Do you remember how you imagined motherhood to be before you had your children? I bet it’s completely different than the reality of becoming a mother. Our ideas of a good mother are shaped by society and socialization and it’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing enough as a mother based on the expectations of everyone around you.
Chances are that you’ve googled something about being a good mom or you’ve wondered if you’re a good mom. You may have also stalked a gentle parenting mama's content to learn a thing or two. Let’s settle the dilemma within you. You are a very good mom! No matter the self-doubt, exhaustion, anger, worry, and all those other overwhelming emotions. You’re a good mom even if you don’t have a picturesque image of your kids for Instagram that shows you rocking this motherhood journey.
A good mother does her best. Your best and another mom's best may look different depending on circumstances, privilege, and access to the things that make motherhood easier. Your best is yours to define based on what you have to deal with while raising your kids. Your best may look like not quitting amid the burnout, winging it and doing things while afraid, trying to balance work and motherhood, working on yourself, etc. Only you know what your best looks and feels like. You are not a bad mom if;
You want a little time to yourself. Motherhood can become exhausting, monotonous, and annoying. Your need for a break is not a luxury. It’s okay if you spend a few extra minutes at the target parking lot eating your snacks before going back home. It’s okay to want a getaway or a girl’s night out. You need these breaks if you’re to keep your sanity. Schedule as many breaks as you can for your mental health so that you can be rejuvenated.
You are pursuing your career full-time. It’s admirable that you are chasing your dreams and earning an income. The truth is that you may not always have the time you want with your kids but that doesn’t make you a bad mom. Stay intentional about being present with them whenever you can because the years go by so fast. Also, be mindful about building a solid relationship they can depend on.
You ignore some people’s opinions and advice. Everyone will have an opinion about how you’re supposed to raise your child. Some people are just nosy and pretend know-it-alls. Granted, you don’t know everything about motherhood but that doesn't mean that everyone’s input is permissible. Follow what you feel and think is right for your child. When it fails, ask for advice from trusted sources. This journey is about learning and unlearning.
You miss your old life. Kids change your whole life including your body and that’s a lot to take on. The woman you become when you’re a mother is so different from who you were before. It’s okay to grieve and miss old versions of you. You can always become a better version of the woman you were before because you’re wiser now. Make use of the pain and frustration and channel it into becoming exactly who you think you should be.
Your kid throws tantrums in public and you don’t know what to do. There will be those embarrassing moments with your kids and everyone’s judging looks. People might label you a bad mother for the most ordinary missteps but that still doesn’t make you one. Kids are a handful and they can be little tiny monsters who bring out the worst in you. What matters is doing your best to keep situations under control, pulling yourself together, and asking for help when it’s completely beyond you.
Are there bad mothers? Yes! The abusers, abandoners, manipulators, and narcissists. If you don’t fit into these categories, please cut yourself some slack. Motherhood is a cycle of high highs and low lows. Mothers are shamed for not being perfect but in this space, we welcome every mom who’s trying her best because we know how hard it is. If you are ridden with mom guilt or think you need a little more guidance to become a better mom, schedule your consultation call with us today.