3 Decisions that Are Making Me a Better Wife and Mom


This is part of a sponsored campaign with McDonald’s®. All opinions are my own.

When I arrived home from work on Friday, my kids greeted me at the door. And before they could open their mouths, I said: “Don’t say it. Don’t ask me for anything right now. Let me get into the house and get my bearings.”

As I proceeded to go upstairs to sort the laundry (yes you read that correctly…sort the laundry) our tween daughter blocked my path and she opened her mouth. I said: “Don’t say it.” She said: “But mom, I need you to help me pack for my field trip that’s next week.” I said: “Didn’t I say don’t ask me for anything. Then I said: “I will help you pack later….don’t worry Mom’s got you.”

I was in a rush, our dryer was broken and I forgot to call the repair man all week. I knew I had a short window of time to get our clothes to the laundromat on Friday because I already had plans on Saturday and Sunday. I also had to tutor a teen in Algebra at 7 PM on Friday night. I was racing against the clock to get that laundry done.

So, our daughter decided she would go with me to the laundromat. Not to help, but to pout about not getting her way earlier. So while on the way to the laundromat, I had to put up with her pouting and her sassy attitude. And that’s when I cracked…right there in the car. I went completely crazy. I gave her this long and loud speech about having too much on my plate and about how I had better things to do than to sit in a laundromat on a Friday evening after work.

But then I decided, it’s not her fault that I have too much on my plate. (Although, she can take the credit for pushing me completely over the edge.) But rather, it was my fault for being on the edge in the first place.

So I calmed down. When we arrived at the laundromat, I called the mom of the teen that I tutored and asked her to bring him on Sunday night and I apologized for changing the plans. And you know what she told me: “I completely understand. Sometimes you have to focus on yourself before you can do for others.” And just that quick, a weight had been lifted. My daughter and I had the best time at the laundromat on that Friday evening after work.

For a brief moment, I lost focus of a few important rules that all moms should live by:

  • Take Care of Yourself – You can’t be a great mother or wife if you are neglecting yourself (mentally, physically, or emotionally.) Take care of your own personal needs, and your family will reap the benefits.
  • Learn How to Say No – As a mother and wife, you have to set some boundaries and limits. Or else, you will find yourself over extended. And sometimes, you even have to tell yourself no…like girl, you are crazy for trying to schedule all of that into Friday evening when you know you had a long hard week of work.
  • Focus on the Moments that matter – This one is really big for me. Sometimes I lose focus of what really matters when I am trying to get things done and trying to make everything perfect. And I lose sight of what really matters. So the next time you are having a hectic day, take a time out and really assess what really matters. And you’ll find that what really matters is you…your family needs you.

So, if you catch me at McDonald’s on a random Wednesday night, sipping on a milkshake and smiling while my kids are enjoying their meal and our conversation, then please know that I am taking a break from the daily grind and focusing on what really matters.

Disclosure: Thank you to McDonald’s® for sponsoring this post and for always being there over the years when I’ve needed to focus on what really matters. All opinions are my own.

This post originally appeared at The Grio.

image: Getty