Have you ever felt like THE WORST mom EVER? I have, and it isn’t pretty when it happens. For the longest time, I thought I was alone in my self-doubt, self-blame, and self-shame; it turns out, most of the moms I talk to constantly second-guess and question themselves, wondering whether they are failing miserably at motherhood and worrying that they are not doing it right.
If these thoughts are keeping you up at night, please know that every mom makes the best decision she can with the resources, tools, and information that is available to her. If you are experiencing mommy guilt or feeling like a lousy mom, it is because you are really an amazing mom and you take motherhood seriously. Not convinced? Humor me for a few seconds:
- You have wonderful expectations (maybe too wonderful, to be honest) and sometimes things just don’t turn out as you wished or simply thought they would. If there was such a thing as a “bad mom,” she wouldn’t get caught up striving to be the perfect mother. #JustSaying!
- You have flaws, you make mistakes. Well, you’re human! I have actually learned that my mistakes, even the epic ones actually help my children embrace theirs. As I acknowledge my struggles, my weaknesses, and my deep desire to become a better person, they can learn that growth can be hard, yet an inevitable part of life. So even when I make terrible decisions, (like telling my friend about my daughter’s crush on her son without her consent) I tell myself I meant well… and they are, after all, not completely useless.
- You feel overwhelmed (what mom doesn’t?) and perhaps you were of the idea that motherhood would just come natural to you and you would just love every minute of it – you know, never get frustrated, never want a break, never feel like it’s just too much! It took me so long to realize that parenting is not a gift that comes with the wave of an invisible magic wand; it is a real skill that requires learning, practice, and lots of support – and it’s messy for every parent. You are NOT alone!
f When you have an extremely difficult, stressful, exhausting day, remind yourself that, at the end of the day, no one has it all together, we are all struggling, we all feel like we are falling short and we all constantly compare, compete, and criticize ourselves. And the truth is, we’re all figuring this thing out.
It is usually the most inspiring, impressive, outstanding moms who most beat themselves up. For instance, take Tabitha, a wonderful mom who overcame poverty to become a highly successful blogger and mompreneur. She posted this on her Facebook timeline/wall:
“Chatting with [a friend] about having the flu and making my children feed themselves cereal, I said that I deserved the Bad Mom of the Year award.”
I know what you’re thinking: “she’s not feeling well”, “she’s tired”, “she’s feeding them for goodness sake (or making them feed themselves – semantics! – they’re becoming independent.)” Would you extend yourself the same grace? If you answered no, well, it’s about time, girlfriend… because you deserve it.
Dear mami, I assure you, you’re doin’ good! You’re an unbelievably remarkable mom! Think of all you achieve in spite of all the curve balls that are thrown at you, even with all the demands of your role as a mom and mompreneur, even with the Cinderella-sized to do list you splendidly juggle, even with the money struggles, even with the relationship challenges, even with the pressures, the judgment, and the roller coaster of emotions and fears you didn’t even know existed.
You are strong. You are courageous. You wipe tears away. You create joy and laughter. You kiss boo-boos. You cuddle. You protect. You love unconditionally. You nurture and comfort. You sacrifice. You give answers. You teach values and life skills. You play along. You discipline. You’re a cheerleader. You push swings. You celebrate people. You give great hugs. You feel things deeply. Your words give hope. You read bedtime [or anytime] stories. You show compassion. You extend kindness. You’re your children’s shero. You’re a great mother and you’re doing better than you think – just ask your children!
Watch this video, created by my partners at Minute Maid, reflecting that you’re doing a lot of good in your motherhood journey… and that what you do and say, who you are REALLY matters.I think it’s a given to say I cried, because this is the type of message that fills my heart with joy.
I instantly thought of my cousin Karinee, who lives in Queens, NY. She’s a young mom of a bright and energetic 3-year-old toddler and an adorable 8-month-old baby, both boys. I’m always amazed at what an extraordinary job she is doing as a mom, and I get sad sometimes to know that she doesn’t give herself enough credit. The seemingly mundane things she does everyday make such a difference! I want to tell her, and you, and myself: “Don’t discount your awesomeness, don’t forget it, don’t dismiss it. You are enough.”
YOU are enough.
I am enough.
Celebrate yourself. You’re a better mom than you think!
Who do you know that feels she doesn’t measure up and needs a gentle reminder that she is doing good as a mom? Tell you what! If you post a shout out about her in the comment section below to let her know that she’s doing a better job as a parent than she may realize.
Make it a point to allow yourself to focus on the good you’re doing, rather than running through endless lists of my regrets, worries, and shortcomings in motherhood, and really listen when your children affirm you and… believe them!!!
I am so looking forward to the stories you’ll share with me in the comment section! Love and hugs to you remarkable mom…. and Happy Mother’s day!