Being a full-time, stay-at-home/ work-from-home Mother is anything but glamorous.
I know we are constantly fed the images of perfectly snapped photographs on social media feeds, but the truth is, parenting, Mothering, and living amidst the day-to-day demands with two children under 5, is anything but a walk in the park. Particularly, if you are a Mother who does not have extra help or a nanny on hand.
Some days it is filled with hysterical laughter and on other days, like today, it’s filled with conquering anxieties and fears you never knew existed.
Today’s particular anxiety: taking both kids to the local laundromat for the first time.
The fear? That every possible thing that could go wrong, would.
For instance, as an apartment-living NY’er, you want to make sure the car isn’t parked too far so that getting the kids and the laundry out the door, on the first trip, goes smoothly.
But on this bright sunny day with comforters to wash and my husband working a 16-hour shift, I decided to bite the bullet and try.
And the good news is- I survived Mamas! Everything’s washed, everybody came back in one piece, and I’m not too tired to share how.
So the next time you feel anxiety or fear about conquering this type of daily grind activity, remember not to judge yourself or think you should “know everything by now.” Calm the voices of shame and bite your own bullet. You might just surprise yourself!
- Ground and Center: I made sure to start the day with my trusted and comforting cup of Bustello. I applied Frankincense essential oil along the nape of my neck, the base of my spine, along my wrists, and across my forehead. This oil is great for getting you calm and less scatter-brained, without making you overly mellow. It also nourishes the nervous system, which is usually the first to get affected when trying something new or stressful.
- Repeated Communication: I told both boys exactly what we would be doing for the day, as many times as possible, as calmly as possible, to help them understand the transitions we’d be making. I’ve learned how my boys respond to a break in their daily routine and as Mamas, we can get so overwhelmed, we can forget to honor their emotional needs.
- Comfortable Clothes : Going to the laundromat is not the same as going to the movies or the zoo. While I know we as Mamas always want to make sure our kids look good before stepping out into public and looking “put together” keeps you a side-eye away from people’s judgment, putting them in some shorts, a baseball cap, a plain t-shirt and sneakers, worked wonders. There were no bells and whistles to deal with when it came time to change pampers or head to the potty (big boy is soaring with the briefs now) and it helped me worry less if one got dirty.
- Food, Food, and Yes, Food: Now I know we all have our baby bag filled with everything we need, but stopping by your favorite shop and stocking up on specific favorites, less on the sugary side, works wonders. It helped them get excited about this “new” experience, kept them calm when it seemed the dryers weren’t moving fast enough, and kept me from getting nagged to death about “needing a snack.” For us, it was a green mango juice, bananas, pumpkin bread and extra water for the win.
- Relationships with Local Business Owners: I have definitely been called a warm extrovert, engaging in conversation with others quite easily, and today, it truly paid off. While I’m not saying you need to be a social butterfly to get your errands done, when you establish positive regard with the places of business you frequent, their graces can be extended to your children. Today, the lady I regularly greet was managing and without hesitation, she accepted my request to watch the boys as I unloaded the car or when I needed to use the restroom- something so simple, yet so important when you’re running solo.
Bonus Tip: When and if they start to get fidgety or irritated from the wait, and you worry about navigating a tantrum, get them involved. Even if it seems like more work, trust me, it is better than having calmness turned into turbulence. Let your nurturing come through by leading them to the washers or dryers and letting them help you with the clothes.