There is no job on Earth that leads to as much guilt, second guessing, and craziness as does motherhood. I now think these things daily:
“WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?”
“AM I MESSING THIS UP??”
“I need some chocolate.”
Ok, well, I have always needed chocolate…but I never second guessed myself so much before I quit my job to stay home. Starting at conception, being a mom is HARD. And there is no handbook or college degree for awesome mom-ness. There is ONLY on-the-job-training and maybe an apprenticeship situation if you happen to have rockin’ parents. But there is this weird societal pressure do be perfect and I just don’t think it’s necessary. SO, I’ve composed the following list:
YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM IF…
1. You don’t have an immaculate nursery ready to go and post on Facebook at 7 months of pregnancy. My friends kept asking “is your nursery finished?” Nope, not with either kid. And you know what? They didn’t notice…because they were babies and babies don’t notice much, except for…well…boobs. Immaculate nurseries are great, if you like them and enjoy decorating. But if you don’t…they don’t determine your adequacy.
2. You don’t breastfeed. Breastfeeding is a very personal decision. I have breastfed both of my girlies. Nursing number one was beyond challenging for 10 months, while number two has nursed easily past a year. But some women really struggle, or don’t produce milk, or have to go back to work, or fight infection, or have babies in the NICU (I could go on). If you are one of those women, your child will be fine and will do just as well in life as breast-fed babies.
3. Your baby doesn’t crawl/sprout teeth/talk/use the potty “on time.” Our kiddos hit milestones at different paces, period. It’s ok. It’s hard not to worry, but worrying won’t will our children to do anything. Control won’t either. My littlest crawled (yes crawled) on her first birthday. She’s fine. She’s behind schedule, but it’s not the end of the world. Our children’s milestones, early or late, having nothing to do with us. They are loose standards written and rewritten by pediatricians.
4. Your child throws a temper tantrum at Target. Do you remember pre-children when you judged moms at Target for their screaming kids? Oh, you didn’t? Yes you did, don’t lie. Well, that is now me at Target, with a spirited 3-year-old, who is also really fast. As moms, we have to learn very quickly (often in public) that our children’s will doesn’t always coincide with our will for them. This is also not a reflection on us, but rather just a revelation that our mom game plan might need some tweaking and a favorite toy might need to say sayonara for the day (insert chosen discipline tactic).
5. You let your kid watch TV when it’s been a rough day. A LITTLE TV NEVER HURT ANY OF US! I’m not advocating all day TV watching. I’m just saying…it’s ok if the day is going poorly (or even if it’s going well), and your kid wants to watch some Super Why. It’s ok to put your feet up next to them and space off. You are not a bad mom.
If you love your children and are striving to be your very best-you are a good mom. Now take a deep breath and eat some chocolate.
What can you add to my list? You are not a bad mom if…