Are you breastfeeding? Good mom vs. Bad Mom
Do you feed your kids organic everything? Good Mom vs. Bad Mom
Are your kids on social media? Good Mom vs. Bad Mom
Do your kids watch too much TV? Good Mom vs. Bad Mom
And the ongoing saga is played over and over in our heads. I am a bad mom. I am a good mom. Our inner dialogue fights to measure up to others and our preconceived June Cleaver expectations. Stop. You are neither a good mom or a bad mom.
Tired mom. Energetic mom. Demanding mom. Excited mom. Mean mom. Worried mom. Proud mom. Overwhelmed mom. Happy mom. Sad mom. Peaceful mom. Explosive mom. Caring mom. Hurried mom.
I may have been all of these things in the last half hour getting my kids to school, but I am not a bad mom and neither are you. Stop telling yourself that.
“You are doing the best job you can at the maturity level where you are.”
Today might be a day where you are just breathing. If that is you today, then just do that. There are days that I high five myself (usually in the face) for breathing and surviving as I get in bed, and it is usually one of my favorite parts of the day….bedgasm.
Today might also be a day that you say, how can I grow?
Read this verse substituting your name instead of love:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Read it again and find the things you do well. What are those? I like to hang out in the persevere, protect, and hope department. That is how I love well.
Now, read it again, looking for two things you need to work on. JUST TWO. Perfectionism is not going to grow you here.
The two things I need to work on are kindness and not being easily angered. Yep, I have some issues.
Last night before sitting down to a wonderful meal that I made by dumping anything I could find from my pantry into the crock pot and adding chicken, I said through gritted teeth to my children, “If you can not talk to each other nicely, I will duct tape you together until you do.” They knew I was not joking. In my head, I was thinking other things, but you get the gist.
My goal is to keep maturing as a mom. I want my kids to see the emotion of life. I want them to see that feelings come and go, but love is a choice and we get better at it by doing it. Some days we will do it well, some days we will not. Real, authentic love is messy and imperfect, but forgives one another and ourselves quickly. We keep striving for better. I ask for forgiveness often. I know they see me trying to grow and I see them doing the same. After a hard week with one of my daughters last week, she looked at me and said, “Thank you for putting up with me last week, I am not sure how you do it.” And I replied, “That, is real, authentic love.” I am not a bad mom or a good mom. I am just a mom trying to love my kids and husband the only way I know how and that is good enough.