I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-being a mom is hard. AND…we are expected to juggle not only their life but ours too! As kids grow older, I’m finding it only gets more difficult, and as the activities and school parties and homework increases, so does our stress level. Sometimes we fail at handling things for them and for us, and today for me was one of those days.
Yesterday I was feeling so good about life. I had been eating healthy, no one was currently sick in my house, and I had lost a pound. Life was good! But today was not yesterday. Last night, I remember emphatically saying out loud that I needed to go get the requested items for my daughter’s Easter party tomorrow at school. I said this in my head a couple more times. Did it happen? No. I woke up this morning thinking everything was going as planned, but abruptly remembered before going out the door that my daughter had no basket and no items for her party. I drove to work with a plan of how to get to my daughter on time. When it came to time to rush and get what she needed, I went to Kroger hoping the lines would be short. I got the items, and tried to pick a line. I had no idea that 10am is when old people do their grocery shopping! They each had 50 items and could care less that I had three. I waited in one line, switched to another, waited and hoped they would move faster. A very nice checker came up to me and said, “Self check out is open.” UM…why didn’t I see the self checkout! Ugh. I left the store and dangerously spent 15 minutes in the car trying to stuff a dozen plastic eggs with chocolate while driving to her school. I rushed out the car and got to her school in time. It was a personal win. But…she spotted me. I always forget that if a toddler sees their parent at school they assume it’s time to go home. All the kids were lined up in their Easter hats ready to take a class picture, and there she was, crying because mommy lingered to wave at her. I left the room feeling like an idiot. I wasn’t prepared in the first place, but then I made the teacher’s job harder because I just wanted to wave.
Does this story seem a little over the top and irrational? Yes. Does it seem silly? Yes. But in the moments of me wanting to make my little girl’s party special, I felt like I failed because I couldn’t handle it all. I couldn’t say it in my head last night and magically remember all the things for the party. I felt like I failed because I made her cry by showing up to class in the first place. I felt like my mommy rating had lowered. In that moment, I wasn’t the best. Then I realized, there’s no such thing as the best. There’s no such thing as a perfect mom, greatest mom, best mom. We are all human working to survive and sometimes thrive on this earth. It is hard enough navigating our own lives, but when we take care of our little ones, we should receive a lifetime award for “the best”. I had to remind myself that I did MY best for my kid, and even if she had nothing for the party, she is still loved and cared for.
I had to tell myself out loud that I am a good mom. You know why? Because sometimes when we think we fail, we use the words BAD MOM to associate our failures. It is not okay. Those words don’t help us rise out of our mom guilt. They allow us to marinate in negative thoughts of all the things we’ve done recently to be a “bad mom”. So if today was my yesterday and life is great, I am cheering you on. But if today is like mine, give yourself space to rise. YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. You are doing more than the average human by taking care of two lives. Remind yourself that today’s mom guilt is not solely associated with your parenting ability and that this is an opportunity to get it right next time. You’ve got this. You just have to be willing to rise above.
“The truth is that failing hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.” -Brene Brown