Blog Posts

Boys vs. Girls: A Tale of Two Rooms

‘Tis the season for dorm decorating, at least for those of us whose children are starting college during the summer. For those of you whose children will be starting in the fall, however, you may be designing, planning, and buying dorm essentials. Either way, the decorating has begun; physically or mentally, it’s happening. And here’s what I’ve learned…boys don’t care. That’s right, boys don’t care what their rooms look like. Okay, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not that far off the mark.

Last year, I remember scrolling through my newsfeeds admiring my friends’ daughters’ room pictures––everything was color coordinated, and I mean EVERYTHING, even the Command hooks stringing up the fairy lights cascading down the walls, draped next to their fluffy comforters, housed underneath a matching fuzzy throw blanket, twinning with the shaggy throw rug on the floor. Baskets and tubs in the same shades of said decor lined the closet shelves, each one in its rightful spot, stacked by size. Various hues of green succulents in cute animal shaped vases adorned window sills, framed by sheer billowy curtains. Similar themed pictures matted in color-coordinated frames hung in between the strings of lights, the rooms looking like photo shoots for Better Homes and Garden or Southern Living. They were so put together, and my friends forewarned me it would take hours to decorate.

I couldn’t wait for my turn. I dreamt of how my son’s dorm would look, right down to the color-coordinated thumb tacks pinning the picture collage on his corkboard. But then we went shopping and everything changed. Walking down the aisles, I picked out towels that complimented the comforter set that he’d picked out. He didn’t care. I pointed out all the tubs and baskets in complimentary colors. He didn’t care. I showed him desk accessories, trays, organizing cubbies, anything and everything to match his simple solid gray comforter. He didn’t care. He didn’t want a picture collage. Not even thumbtacks, for that matter. None. Of. It. He only wanted the most basic things. The bare necessities. The bare minimum. Disillusionment took hold as I watched my son throwing random objects haphazardly into the shopping cart, my vision quickly vanishing aisle by aisle.

But all is not lost; there is an upside––I spent way less money than I’d expected to, and it took less than an hour to decorate (and I use that term very loosely), including slapping up the oversized banner and single strip of LED lights (at least it added a little ambiance and partially covered the subway-styled cement walls). So while I drooled admiring all those cute dorm pics last year, anxiously awaiting my turn at it, none of it happened. Not the color-coordinated tubs. Not the succulents. Not even a corkboard. Boys don’t care. They’re happy if they have a bed, a pillow, a blanket, and a flag/banner of some sort draped on the wall. Everything else? Irrelevant.

If you’re a boy mom, consider yourself warned.


You Are Not Selfish

You are a mom. You are busy. You are pulled in a million different directions. You go 100 mph per day. You get zero downtime. Even when your little ones are napping or at school, you are cleaning, prepping, washing, picking up, you know, catching up on all the other things that have gone by the wayside while you are actively being mom. As a mom, you devote yourself to everyone else, except you.

When was the last time you watched your favorite show? When was the last time you had a nap just for you? When was the last time you had a cup of coffee in peace without it having to be at zero dark thirty before your household wakes up? When was the last time you had a massage? A pedicure? Worked out? Read a book without any pictures in it? Done anything just for you?

My question to you is why haven’t you? Is it because you feel selfish? Well don’t. Don’t, for one moment, feel guilty for doing something for yourself. You deserve it. You’ve earned it. You NEED it. You need it to be a better, more balanced, happier mom. How do I know this? This used to be me.

I would NEVER take time to do anything for myself. If I did one thing that took any time away from something I “should” be doing for my children or for the house, I would feel massive amounts of guilt. I would tell myself I shouldn’t be doing something just for me. It is selfish. Pretty judgmental, yes? Pretty harsh, yes? Pretty mean, yes? But it is not true.

Slowly, over time, I have learned that when I take time for myself, just me, I am a better mom. I am calmer. I am more patient. I am happier. I am more focused and ready to tackle motherhood.

Think about it, when you have a job you get breaks during the day: Lunch break and/or 15 minute breaks once or twice a day. Motherhood should be no different. We should get a break.

I know there are extenuating circumstances in which moms cannot get a break every day. Child care, single parenting, spouses who travel, monetary limitations, etc. But you need to take time for yourself on a consistent basis. It doesn’t need to be daily (although that would be great if you can manage that!), or even weekly. It just needs to be a priority and scheduled in to your hectic life. You schedule play dates, why not schedule mommy time?

You need to do it for you, for your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. You need to do it for your children. You need to recharge your batteries. You need to focus on you every now and again. It is important. It is necessary. It is crucial to being a better mom. It is crucial to being a healthier mom. Because so many people depend on you, you have to take care of yourself first or you’re no good to those who depend on you.

Do not feel guilty. Do not feel bad. Do not second guess what you are doing. Do not let anyone tell you are selfish. You are not. You are a mom. You are not selfish. You are taking care of you and that is the most important thing you can do, and if you need someone to tell you you’re not selfish, here it is: YOU ARE NOT SELFISH. Feel free to repeat this to yourself over and over again, until you believe as well because I assure you, it’s true.