I’m not that mom. Not the one that you see happily walking around with a baby in a baby carrier while gracefully handling her toddler at the children’s museum. I’m not the mom happily nursing in public with a calm baby while talking to friends over lunch. And I’m definitely not the mom who rolls with the punches while clothing toddlers to get out the door. And I’m really not the mom that loves staying home with them full-time. I’m also not the mom who does Pinterest-y birthday parties (if you do, I have the utmost respect for you!), sends intricate, handmade thank you notes, or enjoys playing very much at all.
I’m just A mom, not THAT mom….
Having been a mom for 3 years now, I can now look back on the experiences that I had and see that I tried too hard to fit in – in some ways. I used to beat myself up about not fitting into the imaginary mold of what I thought it meant to be a mom. This was my made-up, unrealistic definition that I gleaned from… what, experience? Certainly not. When I take a step back, I think about how silly it is that I used to berate myself over this fabricated image of motherhood based on no facts or knowledge.
Can I just call us all out on feeling bad about not being the mom you had hoped to be? The mom you wished you would become? There is no other mom for your children but you. Think about it – your children don’t know any other mom but you…right? I know, I know. You have these grandiose ideas of the mother you wish you could be for your children.
Guess what though? That mom doesn’t even exist. Your children only know the mom that YOU are. They love the mom that YOU are. Right here. Right now.
As I say this, I have tears in my eyes. You know why? I yelled at my children today. I messed up. I failed to be gracious and perfectly patient. I remained calm for 30 whole minutes through the milk that was purposely dropped onto floor, the toy that was snatched from the sibling’s hand, the meltdown (actually, more like an explosion) over not having TV time after I said so for the 25th time. Then when a toy was taken and the baby was pushed by her brother… AGAIN, I just lost it.
Does this make me a bad mom? No. I’ve heard it said that “bad moments don’t make bad mamas.” I heard it at a conference recently, and it’s stuck with me. I know it’s true, I just have to choose to believe it.
Want to know something else? I’m also the mom who loves her children entirely but also wants to work. I really love having a career – it’s an important outlet for me. I’m realizing more and more that I need that outlet in order to be a complete and whole person. I’m a better wife, mama, and friend when I can pour into my business and have that time away. I used to beat myself up about this.
I am NOT a bad mama. I can almost guarantee that you’re not either.
Do you love your kiddos? Would you do anything for them? I know you would. And you do – every day! Then you don’t have to be “that-mama-who-fill-in-the-blank.” You don’t have to constantly weigh or measure yourself against someone else.
You don’t have to be someone else’s mama. Your children want YOU, complete with all of your failures, imperfections, likes/dislikes, and quirks. They love your wide smile, your crow’s feet, your shiny lip gloss, the smell of your hair, your compliments, your nerdiness, and ohhhhh, your hugs.
Out of all the mothers in the universe, you were chosen to be the mom that you are for your children. You don’t have to measure up or be anything that you’re not, so stop trying to. Don’t define yourself by moments of weakness. They don’t make a bad YOU. Do yourself a favor and stop comparing yourself to others. Relish the mom that you are, the mom that is so needed and loved.
You’re just a mom. You’re THEIR mom. You’re YOU.