This is a tough gig! I know you beat yourself up quite a bit. You sacrifice your own comfort and preferences for those around you.
You remember all the times you yelled at your little one. You remember losing your temper and snapping at them.
But I know. I know how you asked your little one FOUR TIMES to do something. And you did it calmly, with love and respect in your voice. You said please. You were firm, but calm. I know you did that BEFORE you yelled. You forget those wins.
You beat yourself up for not wanting to play with play doh AGAIN.
But I know. I know how you’ve played with the play doh so many times and just finished cleaning bits of it off the floor and ground into the carpet. I know how you played Candyland 12 times in the last 3 days. I know how you’ve read the same book 10 times in a row. You forget those wins when you beat yourself up for your one time of not wanting to play with them.
You feel “less than” for sending store bought cookies to school for snack instead of making the adorable homemade snowman cupcakes you saw on Pinterest.
But I know. I know how you do the grocery shopping and try so hard to feed your family healthy AND find foods your picky child will eat. I know how you spent time working with your little one on their homework or reading them another book instead of taking time to bake a homemade snack. I know how you go to work everyday to provide for your family leaving little time to be Betty Crocker because when you come home you want to hear about their day and snuggle and also need to get homework, baths and play time in before bed. You forget the great and important ways you spend your time instead of baking and looking like a Pinterest goddess.
You believe the lies that you are a bad mom because your child misbehaves, talks back, doesn’t listen and has tantrums when you are around. You hear how they are “so good” with Grama or Daddy or the babysitter.
But I know. I know that means that you are a wonderful mom because that says your child feels safe with you. I know they feel safe to let it all out. All that they have been holding in, all the feelings they don’t know how to process that they’ve been holding in come out with mom because you are safe. You will love them no matter what. You will hug them after they’ve had their tantrum. I know it’s so hard that you get that side of them sometimes, but it’s a complement to you! You feel like you are failing, but I know you are their rock. I know “Mama” is who they call out to in the middle of night when they are scared or wake from a nightmare. I know it’s “Mama” they want when they fall down and get hurt. It’s “Mama” who can kiss and hug away the pain, the fear, the anxiousness, the discomfort.
You feel frumpy, out of touch, like you’ve lost your youth.
But I know. I know the sacrifices you make so that your sweet children can be happy, fulfilled, and looking good! I know how you sacrifice buying yourself new clothes because you just saw the CUTEST outfit for your little one. I know how your little guy wears through the knees in his pants so fast you are continually needing to buy new ones to replace his “air conditioned” ones. I know how your little girl had ANOTHER growth spurt and suddenly pants and sleeves are too short and she needs new clothes. I know how that means YOU don’t get new things. I know how you give up listening to current radio because the Dora CD is what’s on repeat in the car. I know how you’ve exchanged going to see the newest suspense R rated movie for the newest Disney movie. You see yourself as out of touch, but I know you are in touch with those most important to you.
You are so hard on yourself. You find all your faults, see all your short comings, keep track of each time you didn’t parent perfectly, compare yourself to other parents in the classroom and online, and obsess about what you SHOULD be doing better.
But I know. I know how incredibly hard you work. I know how much you sacrifice. I know how much you love. I know how hard you work.
Don’t forget those things too. No, you’re not perfect. You make mistakes. But you also have a lot of victories!
A fellow Mom