out of fashion next season anyway. Remember that your legs will pop you on a surfboard, your hands will create marvelous things, your back will carry many backpacks on your journeys, and your belly will hold a life one day, hopefully. Love them and appreciate what they allow you to do.
  10. Forgive yourself, and others. Harbouring negative emotions and not moving on will just make you bitter, not better. It is a choice, trust me on this.

To be continued.

Don’t Mute Your Inner Voice, Change It

We all talk to ourselves, inside, all the time. We debate our day, comment on people around us, we imagine situations and scenes. We tell ourselves off for our mistakes and cheer ourselves for our victories. Those silent conversations occupy a lot of our time.

inner voiceWe hardly ever question that voice inside. We don’t think how and why it was created and where its attitudes come from. It’s just there, a silent, yet loud part of ourselves. Often it leaks outside in the way that we talk to others too. But most of the time it is quietly waiting for its turn, silent while others are talking. It is the soundtrack of our insomnia, our worries, our over thinking.

We can stop it, but we rarely do. It’s such an integral part of who we are that, even when it is doing a great job destroying our feeling of self-worth by self-defeating monologues, we just let it talk. As if we wanted it to take us to the darkest that we can be. It’s also shamelessly immodest sometimes. Or simply bad-mouthed, when we are in a situation that requires all of our self-control not to be bad-mouthed out loud.

It gives us a competitive advantage in the imaginary arguments that we have with others, the ones that we always win.  Those conversations that never happen, except in our heads, while we are showering, or peeling potatoes, serve as the exhaust for our brains to get rid of frustration, or live out moments that need to be lived out.

But often it is the most self damaging part of us. It’s the voice of our insecurities, self loathing and self hate. It’s the voice that tells you “I told you so” before anybody else utters those words. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to say anything, you know what it thinks, and it is not on your side. It is not nurturing and gentle, it is cruel and unhelpful. It makes you feel lonely and alone inside your own head.

The surprising thing is that this voice can be so unloving, so cruel and damaging and yet, we rarely demand it to change when it is like that. We meekly accept its verdicts and feel bad. And I think that we shouldn’t. Just like we show understanding and compassion to others when they need it, we also need to have it for ourselves and it should come from within.

I am sure that this process of changing your inner voice requires a lot of self-searching and even more self-acceptance. Those are big tasks and we often need a helping, guiding hand to do them successfully. But what we definitely can do ourselves is recognize when our inner voice is doing us damage and try to be kinder to ourselves.

And how to be kind to yourself, inside? Try to talk to yourself like you would be talking to a good friend who is in pain. Talk to yourself like you are the love of your life. Talk to yourself like you would be talking to a child that needs comfort and security. Talk to yourself with kindness.

While I can reflect about this, I have not yet managed to change my inner voice. At the moment, I can only recognize when I am being mean to myself and say “I’m sorry.” The road ahead is long and I don’t see the destination yet.