When my husband graduated and started his full time job he needed a full time car. We needed a few months to save enough money for a second car which left the kids and I home. I whined and complained for the next six months but now that we have that second car I can look back and appreciate what I actually gained from the experience. Motherhood can be lonely for so many young moms, for both working and stay-at- home moms. What I learned these last few months will help me to make the most of motherhood. Hopefully you’ll gain some insights as well.
The first thing I realized when we finally got our second car was how much busier I suddenly got. When the kids and I were at home boredom was our biggest daily battle. Every day we did housework, yard work, reading, music, exercising, playing, and we still had extra time to watch Rescue Bots Then we got our car and, just like that, our days were filled. Suddenly we could run to Target, the pharmacy, the post office, and the park. It left us with less time for house work and music time. I started to wonder how I was able to get things done before. And then I realized that I’d been to the pharmacy 3 different times that week. And the birthday present I got from Target? I didn’t actually need it for three more weeks (and heaven knows I will be back before then).
I realized that I was forced to be more organized and coordinated to run all of my errands in one day before I had a car. Of course, I’m not going to cram all of my errands into one busy day anymore. But I can coordinate trips and think about where I actually need to go to maximize my time.
Spending time with your kids is more than just being with your kids
One of the things I loved about being at home with my boys was how much we were able to play. We spent hours every day driving toy trucks, making crafts, baking cookies, and crawling around on the floor with my babies on my back. I was attentive and engaged; somewhat, in part, because there was nothing else stealing away my attention. Nowadays, I’m guilty of buckling up the boys in the morning and running errands until nap time and then heading out again until it’s time to get back for dinner. I’m learning that my kids physically being with me doesn’t necessarily qualify as spending time with them. It’s important to find the time to play and to be present with my kids.
People always ask me, “well how did you do this?” or “how did you do that?” and the answer is: I didn’t. It’s amazing what you’re able to figure out when you don’t have any other options. You’re out of eggs and milk and you need to make brownies for a neighbor? Make no-bake cookies instead. You need to take your kid to the doctor and they’re not open on the weekends? Find a pediatrician within a mile or two and walk. You need to go to the bank but they’re closed by the time your husband gets done at work? Ask your husband to go on his lunch break. I realized there was so much that I thought that I needed that, when it came down to it, I was able to make do without. And, in the end, it didn’t effect my happiness one bit.
Attitude is everything
My mood and the atmosphere in my home are greatly dependent on my attitude. If I chose to sit and pout every time that I missed out on a social activity or to get cranky and snappy if we needed to walk to the pediatrician’s office, no one would have a good day. And, to be honest, it wouldn’t change anything. There are so many days that I wasted complaining about not having a car that could have otherwise been an excellent day. It is much more pleasant to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine than to feel resentment toward the situation. This obviously applies to any situation but it is something I have to remind myself of daily.
Now, I’m not saying I would choose to go back to being a one car family; it was really hard. The kids would get restless, I would get frustrated, and we would all get tired of these same four walls. It was rough; but it was possible. Not only was it possible, I was able to grow closer to my kids and get back to the basics of what life and family is all about. I learned that, when it comes to motherhood, having a good attitude, a little bit of brain power, and a lot of love you can make the best of any situation.Nicole