A while ago my 3 year old son, Zion walked into my bathroom and started singing “My mommy is so cool! My mommy is the best”. With a toothless smile, he stood there looking so proud. Whether he understood the meaning of his words or not, I immediately felt an immense sense of appreciation. I picked him up, sneaked in a few kisses, hugged him so tight and felt his little hand patting me on my back as I carried him around saying thank you with an even bigger smile on my face. You should have heard my inner voice saying “job well done, you good mommy you!”. I carried him around a little bit longer as I wanted the ordinary, “good enough mom” moment to last.
We live in a society that’s drowned in perfectionism…a society that compares, judges and criticizes. We live in an age of Instagram, where the not so nice side of life is carefully cropped out and a square inch of perfection is presented to us. We live in a world where Pinterest suggests that all moms should be Pinterest pin board perfect; bake a picture-perfect cake, arrange a fun filled party, lose pregnancy weight in 30 days…and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pin the 50 Ways, On How To Be Your Perky Self, All Day, Every Day.
“We live in a world where the bar of success, joy and happiness gets pushed so high by culture that the little things, the enough mom moments, are lost.”
As a suburban mom in the absence of community and extended support, in a world filled with expectations and judgement there are those moments that I don’t particularly feel like I’m “good enough mom” and those are the days my friend, when those mommy doubt moments do creep up on me. The times when I find it difficult to switch off that negative little inner voice telling me how I’m screwing it all up, but here’s the thing, the very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
When Zion sang “my mommy is so cool, my mommy is the best” I stopped, listened and I felt the impact of his words. I immediately thought about what I was doing right and how I could get to be the mom I was hoping to become. I felt good and allowed myself to believe that I am a “good enough” mom. In that moment I realized how hard I’ve been on myself.
I realized how at some point in my life I felt hostage to the perceived perfection of others and allowed their criticism to question my mothering abilities.
I may not bake a picture perfect cake (big-ups to the stylish mom who can and inspire us to do so) but I’m the mom who knows the lullaby to sing when my son is sick that magically calms him down. I’m the one he runs to when he needs comfort. I’m the only one who knows the words to whisper in his hear when he feels discouraged. I’m the only one who knows how to tie his shoes a certain way that makes him feel like a “big boy”. I might not be the “perfect” mom but I’m exactly the mom my son needs and that’s enough.
I’m the mom that’s still here. Trying again.
Dear mom, you’re not failing.
Motherhood is not about perfection. It’s not about being like another mom or being compared to another, it’s about being YOURSELF and doing YOUR best. It’s about loving your kids. It’s about falling down, getting back up and trying again. It’s about losing your patience and gathering your tenacity. It’s about pulling out every inch of strength to move forward in the moments of doubt and weakness. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them. It’s being kind to yourself when no one else seems to be. It’s about admitting in your vulnerability that some days you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. It’s about starting over and trying your best again and again and at the end some might not vibe with you, appreciate you or accept you and that’s okay. In the midst of all of this you are totally allowed to loose your awesomeness and feel overwhelmed. You’re going to be okay and so will your kids because your are doing your best.
Take a moment to stop, breath and see the amazing things you accomplish every day and the difference it makes. The countless hot dinners you manage to make out of an empty grocery cupboard after a long day at work. Sneaking in their favourite candy bar in their lunch boxes. The hours you spend in the car taking them to school, picking them up, taking them to extra murals, friends parties and sleepovers. The hugs and kisses you give to erase the pain of bruises, scratches, little stings, bites and anything in between. The three hour sleep you had last night, sitting up holding your little one in your arms because he had a fever and all he wanted was you. The countless bedtime stories you read without skipping the long paragraphs and the last minute outfit purchase you have to make, on a tight budget because your teenage daughter is going to “the” party knowing you have to skimp on something else.
If you have not heard this in a while…or ever, let me tell you today, that mama is quite impressive!
No more dismissing your awesomeness.
Don’t let the perceived perfection of others dull your shine. Slow down and bask in your greatness a little longer.
Dear mama, you are amazing!