Well, I am so tired, I just spent the entire day cleaning, scrubbing, cooking and laundry. Yes I am a super mom! Except as I was just rocking my baby to sleep I realized that I haven’t really spent any time with my kids all day other than telling them to be nice to each other and stop running on my clean floor. Okay…maybe I’m not quit the super mom I was thinking I was.
So as I was rocking my baby I remembered this motivational talk that I heard about five years ago that has always stuck with me. I was the director for La Petite Academy (a child care center) and we got to go to this big conference. This speaker talked to us about Cinderella. I know, you’re thinking how does Cinderella apply to being a good mom? Well this speaker (sorry I don’t remember his name) had spent years working at the Disneyland theme park and he was telling us that their number one most important rule at Disneyland is to always stay in character if you are working. This means you are kind to everyone that walks past you, you help whoever needs help, and if you are a Disney character the most important rule is you ALWAYS play that character if you are able to be seen by park guests.
All the Disney characters have a special break room where they can go and relax and be themselves. This break room is very important because it is the only place they are allowed to be out of character. This was especially important for the woman who played Cinderella because she had a bad habit of smoking cigarettes.
After our speaker told us this, he started telling us to imagine back when we were young girls and it was our first trip to the most magical place on earth. We had been waiting our whole lives to get there and it was finally happening! We anxiously wait as we make the long journey there. We can’t sleep at night because all we can think about is finally meeting those beautiful princesses! We all remember these feelings right? The magic of our first time going to Disneyland! It’s finally the day and we can’t even stand it, we are finally there and we just want to run to the castle. We look, and there she is…Cinderella!!! Her back is turned towards us and we run up to her and yell, CINDERELLA!! And she slowly turns around, and with her cigarette in her hand, she takes a puff and says, “not now kid, I’m on my break.”
Okay, now do you see why it is so important for them to never go out of character. This could literally shatter a young girl’s dreams! I have used this scenario so many times in my life in different ways and tonight I thought it could apply to my “mom” character. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to stay in this character all the time when we are around our children. I have a hard time not slipping into “housekeeper” character like I did today. As women we play so many different roles and at times it can get overwhelming.
But as I was thinking about all my different characters or roles I have, I know without a doubt that my “mom” character is my most important one. So I ask myself is it my number one rule to not “break character” when I am in my children’s presence just like at Disneyland? Today when my little girl asked me to help her build a tent and play with her and I said I had to get all the cleaning done so we can play later, well this was my “smoking Cinderella” moment. Did I shatter her dreams? Maybe a small little one she had of playing with her mom today. I broke character and even though it wasn’t a big deal for me, it may have been for her.
But remember, now that I have told you my Cinderella story, you can’t forget an important part. The special break room. No one can be in character 100% of the time. Everyone needs breaks and everyone makes mistakes. When you catch yourself having one of those “smoking Cinderella” moments just remember it’s break time! Regroup, take a moment to yourself. Even if your break looks like this, ha ha!!
Just always make sure you save that precious time to be in your mom character. And when it is that time, don’t let other small, daily tasks get in the way. This is one of my biggest goals with my kids because I do have a tenancy to worry about the dishes in the sink or keeping those floors clean or other small daily tasks.
But ultimately, those things don’t matter in the long run.
Those kids wake up every morning so excited to see her. It’s finally daylight and they can’t even stand it, they are finally awake and just want to run to her bedroom. They look, and there she is…Mom!!! These are the moments when we get to be the Cinderella that they dream of!