Being an adult is ridiculously hard.
I mean, one day, you’re in high school, smacking your gum and making out in cars, and the next, you’re thrown out into the world expected to pay bills and get out of your pajamas.
Most days, I’m cool with adulting, but others—well, I just. CANNOT. deal.
Now, let’s make things even more fun. You’ve sorta got this adult thing figured out, and you’re cruising for a bit. Then a little plus sign shows up on a pregnancy test and now you’re about to be “Mommy.” You’ve been living off Spaghettios and Cap N Crunch for the better part of ten years, and now you’re responsible for someone else. What in the actual world!?
You don't know the first thing about motherhood, so you buy some books, ask your own mom, and talk to some good friends. Their advice is either awesome or terrifying.
Then your own baby is born, and things are off to a bumpy start. And sometimes, the middle part is bumpy, too.
Motherhood is one of those things that everyone else seems to master, and you feel like the only one who’s getting it wrong.
Your friend’s kids wear matching sailor suits to play dates, and yours wear the Garanimals you got on clearance last season.
Your baby screams like a banshee from dusk ‘til dawn, and your sister’s precious angel has slept through the night since birth.
Your toddler yells and snatches toys, while her peers share quietly.
How is everyone else getting it right, while you’re failing so miserably?
First of all, you’re not failing! You’re comparing your weaknesses to someone else’s strengths, and that isn’t good for you or your kids. It places crazy expectations on you and on the munchkins you brought into this world.
Focus on what you’re good at! Maybe you can’t turn your kids’ lunches into fantastic works of art, but I’ll bet you’re awesome at helping with homework. Your kids don’t really notice what you’re bad at, anyway. They just like to have a happy, funny, sometimes goofy mom.
If you’re still not convinced that you’re qualified to be Momming, here are a few more ways to gauge whether or not you’re on your game:
1. The Children Are Fed and Safe.
A few days ago, we were in Barnes & Noble. Mak noticed an entire section of the store was dedicated to parenting. I asked her if I needed to find something in that section, this was her reply:
“No, I think you’re okay. I mean, you’ve kept me alive for eleven years. Good job!” (Thumbs up added for emphasis.)
Count your children. Are they all present? Good.
Did you feed them today? Yes!
Congratulations, you’ve made it another day!
2. You Are Alive.
An important part of being a mom is being alive.
Take a deep breath. Check your pulse.
All good? Nice!
You’re on the right track!
3. You Think You’re A Horrible Mother.
Every mom who thinks she’s doing terribly is actually a tremendous mother. It’s when we think we’re done growing and couldn’t be any more perfect that we need to start worrying.
Do we all have room for improvement? Yes. Do we need to kill ourselves by striving to be the best mom on the planet? No. (See #2)
4. Your Kids Are Mostly Happy
Do your kids smile sometimes?
Laugh at all?
If so, then you’re probably even more successful than you thought!
If happy kids stem from happy moms, you are WINNING at this.
I say mostly happy here, because kids are also human beings, and they’re going to have occasional moments of dissatisfaction. Like when you refuse to watch the thirteenth episode of Peppa Pig in a row, or when you forbid any more rounds of indoor Frisbee.
(Disclaimer: If you have a moody teenager who never so much as smirks, you’re probably still doing just fine. Said teenager will most likely smile again when he reaches college.)
Sweet Mom, if you’re doing your best, your kids will see it! You’re feeding their bellies and their hearts each and every day. You are ROCKING this whole Mom Thing.
We all have moments of doubt, shame, and dread about parenting. Showing up is 90% of the battle. Keep pressing on. Nobody could ever be a better Mom, Mommy, or Momma to your kids than you.
Once you’ve tucked them all in tonight and thanked God for them, pour yourself a nice, refreshing drink and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
I know you can’t see me, but I’m giving you a “thumbs up!