Mother’s Day is once again right around the corner.
The day that celebrates YOU. And everything you do.
Memes are popping up on Facebook. Pictures on Instagram. Quotes on Twitter. They praise all the work that moms do. Sometimes it’s a husband, telling the world how awesome his wife is. Sometimes it’s a company, making a cute or funny video about how much moms put into their families. Sometimes it’s your favourite blogger, with a sarcastic or pointed meme about motherhood and Mother’s Day.
And in all of it, you feel inadequate.
You want to be supermom. You want to be recognized for the mountains of laundry you scale weekly, for how many times you’ve cycled the dishes through the dishwasher in on day, for the stain you got out of the carpet last week and the times you actually managed to get the kids out of the house on time.
But there’s also the times you failed. The times you yelled at your kids because they didn’t get their shoes on fast enough. The times the laundry sat in the dryer for a week, while you pulled out one outfit at a time because your child howled, “I don’t have any clothes to wear!” The times you threw frozen pizzas in the oven because you couldn’t figure out what to cook for dinner.
When you go to bed at night, that’s what you remember. Those failures run through your head like a mantra… I should have… I shouldn’t have… Tomorrow I will do better…
So you scroll through Facebook, pausing at the Mother’s Day accolades, and then hurrying on. You read what your friend’s husband says about her and thinks, “She deserves that. She’s a better mom than I am. I wish I was more patient, like she is. I should spend more time with my kids, like she does. I bet she never vacuums only when company is coming over.”
Then your kids start a fight, and you put away your phone—feeling guilty for even looking at Facebook—to go stop the fight. Again.
I get it. I’ve been there too. Sometimes Mother’s Day feels like a reminder of all the things I’m not, instead of a day to honour all that I am.
So I want to say this to you, Mama.
You’re not perfect. Neither am I. Neither is your friend on Facebook, no matter what her husband says about her.
We’re all struggling as moms. We’re all doing our best, one day at a time. Some days are better than others. Some days we want to do over. Some days we get it right.
The thing is, even when you blow it, even when you feel like you can’t function another day and you want to throw the kids in public school (if you homeschool) or daycare (if they’re not in school yet)… even on those days, YOU are still the mom they need.
YOU love your kids like no one else ever will.
YOU know your kids like no one else ever will.
And they need YOU, not that perfect mom you see in the Facebook memes and Mother’s Day videos.
I love hanging out with my mom friends, seeing how their families function together and getting ideas from them about how to be a better mom. Yet I know that what works for them may not work for my family. My friends have different talents and skills than I do. Their kids have different personalities than mine, and may be at different stages than mine.
While I’m not a perfect mom, I’m the perfect mom for my kids.
Sure, I can learn to be a better mom. I can work on being more patient. I can apologize when I lose my temper. I can try to establish routines to make sure that the laundry and vacuuming happen on a regular basis.
In the end, it’s up to me to figure out what works for my family. It’s up to you to figure out what works for your family.
Only you know your kids, your husband, your family, well enough to know what’s best for them.
Your friend’s perfect chore system may not work with your kids. The allowance system your favourite blogger uses may not be the best idea for your kids. The daily prayer routine that your favourite author recommends may not fit into your schedule.
That’s okay. That doesn’t mean you’re not as good as they are. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad mom.
You’re just you.
So take a deep breath. Give your kids a hug. And tonight, when that mantra starts in your head, I want you to stop it. Change it. Instead of remembering what you did wrong that day, remember what you did right.
The ten seconds you spent playing peek-a-boo with your baby while changing his diaper. The silly song you sang with your kids in the van on the way to the grocery store. The extra time you took while making supper to let your six-year-old help stir the pasta sauce. The load of laundry that you did get done (not the three loads that still need to get done tomorrow).
Focus on the good. Remember how that feels. Encourage yourself that those good things will happen again.
Because you are a good mom.
Even on the days when you fail.
This Mother’s Day, celebrate your successes. There are 364 other days in the year to work on being a better mom. You deserve at least one day to sit back and say, “Yes, I am an awesome mom.”
Because you are.
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Mother’s Day can be so emotional! And these feelings of inadequacy are so hard to cope with and talk about. Thanks for sharing these personal thoughts and feelings!
What a great post! Thank you SO much for saying what many moms need to hear. God bless you in your own mothering, Bonnie, this Mother’s Day and all through the year.
From one AWESOME mom to another Happy Mothers Day!