There is a lot pressure to be the perfect mom — if you don’t feed your baby correctly, chose clothes made from organic materials or spend the money to put your kids into private school, you face the wrath of the judgmental mommy-monsters that like to spend their days finding things wrong with your parenting techniques.
With all due respect, screw them. I’m not a perfect mom — I’m a real mom. You know what? That makes me a great mom. If you’re thinking you need to click that little red X because you’ve stumbled onto the ravings of a crazy lady … well, you’d be right, but bear with me for a bit. I’ll show you what I mean.
No Dinner Stress
I don’t know about you, but trying to manage work and kids and household is enough to drive you crazy sometimes. I try my best to make sure that everything centers on my family. I try to make home-cooked meals every night and insist we eat together as a family at the dinner table. Most nights we manage it, but occasionally there are times where you couldn’t pay me to walk into the kitchen and cook, and on nights like that we order pizza or get Chinese and eat it in front of the TV while we catch up on our DVRd shows.
There’s no reason to stress out over missing a home-cooked meal, and that’s one thing I like to teach my daughter. I’m definitely going to teach them how to cook for themselves, but having a lazy day and ordering out isn’t the end of the world.
You always want to encourage healthy eating, but the entire world isn’t going to implode if you eat a pop tart for breakfast.
Sometimes Mommy Loses It
We’re all a super-mommy in our own mind, but let’s face it — sometimes mommy loses her shit. I’m the mom who will put cartoons on while I lock myself in the bedroom and scream into a pillow so they don’t see me losing my mind, but that’s not always the best way to deal with it. Kids need to know that mommy and daddy are human too, and sometimes they have problems. Don’t put your problems on your kids, but don’t hide the fact that you’re human from them either.
This is especially important for mommies who have more than one kid or might be in the middle of a pregnancy. Once that new little one is born, postpartum depression is a real part of being a mom for many people. Don’t hide that from your kids. Let them know that it’s OK to ask for help.
World War Sibling
If you’ve got more than one kid, it doesn’t matter how close they are — eventually you will hit that sibling rivalry phase and your house becomes ground zero for World War Sibling. It’s inevitable, but it doesn’t mean you have to lose your mind or resort to a get along shirt to keep your warring children from killing each other.
If I’m totally honest, though — a get along shirt would have resulted in my brother and I killing each other when we were young.
Instead of freaking out, use it as a teaching moment. Yes, you’re not always going to get along with your family. That’s fine. You will also probably have to deal with people in life that you dislike or even downright hate — that’s OK too. Just suck it up and deal or find a new way to handle the situation.
Guess What? You’re a Great Mom Too
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I am a great mom. I don’t try to be a perfect mom, because perfection is a cruel and despicable illusion that no one should be expected to achieve.
You know what, though? My kids are happy, healthy and cared for. They get to school, get to their doctor’s appointments and don’t hurt themselves any more often than the average kid. Above all, they are loved. That, in and of itself, makes me a great mom. I’ve given myself permission to grant myself that title.
Moms spend too much time judging each other, both online and offline, and we spent plenty of time judging and second-guessing ourselves too. It’s a normal part of motherhood — even if you’re on your second kid, you still end up second guessing your decisions.
Am I doing this right? Am I making the right decisions for my children? Should I have done something different?
We’re only human, even if motherhood somehow comes with this expectation for us to be superhuman.
If you’re a mom, to one kid or many, to biological children, foster children, or any combination of the two, I hereby give you permission to grant yourself the title of great mom too. Because no matter what, you love your children and that, above everything else, makes you a great mom.