Am I a good mom?
“Am I a good mom?” How often do you ask yourself this question? How often do you think “I’m not a good mom”? A while back I was talking to another mother and we were talking about motherhood. She informed me that some moms don’t like mother’s day because it only reminds them of all the ways they fail at being a good mom. I felt sad to think that even on the day that we celebrate motherhood, women aren’t able to let others celebrate the good they do. I want you to pause for a second and think about if what you are really asking is “Am I a good mom?”
Too often, I think we are actually beating ourselves up for not being the perfect mom. When did we start using the term good when we are actually talking about perfection? Please, pretty please, do not be a perfect mom. No kid wants a perfect mom. They just want their mom. And you are their mom! They don’t need you to be more like Annie’s mom. They just need you to be more of you. You will fail miserably trying to the mom that you were not meant to be. You don’t need to be a Pinterest mom, a blogger mom, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a fit mom, or whatever mom is out there now. Your kids want you! Maybe that means that you are their homeschooling teacher, or maybe that means you celebrate the second you drop them off at school. There will be things that you are good at, there will be things that you are great at, and there will be times when you fail.
One important thing for you to accept right now is that you will mess up your children. You better believe that their weaknesses and problems will trace back to their relationship with you (and your partner). Don’t get down about it! Your parents did it to you, and your grandparents did it to your parents! The sooner you accept that the transfer of good and bad happens equally, the sooner you can teach your children how to grow. I first learned this lesson while sitting in church. A woman was teaching a lesson on repentance. Now for those of you who may not be religious, “repentance” focuses on changing from engaging in a sinful behavior to a behavior that is not sinful. Basically, repentance is about improvement and growth. The woman talked about how she had to accept that in order to truly teach her children about repentance, or growth, that meant that she had to be imperfect and let her children see that. That was one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned as a parent. I no longer need to feel shame about when I fail to be a perfect, or good, parent because I bring goodness to my kids when I make a mistake and show them that mistakes are opportunities for us to learn and grow.
I’ve thought a lot about the term “good mom.” I’ve tried to examine when I think about this and I’ve realized that the second I start to evaluate if I am a good mom is the second that I stop being what I am aiming to be. If I am trying to be a “good mom,” who am I doing that for? For other adults who are judging my parenting? (Oh, and they are judging! We all participate in the game of examining each other’s parenting). Is it so I can feel good about myself? The only person whose opinion matters in terms of me being a good mom is my children’s. And guess what? They don’t think that way! When I'm concerned about being a “good mom” that means I am focusing more on how I am seen rather than what I am doing. When I am “mom-ing,” or mothering, is when I’m best at being the mom I need to be. Whether someone else thinks I’m a good mom or bad mom doesn’t matter. I know my children best. I know myself best, so I’m not going to be a “good” mom. I’m just gonna go “mom” it up, and I’ll be happy and my kids will be happy cause we will be doing our thing. We won’t be doing a thing for anyone else whose opinion doesn’t really matter.