by: Emma Aguirre

So I’ve hung up my Supermom cape and every idea of trying to become one. I came down pretty sick late last week, as did my daughter – we both had bronchitis and I had a sinus infection also – and it’s been in the works for a couple of weeks. I need to slow down. No one benefits from going a million miles a minute, least of all my daughter.

My husband came home several times to find the trunk of my car open in the garage, the mail on top of the car and the doors open. I even left in the keys on top of it once. It’s also not unusual to find the laundry in the washing machine but the lid not closed therefore, not started. Friday, on my way home from the doctor I ran out of gas. Literally and figuratively.

I was so embarrassed and felt like an irresponsible teenager. Thankfully, my mom was in town and was babysitting my daughter. I was able to pull over into a parking lot, barely, as I listened to my car drain. The first thing I did was cry. Then I called my husband.

Since my daughter was born I’ve been all about perfecting this stay-home mom role. I take it very seriously, maybe too seriously. I’m realizing I can’t perfect it and no one ever will. And I’m only failing my own expectations. The way I see myself as a mom is the way I saw my mom growing up, the way I see my friends with their kids. I seem to have missed the part about how I need to develop my own ways and although I preach that what works for one of us might not work for another, I don’t think I really understand that yet. I also need to remember that my mom has had almost 29 years to perfect her role!

I believe the dynamic we grow up in, is all we really know, that we look to our childhoods to know how to parent. But times have changed for me. Dinner does not need to be on the table as soon as my husband comes in from work. The kitchen does not need to be spotless before I go to bed every night. My daughter’s toys don’t need to be picked up as soon as she’s done playing with them and we move on to something else. The laundry can wait.

In between running around to play dates, appointments, museums and mom expos I seem to have lost sight of some things. This is the stuff I feel like I’m “supposed” to do. This is my job now, I SHOULD be able to have dinner ready and have five loads of laundry done and ironed and have my daughter reading War and Peace, right? I enjoy this, I really do. But I forgot I also enjoy chilling out and napping in the middle of the day and reading trashy magazines … sometimes to my daughter. I enjoy taking “Emma” time and I haven’t been doing it lately. As a result of doing too much, I’m doing anything very well and I’m sick. So is my daughter.

So, where to from here? We’re loaded up on Z-packs and inhalers for the immediate future. Our routine hasn’t suffered too much through the illness’, but my daughter has started fussing at bedtime and I really think the antibiotics make her a bit hyper! She’s remained a pretty sweet natured little thing for the most part and I really I can’t complain. We’ll get back to the dreaded routine when we both feel better. For the rest of the week, I’m planning to take it easy do things that make ME happy; naps, reading, cooking (for pleasure, not on a watch), lunches, yoga and spending time with my little girl. My daughter is happy when she is clean, with a full belly and she has her plastic rings to chew on. Maybe I’ll find some balance along the way.