You all know about our judgement-free campaign by now. Sometimes, I find, that other mothers aren’t nearly as judgmental of me as I am of myself. I am my own worst critic. No one else but me. [Note: I’m sure that other mothers may judge me, but their opinion of me doesn’t matter.]
As a mom, it’s easy to feel bursts of failure or shame. Like when your kid acts up in public, you feel like it’s your fault.
- When you forget picture day and send your kid to school in a ratty sweatshirt, you feel like a total loser.
- When you forget to send a snack to school or pick up your child late
- Or just make a boneheaded move because you’re overwhelmed or distracted
- Just yesterday, I stood in the dentist’s office while my 3 year old went through 45 minutes in the chair because of a tooth issue. The dentist assured me his brushing/flossing looked fine, it was actually an enamel anomaly (say that 3 times fast!) but I still felt like a total failure as a mom, blaming myself somehow for maybe not having him floss enough.
Sometimes, as moms, we put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything perfect, we allow ourselves to actually shame ourselves unnecessarily.
Shame. Not temporary guilt, but actual shame.
My friends know how much a love Brené Brown. So, like my fellow CTWM, Sharlene, I am also taking Brené’s eCourse and I am really loving it. [Please go see Sharlene’s post here – it’s so worth it] The eCourse is focused on imperfection.
One of the first things Brené has her “students” do is to take the pledge. Write “I’M IMPERFECT AND I’M ENOUGH” on your hand then take a selfie. I told myself I was going to be brave and gave myself permission to put some fears aside for this eCourse, so I did it:
Immediately, I looked at this picture and thought:
“OMG my skin is so horrible!”
“I hate pictures of myself.”
“I really wish I had lost those 30 lbs before now, I look bloated.”
“Why do my eyes look shut when I smile?”
Thankfully, the message was still clearly written on my hand, so I looked at it and just silenced myself. There are so many things that I am getting out of this class and it’s only Week 1. But this is a big step first step. I’m making a pledge to myself to not let this shame set in.
I’m imperfect. Damn straight I’m imperfect. But I’m enough. This isn’t about refusing to accept accountability for mistakes, it’s about OWNING them, addressing them and not letting them linger into SHAME.
And as a mother, I’m not going to let myself feel lesser of a mother because I screw up from time to time. I will own my mistakes and move forward from them, without the self-bullying.
I can say “that was a dumb move” and move on rather than “OMG I AM THE WORST MOST HORRIBLE AWFUL MOTHER ON EARTH”.
I’m imperfect. But I’m enough.