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I remember walking on the Point Pleasant Boardwalk with my mom, helping her push my brother in the stroller while my two sisters skipped alongside us. An older woman stopped us and asked “are these ALL your children?” My mom laughed and told her “yes.” The woman gaped at us as if we were a circus side show and said “God bless you” before walking away. Or really, running away, as if my mom planned to hand one of us over and ask her to “take care of that.”
I’ve had that memory for more than 25 years, but the significance has changed. For years it made me so mad. How dare that woman?! We were good kids, right?! My mother had it easy. Strike that, my mother was lucky. She didn’t get a terror squad. She had a dream team! How did that woman not see that immediately?!
Fast forward to June 2012, when my twins so gracefully tumbled into this world. Within 24 hours I came face to face with a harsh reality: being a parent is hard. And unlike other challenging careers, there are no raises, bonuses or awards for everyday mommyhood. I seriously think that might be half the reason we love social media; you are guaranteed to get lots of blue thumbs for everything from a home run to a loose tooth.
Well mommas, I’ve got you. I hear you. I am you. I want to be celebrate you {and me} for these 7 reasons, and many more!
Being lazy
Social media has created an unhealthy expectation of constant action.
Playing at the park! #getoutside
Checking out the ocean! #sandyhairdontcare
Soccer practice! #littlekickers
We see it all day long and we assume that everyone is doing everything 24/7. It’s exhausting.
If today is the day you choose to stay inside and take a nap, I applaud you.
Get it, momma. #sleeptight
Saying NO
I don’t mean “no” to the kids. That happens all day long. “Can I cut Patrick’s hair?” No. “Can I open Logan’s present?” No. “Can I paint Fiona (our dog)?” No. “Can I sleep outside?” No.
I’m talking about saying NO to other people. Saying NO to the PTA president who wants you to run the Breakfast with Santa. To the old boss who keeps trying to drag you back in for one last assignment. To your friend who wants to “do lunch” once a week when all you want to do is curl up with Netflix and pinot.
Moms are busy. Saying NO to the stuff we don’t want to do is as healthy as eating 6 bags of kale. Be proud of your NO. It gives you the space and time to say “yes” when you really want to and do a great job.
Talking to your kids like adults
We have all wondered if the movie “Look Who’s Talking” is based in reality. Are all babies laughing at us? Are they connecting telepathically with each other?
I like to believe that it does happen. That belief kept me from goo-gooing and cooing all day long before my two started talking back.
If you are engaging in a full on dialogue with your child, even if she can’t talk back yet, be proud. Best case scenario, you are helping their future speech production. Worst case scenario, you aren’t getting John Travolta-ed.
Refusing to Watch Kid Shows
Please don’t mistake this one as a plea for all families to toss their televisions in an effort to increase intelligence and cultivate creativity with their kids. I am sure that’s possible, but I cannot in good conscience tell anyone to do that. I legitimately DVR 10 things a week.
This is simply about turning off the “junior” stations for good. I truly do not mean to offend the creators of children’s’ television by saying this but, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? The vast majority of your age appropriate, brain stimulating programs are absolutely murderous to my mommy eyes. I am by no means an expert, but there must be a way to inject some of that Frozen, Shrek, Zootopia watchability into the daily stuff, right? Until then, we are proudly tuning OUT.
Getting out the door on time
Remember when you only had to get yourself ready and you were still 5 minutes late? Well now you are bathing, dressing and feeding at least one more human before go time. If you get out of the door on time, that is nothing short of a miracle. If a representative from the Vatican shows up on your doorstep, don’t be surprised.
Doing your hair and makeup
I’m not talking smokey eyes here. I’m talking the basics. Blow dry, quick straighten or curl, mascara, concealer and bronzer. Those 5 things can turn your “before” into an “after” within 12 minutes.
Making time for your girlfriends
I keep seeing a post that reads self love is the new #relationshipgoals. I totally get it, but for me friendship is the new #relationshipgoals. 
I am guilty of shading out on my girls and using my kids as the excuse. Mommas, let’s unite and make 2017 the year of friendship. Yes, I know that sounds corny. Let’s do it anyway. Dinner dates, glasses of wine, Pilates classes, whatever. And don’t limit it to the mommy set. Reconnect with your fabulously dressed BFF from college who is still crushing it in the city and your favorite hippie who just posted a picture of Phish tickets. It is good for your soul!

Bridget Riepl

Bridget is a recovering perfectionist and former lawyer who recently decided to drop her fears {and her filter too} and start writing about anything and everything that ignites her fire, from potty training to politics. She blogs at http://www.bridgetriepl.com// and her work has appeared in MindBodyGreen and TheDisorganizedParent. Bridget currently lives and works at the Jersey Shore with her twins, Sadie and Patrick, and her husband Joe who supports her spontaneity with a smile. You can find her on Instagram at @bridgetriepl or visit her on Facebook at Bridget Marie Riepl.

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