She was a perfect gift for our family. What joy we all felt when my husband brought home an 8 week old puppy for the kids and I for Christmas. She was adorable, cuddly and we loved her. So the hardest thing to do was return her 3 days later. Who knew a puppy could cause so much grief? We all felt the pain of it and for us as parents it was hard admitting we made a mistake. It was hard watching our kids feel the loss of a dog that they wanted so much.
Why you might ask did we return her? The bottom line is our plates are full enough. We both realized that the stress of taking care of a puppy that needs to be loved and trained was just too much stress on our lives right now. It was hard for me to admit that I cannot do it all. I started to compare myself to other mom’s out there. They do it all with kids, sports, work, schedules and have a dog, so I can do it too. However, reality set it and I realized as much as I wanted this adorable pup I had to admit that I would not be able to handle the stress. I am not a super mom and I know my limits.
As women we are so hard on ourselves. We are constantly comparing our looks, our success and our abilities with other women. However, when we become mothers there is this added pressure we feel. Now not only do we feel the daily pressures of life on us but we now want to be the best mothers we can be. So we strive to do the newest and best parenting practices, we try to be the most creative in putting together the greatest birthday party or we make sure we volunteer every last-minute at our kids’ school so others know we are involved in the lives of our children. The pressures and stress seem endless and we add more and more to our plates. When do we admit that enough is enough?
That puppy taught me a valuable lesson. I have a breaking point and to be a good mother means sometimes I have to admit that I can’t handle certain things that possibly other moms can handle. This doesn’t make me a bad mother it makes me an honest one. My kids felt the pain of losing that dog which was hurtful. However, they gained a happy, less stressful mother who is able to attend to their needs without added stress on her life. I can’t compare myself to any other mother and I can’t pretend that I can do it all. God made me who I am. I know my limits and I know what added stress can do to me and the balance of my family.
I am in one of the busiest times of my life in raising children and managing a family. My plate won’t always be this full. The balancing act isn’t about seeing how much we can add to our life (or plate) till we break. It is about being honest with our self, admitting when life is too full and realizing less is sometimes more. Yes, my life is busy and full but I am not at a breaking point. My cup overflows with the joy and happiness I feel in raising my children. I am not going to let society’s measure of what motherhood should be take that joy away from me!