Recently I’ve been feeling like I’ve been slacking in the “good mom” department. I feel overwhelmed and stressed and pulled in too many directions at the same time. And, after talking with some of my fellow moms, apparently I’m not alone in feeling this way. Last year I wrote about why you are a good mother, and I think it’s time to revisit that, because I could sure use some reminders myself.
Here are a few things to add to that original list:
You’re a Mess. Last weekend I was with my son at a 4-year old’s birthday party when a complete stranger literally picked a piece of dried food off of my shirt. I have no idea how it got there. It was likely there since breakfast that morning. But it was there because I spent the morning chasing my babies around, making sure they were happy, fed, clean, etc. At this point in motherhood, my boys require a lot of attention and that means less attention spent on me, so unfortunately that was probably not the last time I will be in public with food stuck on me. That’s my life now: I’m a mess. But I’m also a good mom.
You’re Exhausted. Parenting is mentally, physically, and every other type of exhausting that exists. It is hard. But we do it because we accept and embrace all of it – the good parts, the gross parts, and yes, the exhausting parts. It’s part of who we are now. It’s certainly not all fun, but it’s our reality, and with every desperate chug of lukewarm coffee comes a snuggly, bed-headed, warm little body that is thankful for you. Thankful for you when they have a scary dream at midnight and thankful for you when they’re bouncing out of bed (at 5:43 in the freaking morning). Thankful always. Because you are a good mother.
You’re No Fun. I feel like I am constantly saying “no” to my boys. “NO, it’s too cold to go outside.” “NO, you may not jump off your bunk bed. Or the couch. Or the table. Or the deck.” “I agree that you’re a good boy, but NO, you still can’t have ice cream for dinner.” My son often responds to these statements with “Mom! You’re no fun!” Whether they believe it or not, I hate saying “no” to them but it’s my responsibility to teach them what is acceptable and what is not, and if that means I’m no fun, so be it. Sorry boys, as much as I want you to have a good time, you’re still not turning my living room into a soccer field.
You Do The Boring Stuff. What my 4-year old and 2-year old find fun, I find completely and utterly mind-numbing. I hate playing cars and I hate pretending to be a dinosaur. But they LOVE it. I know how much it means to them when I growl and chase them around, or set up a race track and drive matchbox cars around and around and around. So I do it. And yes, playing cars for 20 minutes feels like 3 hours, but it’s important to them, so I will continue to make engine revving noises and crawl around on the floor. I won’t always be their favorite playmate, and when that day comes I will cherish these memories of when I was their first choice.
So, listen, if you are ever doubting yourself, just know, we may be an exhausted mess, but underneath our haphazard appearance and stained yoga pants, we are good moms.
We are good moms.