Are You Being The Invincible Mom?

I really fight recognizing when I’m being pseudo-invincible. Meaning, I can keep going and doing and remembering and taking care of everything like it’s no big deal. It is a big deal. Really big. But the only ones that don’t realize this are my family, mostly because I don’t show my vulnerable side or allow down time like I need to.
Have you struggled with this?
It hit me yesterday when I was racing around trying to make up for being gone and getting three different children to three different camps, never mind unpacking (still) and cleaning and groceries and going to the doctor for a random infection…you get the picture.
So finally at 4 p.m. my kids helped me bring in groceries and I flopped on the bed and could not move. I put my eldest in charge and conked out, not really having a choice. I came to about an hour later and thought, “I really, really need to put away those groceries”. And promptly slept for another half hour. I came to again with the urgent mom-thought of, “The GROCERIES!” Dragging myself down to the kitchen I saw…a clear counter and floor. Where were the groceries?
My just-graduated son—beaming with pride—told me he had put them away (I believe this is the second time in his life).
But that’s not what was the most fabulous part (though it was thoroughly fabulous). It was that he saw I needed help, and helped me, without my having to say it. Which clicked for me—why didn’t I say it? Why did I wait until I was completely wiped out before doing something about it?
I was so glad my son had learned to be compassionate. But I learned that I need to share my needs with my children, especially now that it’s summer. To clearly say that it’s resting time for mom, or quiet time for mom, or don’t-stress-me-unless-you-want-extra-chores time for mom (do you see a recurring theme here?)
During the school year that down time is often choreographed in. But that can set children up for a fairytale situation—they think the cleaning fairy and the errand fairy just magically come and go while they are at school. Summertime can be stressful mostly because our children are all around us, all the time, without clear boundaries and this new awareness that lots has to be done, but not necessarily by whom.
So perhaps this summer set a clear boundary of when you need downtime and what you need from your children (i.e. mom is exhausted and needs half an hour to lay down; please play quietly).
After seeing the clear kitchen, the look on my son’s face was priceless—he knew he had done well and I knew his self-confidence had just boosted a notch.
So perhaps try not to be so invincible this summer and let your children step up to the plate (or at least let them know they can).
All my best,

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