As moms, we set high expectations for the type of mom we desire to be. We want to be prepared for all the things, make good decisions, do what’s best for our child, and be available. We make mental agreements to keep our composure, be kind with our words, have patience, and be forgiving. This is just the short list of our longings.
All of these wants are wound tight in our DNA, so when we inevitably fail or fall short, the unraveling of our hopes and desires causes a primal ache only another mother can understand. The anguish of not being the type of mom we wanted to be cannot be described in words, only felt in the hollows of our being. Mom guilt takes no prisoners.
Which is all the more reason why we need to be kind to one another and have each other’s backs in the collective village. We understand the inner wrangling that lurks beneath the surface of every mom we meet. This shared heartache needs shared relief in the form of encouragement, compassion, and empathy. If we can’t be there for each other when we are aware of the common battle, then who will?
The truth is we’re all doing our best in any given moment, even if it looks ugly on the outside and feels awful on the inside. God knows we love our kids with abandon, but that doesn’t mean we have what it takes to be Mary Poppins on the daily. There are days I’d like to tell lady Poppins what to do with that spoon full of sugar. Just sayin.
Mommas, even at our worst, we’re trying desperately to meet the demands we’ve placed upon ourselves to be the mom our kids need in every moment. But I think what our kids really need is for us to be okay with not being perfect. To be okay with failure. To be okay with having off days.
When we’re kind and forgiving to ourselves, when we can apologize and start over, our kids learn that they can screw up too and still be enough. They learn that failure does not define them. They learn that being human is just freaking hard sometimes, but we live, we learn, and we grow.
Just imagine if we loved ourselves to the same degree we love our children. Mom guilt could never withstand the power of that kind of love. But we can withstand the power of that kind of freedom.
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