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Mom Guilt is real.
We WANT to be amazing moms, do it all, have it all, raise the perfect child- but on a day to day basis, we end up feeling like the only award we will ever receive is for The World’s Most Okayest mom.
I am a home daycare provider, raising seven tiny humans. I hear all the time “I couldn’t do what you do.” Or “I wish I had your patience.” But the truth is, I don’t feel that way. Maybe I use up my patience for my daycare Littles. Because when my own strong willed princess loses her mind, I have none left for my own kid. Super Provider I may be, but I fall Super short on being a super mom. And I don’t think that I’m alone. Because the race for perfection is a plague sweeping mothers everywhere.
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Just today, at preschool pick up, we were running late (of course).
It was cold and rainy, and here’s my girl, standing there in the car trying to tell me about the latest Hatchimal CollEGGtable. It was all I could do to shove her screaming, indignant self out the door to her (ever patient, amazing) teacher standing in the rain waiting for her. Why my kid? Is it me? My Parenting? Perhaps it’s just that kids have a special talent (and comfort zone) in letting go all those big feelings just for mom. Aren’t we special? Or maybe, it’s because as a mom, I am just OK.
So ridden with my usual cloud of mom-guilt, I decided to make a list of things- self affirmations if you will- of what makes a good mom, or a bad mom. So that maybe, we will be ok with being the world’s most okayest mom, and decide that for our children, we are enough.
Things that do not make you a bad mom:
- Leaving your child in the care of someone else so that you can work
- Asking for time to yourself
- Yelling at everyone in your house today, including the cat
- Feeding your children cereal for dinner
- Your kids didn’t brush their teeth, again
- You just ran the same load of laundry through the washer for the third day in a row
- You wouldn’t read your kid a bedtime story because for-the-love-of-God-just-go-to-sleep
I think you and I can both agree, that the list could probably go on and on. Should you (*cough cough* ok, I) be better at those things? Probably. Should you beat yourself up for feeling like you’re failing your child on a daily basis? Absolutely not.
Things that Make you a Good Mom
- You love the sh** out of your kids
- Spend time with them
That’s it. Love. Your. Kids.
In the long run, and the long list of things they want and need from you on a regular and daily basis, the thing they need most is our love. The rest will come. On our good days, on our bad. If we love the sh** out of our kids, let them know you love them, and chances are, you’ll end up raising a decent human being. You want to know why your kid feels comfortable expressing themselves with you, mom? Even if it’s in the form of a temper tantrum that has you pushing the bounds of your sanity? It’s because you have a connection with them that no one else has. (Or at least, that’s what I tell myself.)
Being a mom is the hardest thing you will probably ever do. Sometimes, we nail this parenting thing. Other days, it’s going to eat us alive. But most of the time, we feel like the world’s okayest mom. And most of the time, so does everyone else.
It’s ok to feel like you’re the world’s most Okayest mom, because chances are, your kids still think you’re amazing.
Drop me a line in the comments- and let me know I’m not alone in feeling like just an OK mom most days! What are ways that you feel like you are failing this parenting gig? How are you nailing it? What do you do to keep the balance and not let it get to you?
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About the Author
Lauren Lewis is no stranger to childcare development, having spent over 10 years as a nanny or family childcare provider. She’s the wife of a travel geek, mother of two vivacious children, and has an amazing talent for trailing lost things behind her a la Hansel and Gretel. Her passion for lifting up women and advocating for children pours out in her work as a Central Indiana Event Coordinator, Writer, and Social Media Relations Director for Breastfeeding World. Her life is full of busy, crazy and LOUD. It is full of love and hope, ups and downs. And coffee, always lots of coffee- but she wouldn’t have it any other way.