The shame came crashing around me like a tidal wave. Failure, failure, failure…
I wasn’t the mom that got on the floor and played Lego with my kids for hours. I wasn’t the mom that YouTubed fancy hairstyles for my daughter’s hair, or the mom that got super creative with Pinterest snacks for the Kindergarten Easter party. Heck, I didn’t even sit down with my kids to read chapter books very often. We – gasp! – listen to books like this favourite on audio. On my phone. What kind of imposter am I? In fact, I should probably have my “Mom Card” revoked.
Sound familiar? Do you feel this way sometimes? Most of the time?
Being a mom is hard, no matter what stage your kids are at. I don’t actually believe parenting a toddler is any easier than a teenager. They are all dependent on us as parents, some more physically and some more emotionally. And you know what? We’re gonna screw up. Accept it, get used to it, then move on.
I’ve had 15 years of motherhood to work through my fears and self-doubts, and I’ll be darned if I’ll let them take up any more of my time. The thing is; if you love your kids, and if you’re not cooking meth while your toddler plays at your feet, you’re probably a great mom. Here’s why:
- Sometimes you walk into their bedrooms at night and gaze at them peacefully sleeping (yes, even that 15-year-old, and no, it’s not creepy as you thought that book was as a kid), or you hold your 6-year-old on your lap for just a few seconds longer, knowing that they’re not quite as grown up as they like to think.
- Sometimes you write about them on your blog, or brag about them on social media… sometimes the amazingness of these creatures you birth or adopt or foster is more than you can take, and you can’t help but stand in awe.
- You make them work. Yup, you’re doing them a huge favour by making them do their laundry, or the dishes, or vacuuming. You thought you were just being lazy? No way. It’s called “life skills training”, and you’re rocking it!
- You let them make messes. I know it’s not easy for some of us mamas, but we do let go sometimes and let the paint fly, or glue, or play dough, or scraps of paper. And every time you sacrifice your own Type-A-ness for the health and well-being of your child? You are just what your kid needs.
- Sometimes you can make your kids laugh, belly-grabbing, gasping, hysterical laughter that can change a nation. That’s when you really know you’ve “got it”.
I’m going to tell you something earth-shattering: Your kids actually KNOW you love them. They do! There are a million tiny things you do each day out of love. We fall into the rut of looking at what we’re failing at, instead of celebrating the everyday successes of parenting.
Be mindful. Accept your limitations, but also kick it up a notch with your kids. Tell them daily, or even weekly, how grateful you are for them in your life, tell them what you love about them.