I swiveled around in my chair to the sound of someone yelling “Get them out of there!” I darted straight toward a partially collapsed bounce house at a friend’s backyard birthday party. I recognized the shrill screams coming from inside. “Mommy!” I dove toward the sound through a small entrance and lifted a heavy flap of material trapping Brandon and a younger boy.
“Mommy’s here,” I coaxed my terrified son out of the deflating structure. The other little boy followed. I helped him out before I scooped Brandon into my arms and immediately walked him around to the blower. “This pumps air into the bounce house. It must have lost power…That’s why it stopped working. It didn’t have any air.” The birthday girl’s dad tried to figure out the problem. The other little boy’s mom said “thank you” as I walked back to our table.
“Did you see that?” I asked my mother-in-law.
“Yes, you jumped like Superwoman.” She said bouncing Addy in her lap.
I totally did. I leaped to the rescue without even thinking (in a long maxi-dress to boot.) I knew exactly what to do. I felt like Super Mom. Although, I’m glad no one got any video. I know you’ve been there too. You’ve had your own amazing moments in motherhood. You’ve caught your baby before she banged her head. Or stopped her from choking. Or put your son’s socks on EXACTLY the way he likes. It’s in those moments I think “Hey, I’m not so bad at this.”
I assure you I’m still learning on the job. These moments don’t happen every day, folks. It occurs to me now, the awesome bounce house rescue only happened because I invited my mother-in-law and asked her for help. She was holding the baby when it all happened. I knew I couldn’t handle the party on my own. Ponies. Bounce Houses. Cake. It’s too much. I’ve dragged myself (kids in tow) out of parties, sweaty and discouraged. This time, I decided to acknowledge my own limitations. I’m one person. I CAN handle it alone but it is okay not to force myself. I’ve started saying “no” to parties if I won’t have help. (My husband works most Saturdays.) I’ve given myself permission to say “no” sometimes. I’m allowed to do what works for me. This is huge.
I recently read Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas (a departure from the parenting section on Amazon). Her book is about money but it’s also about getting what you want out of life and releasing “blocks” that limit your potential. She uses EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping to help release some of those hang-ups. I’ve got more than a few! Saying “no” is certainly a hang-up. I’m a people pleaser. This “doing what works best for me” attitude isn’t easy for me. That’s why I need to focus my attention here. After Denise’s book, I started listening to Nick Ortner’s New York Times Bestselling Book the Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living. Tapping is a little awkward at first (you use a script and tap on pressure points) but I am using it almost every day now. It helps me to release negative feelings and move on faster—critical when I can’t seem to put on a pair of socks to my son’s liking.
Tapping is yet another tool in my motherhood arsenal. So is the ability to say “no” and accept my own limitations. For that reason, I’ve turned down playdates at the pool, this summer. I’m not superwoman. Watching two non-swimmers doesn’t work for me. I’m letting go of the guilt and it’s turning out to be a superpower.