I remember growing up celebrating Mother’s Day and honoring this incredible woman that is my mom. In my eyes as a young girl she could do no wrong. She had her act together – she worked but she was home by the time I got home from school and was always available to play with me, make me dinner and cuddle with me. She’s the most positive person I know and everyone always turns to her for advice.
Then there’s me.
I never knew how inept I could feel until I had kids. What makes any of us think that after our baby is born we’ll magically know how to change diapers, get her to sleep, burp her or figure out why she’s crying for three hours straight? Motherhood is seriously an example of “winging it.” Don’t get me wrong – I try to be Super Mom. I make cookies on snow days, braid my daughter’s hair while folding a load of laundry and check homework while I cook dinner. But somehow I always feel like I come up short. I’ve always said that if I could be half the mother my mom is I’d be happy. But every day I question myself – am I instilling self-confidence in my daughter, am I doing everything I can to get my special needs’ son the services he needs?
As The Safety Mom, a lot of my girlfriends call me with child safety questions and even child rearing questions. We all think someone else is doing it better than us or has the answers. I try to help but there’s that little nagging voice in the back of my head, am I really a good mom?
Maybe it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. My kids tell me on a daily basis that I’m the best mom in the universe (and that’s not even followed up by a request for ice cream or to stay up an extra hour!)
I don’t want the Mother’s Day card extolling my virtues as this perfect mother, it’s too much pressure trying to live up to that illusion. In fact, I’m learning to embrace my imperfections. And you know what? When I stop trying to be perfect I have more fun! And then my kids have more fun. And, in the long run, isn’t that what it’s really about, our kids being happy not because of all the things we give them but the feelings we give them?
So, here’s my commitment this Mother’s Day:
- I’ll give up trying to bake cupcakes. I’m not good at it and the store bought are just as good
- I’ll be selfish every now and then and do something just for me. A happy mommy is a happy family
- I won’t compare myself to the mom down the street who seems to have it all together. I’m sure there are some imperfections she struggles with as well
- I’ll ease up on the petty things. If my son wants to wear the same shirt to school two days in a row does it really matter?
- I won’t judge another mom on her choices. They’re her choices and she’s doing the best she can as well.
To all the other imperfect mom’s out there – Happy Mother’s Day!