This thing called “mommyhood” is really something isn’t it? It’s just something.
One day it has you on top of the world and full of love, only to find yourself the next day flat on your back, staring up at the mountain of laundry waiting for you to conquer it, wondering if it will ever be enough. One day someone tells you what a great mom you are, only to hear the next day that you are DOING IT ALL WRONG. Just when you think “you got this” you find yourself walking the line of sanity once again. It’s a rollercoaster ride that every. single. one of us mommies find ourselves on at some point in our journey.
Not long after I had my first baby I had a rude awakening to the mommy community. After 3 long weeks for both the babes and myself, I decided to quit nursing. He was starving and his mamma was devastated because “good” mom’s nurse. It also didn’t help that I didn’t have the feelings you hear about from other moms. I didn’t feel like I was bonding with my baby. I felt resentment and a whole lot of anxiety every time it was time for a feeding. And holy crap did I feel guilt. I tried to love it. I tried to make myself feel something. I tried. Oh how I tried. No one talks about nursing being hard in mommy land because other mommy’s get down right cruel when it comes to this topic. I had one mom tell me “If starving women in Africa can nurse their babies, then so can you” I had another mom tell me all the pro’s of why I should nurse. “Your baby will be healthier. Smarter. etc. etc.” There were mom’s who called me selfish. Not to mention that every time I had to buy a can of formula right there in big letters is “breastfeeding is best” I already felt guilt because I couldn’t do what was best for my baby. I already felt I had failed. Being told by everyone else that what I was doing was wrong was devastating and hard. As the years have went on I have seen this kind of behavior in other situations. I have seen mom’s belittling and being down right cruel to other moms all because they don’t agree with someone else’s way.
Here’s the thing….Every one of us is learning. Every single one of us.
We are all trying to figure out this role called “mom.” Starting from scratch with no hand book to tell us how. Just something called a mom’s intuition and a whole lot of trial and error. We are all learning as we go. And just when you think you are starting to get the hang of it, life throws a wrench in your wheel and you find yourself at a screeching halt, wondering what you did wrong. Not to mention that each child comes to this earth having their own unique personality and you get to work your way through another maze of parenting. In my experience most moms are just trying to do the best they know how. That is all. Just the best they know how.
The key to compassion is seeing yourself in others.
Have compassion for other moms. Think of your own days and how hard they can be. Think of all the things you wish you could go back and change. Choose to see the good in others. Choose kindness. As mothers we are all in this together, so instead of pointing fingers, whispering behind backs or belittling let’s point out the good things every mom does….Because LOVE always wins!
“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
― Marvin J. Ashton
We are our own worst critic. When others say you are a good mom believe them.
“All she ever saw were her flaws; which made her believe they were all she was made of”
The piles of dishes in the sink. The mountain of laundry waiting to be washed. The unmade beds. The kitchen floor that needs mopping. The ponytail that is now your hairdo every day of your life. The stack of bills that need to be paid. The bra that is still hanging on your door handle in the bathroom at 1 in the afternoon. All the “didn’t” and “couldn’t” of our days are visible if we just look around. But we tend to forget to see the 100 owies we kissed better. Or how many times we tied someone’s shoe. Or what about the hour you spent reading to your little people. How about the time you spent pushing your kids in the swings. Don’t forget all the time you spent running kids to baseball practice and dance. These things mean something. The good adds up and out weighs the bad.
Others see ALL of you. They see all that you do. They see the mom who took her kids to the park. They see the mom who runs her kids to baseball practice and dance each day. They see the mom who hugs and kisses her injured child. They see the mom who’s hair is in a pony tail everyday because she makes time for kiddos instead of time for herself. Others see who we really are. They see all the “did”and “done” in our lives. Believe what others see. Believe it when they tell you your a fabulous mom.
Remember that Motherhood is sooo very personal. ”A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself.”
Being a mom becomes who we are. It is apart of us. We make decisions based on what we know and what works for us. It is hard to not take it personal when someone questions us because it is apart of who we are. We are a mother. Some will say your wrong and some will say your right. But guess what none of that matters. What do you believe? What does your heart tell you- That is what matters.
Each of us has been on our own unique journey to motherhood. Each story beautiful in it’s own way. Every mom blessed with her own talents and strengths making her who she is. Those talents and strengths, I believe, are why God sent us our little people. It was not by chance but by choice. I believe that he sent them to us because we are the ones who can help them become their best selves. Don’t question yourself if you have followed your heart. Trust yourself. Trust your divine intuition. Trust that you are capable. Trust what the man upstairs sees in you. Trust that you are a good mom.
You can still be a good mom because of your strengths and good mom because of your weaknesses. “Sometimes the biggest strength can be found in how you understand and confront your greatest weaknesses”
Not one of us like or want to admit our faults. Especially to the ones we are trying to teach to be better then we are. Truth be told you’ll make mistakes. Lot’s of them- no matter how hard we try not to and I think these moments can be some of the greatest teaching moments for our kids. The way we handle ourselves in these trying times shows our character. It not only teaches us but also our kids how to forgive, how to rise above a bad choice, it shows them how to love someone unconditionally. It teaches them accountability. It teaches them that everyone does things they are not proud of but that we can take the steps to make it right. It teaches them how to confront the negative in life and deal with it in a positive way. You are your child’s first teacher. Teach them how to be the best person they can be through your example.
Nobody said it would be this hard. Let me be the first to say…IT IS THIS HARD! No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. IT IS. The end.
You don’t need to do it all to be considered a good mom. Pinterest and Facebook lie. OH, how they lie to us. They show you one second. A tiny glimpse. A well planned out moment into someone’s life. They don’t show you what is in the next room over. You don’t hear how many times they had to yell at their kids, or how many pictures were taken so they could get one perfect picture. They freeze in time the perfect moment and that perfect moment is what you get to see. Perfect moments are not what mommyhood is all about. Messy moments, real moments, teaching moments, fit throwing, crazy dressed, impromptu dance party moments, the moments when you want to cry or laugh or pull your hair out. The moments when if you have to hear mom, mamma, one more time you might scream. The moments when you are so filled with love for the gift God has given you. These are the moments that show what being a mom looks like. The REAL life moments are what make being a mom so beautiful. Not the perfectly planned moments. Mommyhood is not about how it looks to others. It is about how it feels on the inside to you. Stop thinking and start feeling. Create a life that feels good on the inside, instead of one that looks good on the outside.
Be patient. With yourself. With your kids. I remind myself daily to under-react. To laugh instead of cry. To cherish these moments that I won’t have forever. Because we won’t have them forever. Take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. You’ll laugh at them one day!
Remember the most important thing you can give to your children is LOVE. Unconditional Love. Not a love that depends on anything but just a love because they are our children.