A good mom is like one of those illusion paintings, that, when you look at it one way, it’s a giraffe – and when you look at it from another angle, it’s all of a sudden an elephant.
But instead of a giraffe, it’s a mom who has no idea what the hell she is doing.
And instead of an elephant, it’s a mom who has no idea what the hell she’s doing.
See what I’m getting at?
NONE OF US KNOW WHAT THE HELL WE ARE DOING.
Sure, we’ve all read books, Google’d, and called our pediatrician with the utmost concern over the noise our baby is making, only to have the doctor explain how non-lethal hiccups are.
And sure, some of us have learned things from these different resources that can make a day in the life of a mom a bit easier.
But just because Cindy’s 6 month old son has a full night-time routine that is executed like clockwork and allows her baby to sleep for a full 12 hours every night, doesn’t mean that kind of routine would work for your kid.
We’re all secretly comparing ourselves to Cindy and her baby who sleeps like an angel, meanwhile Cindy is staying up every night until 3am, batch-cooking organic homemade meals for her son because at a mommy-and-me meeting, she overheard Jessica telling everyone how much her daughter loved it and how “fulfilling” it is.
And Jessica comes home every night from her full time job, feeling like a bad wife if dinner isn’t on the table for her husband. She tells herself that if Mandy has the time to work and put a meal on the table every night, so should she.
And once we all learn that Mandy only has time for these things because she has a nanny, we then start to think “maybe I can’t do all of this myself?” and “maybe I should hire a nanny…” and sometimes, on a bad day, the little jealousy mom-ster in us comes out and we think “must be nice to afford help…”
It's called motherhood. And most of the time it's a mess. Click To Tweet
We are all just running around like crazy women, none of us having much of a clue, and all of us wondering if other moms out there are doing it better.
Motherhood is basically the most love you’ll ever feel in your whole life, followed by the most doubt you’ll ever feel in your whole life. Throw in some dirty diapers, those immediate mom-tears when milestones are met, and a laundry basket that seems to be bottomless – I am telling you – we’re all dealing with the same beast here.
We are raising actual human beings here, ladies. Human beings who will be the next generation in this world. Not to sound dramatic (may be the new-mom hormones talking) but my God, that’s a lot of pressure.
So if you have to walk past the sink full of dirty dishes, step over the toys strewn all over the living room and walk past an overflowing laundry hamper to get to your bed tonight…just keep on walking, mama. The important thing is that you are raising your kid to be a decent human being.
I’ll be damned if what works for Kelly doesn’t work for you and you feel like a bad mom because of that. We’re all told “every baby is different”.
And then at our baby’s 6 month check up, we’re told that they aren’t in the right percentile or that they are above their weight curve for their age or some other thing that isn’t quite the norm.
We’re trying to adhere to the millions of tidbits of advice from all of these different places, and most of us end up feeling inadequate because of some other persons opinions on how our kids are doing.
advice unwanted opinions just keep coming at us! Most of the time we get suckered into listening to it because we are all terrified that we aren’t good enough moms.
Yes, some advice can be warranted and even helpful, but the majority of it, let’s be honest, is complete sh*t and just ends up stressing us out.
“Sleep when baby sleeps.” Ha. Even if I could just fall asleep on demand, it’s more like do the laundry, the dishes, run a brush through your hair and slap some deodorant and a shirt that doesn’t have milk stains on it before baby wakes up and you have to start all over.
“No screen time for baby before 3 years.” Girl, if you can make it 3 years without letting your baby watch a TV show so you can go to the bathroom by yourself, or heaven forbid enjoy actually chewing your dinner – you’re something else and I applaud that. Most of us relish the sound of the Mickey Mouse theme song, because it means we get a modicum of time to ourselves.
“At 9 months your baby should only be getting — ml of formula a day” I took this “advice” for 2 weeks straight after our pediatrician said we were over-feeding. I played it by “the book” every day, only giving what I was instructed…and every night my kid was up screaming at 4am because he was hungry. One night I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to make a damn bottle and that we were all going to go happily back to bed. And we did.
F*ck the weight curve. It’s not like he’s obese, it’s literally an extra .10% on his chart and I’m laying in bed listening to him cry for that…? Nope!
We know what’s best, we’ve just been convinced that we don’t by every pediatrician who has told us to do this, or not to do that, or that our baby isn’t reaching their milestones at the right times.
Or maybe we’ve convinced ourselves by reading the dozens of parenting articles like “Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night in 3 Easy Steps” or “Month by Month Milestones Your Baby Should Be Meeting”.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Somewhere along the line, we got so scared that we didn’t know how to raise our own children that we decided to turn to other people to tell us how. And then if we don’t end up meeting the “norm” or someone else’s guidelines, we feel like we aren’t enough.
We are the ones who have have been there, day in and day out.
For every midnight feeding, every bed time, every early morning. We have all sucked snot out of noses, kissed boo-boos, ate entire meals with one hand and have left the house smelling entirely of baby formula. We have sang The Wiggles songs in the middle of the grocery store, we have been peed on, pooped on and had milk thrown up on us. We have changed what seems like an infinite amount of diapers.
You’re not a “bad mom” if you don’t absolutely love every breastfeeding session or decide to quit a few months before you thought you would. Or if your baby’s bath too cold or their bottle too hot.
And you’re not a “good mom” just because your baby has no second hand clothes, doesn’t have tantrums in public or you bake everything fresh for the school’s bake sale.
Motherhood isn’t defined by just a moment.
More like hundreds of thousands of moments.
Every single day comes with different triumphs and let-downs.
Some days we are giving the gift of a good day where we can have home-made food and tons of quality (non-tantrum) time with our kids. But other days we also have to settle for a messy house, the TV on in the background while feeding your baby a jar of store-bought baby food that says “organic” to make ourselves feel like we aren’t having a total disaster of a day.
If you can climb into your bed tonight knowing that you were present, showing whatever love, support, encouragement and kindness you had to offer your child today – I’d say you’re doing pretty great.