Maybe it started with instinct for you. One day out of the blue you just started to feel a little off. And you knew before you even double checked your math or tested. Maybe you were slightly terrified when you saw the double lines. Maybe you were felt a rush of emotion and bawled happy tears.
Or maybe you waited for years for that adoption placement or stepchild. You remember how you felt?
Your entire life changed from then on.
From that moment on, you learned a lot about yourself. You learned how to adapt to your new role quickly. You learned that you had to turn fear and worry into caution. You learned to love another human being.
If you were lucky to meet your prince or princess as soon as they came into this world, you had the pleasure of getting lost in their little newborn-baby-brown eyes. You held that little bundle so close to your heart, making a silent promise to always be their steady in life.
If you were lucky to meet your child a bit older, you had the pleasure of nurturing their already blossomed personality. You held your child close to your heart and maybe even promised out loud to love and never let go of them.
No one prepares you for the next stages of parenthood though. The days when your child that you love unconditionally is hangry, moody, or just plain ready for bed. Your love is truly tested. Those days it feels you’re trying to love on someone who wants to make your life hard. Sometimes you snap at them because you too are hangry, moody, and probably 90% of the time ready for bed also.
You wonder if you drifted from being a good mom to a bad mom for reasons unknown. As life gets more challenging as a parent, we start to blame ourselves more. “I should’ve done something different,” we think. And we lay awake at night wondering how to fix it.
For the less memorable parts of your every day, when you feel like a bad mom, know that you are doing just fine. Take a step back and remember the whole parenthood journey. Look at the challenges you’ve overcome as a Mom. Look at all the love you’ve given your family.
If there’s anything you probably need to work on more, it’s yourself. You deserve real sleep in order to feel your best and function for your family. You deserve at least 3 real meals, smoothies, fresh produce, you know stuff you feed those little mouths. You deserve respect from everyone in your circle and not just your family. You deserve to be heard and understood. And you deserve help and support.
Most importantly, you deserve to be loved by yourself. Do something really nice for yourself, even if it seems silly. You deserve it!
Crank up your favorite Pandora station, pick up an old hobby, go see your best girl friend, go shopping with your mom and sister, have that glass of wine at the end of the night. And do not feel guilty about doing those, even if the house is the same disaster that it’s been all day.
Raising kids is hard. And not hard in the fact that we don’t think we can’t do it. Hard, in the fact that we feel that we can’t be the parent we want to be.
Stop comparing yourself to who you want to be. Look at what you have overcome. Look at your special relationship with your family. And just know that you are doing a good job! Really!
Let’s celebrate you every day!