Every time I see a mom blog I cringe a little more. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t. Why would I want to read about how bad I’m screwing it all up? Once in a while you get one about being non judgmental and empowering each other but more then not it’s about all the things we should or shouldn’t be doing. Don’t feed your kids this or that, do or don’t vaccinate, co sleeping is bad, just kidding it’s good, screen time is the devil, breastfeed or don’t, be a working mom or not. It will make your head spin. Coming into parenthood was an ugly, gigantic adjustment for me and every day and age since has been a new adjustment. Being a mom does not come naturally to me. It is definitely an adventure. One thing I know for sure, I feel like I am lovingly screwing my kids up on a daily basis.
Here are the facts. My house is never top to bottom clean, my kids sometimes eat processed food, fast food and to much sugar, they watch tv and tablets and play video games probably more then they should, they both slept with me til a ridiculously old age and still sometimes do, they are both fully vaccinated,(no judgment if your kid is not), my youngest still has to wear a pull up at night in which I see no end in sight, and I give in to their terrorist style manipulations all the time, I bribe, and I lose my patience regularly, yell, scream and yes even swear. I am doing the best I can and always wondering if they will actually end up ok.
Before and while I was pregnant for the first time I was so naïve and I would even say arrogant. I would look at a kid in the store throwing a tantrum and shake my head thinking “control that brat”. My kids would never sleep in my bed with me, junk food would be a once in a while treat, I would never bribe my kids with anything, they will only be allowed an hour of screen time a day, I would never threaten them and not follow through, I could never go on vacation without them, they will always treat their dad and I with respect and listen to what we ask of them. I laugh out loud at these because I have not followed even one of them and I am not ashamed at all to admit it. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. I do however have a new list of thing that my kids are expected to do and that I will never do. Subject to change of coarse. They are expected to be kind to others and to respect what all adults tell them even if they don’t agree at the time. They are expected to finish what they start even if they hate every minute of it. Once they finish they don’t have to do it again. They are expected to try the food on their plate but don’t have to eat it if they don’t like it. They are expected to keep their hands to themselves and when they don’t the consequence is push ups and much harsher if this were someone outside this home. Obviously unless they are defending themselves. They are expected to try to look for the good in everything which is super hard for my son these days. I will not feather their nest or feed them with a silver spoon. I will try hard to not fix their problems with teachers, coaches, other parents or friends. I feel like this is hurting them more then helping because there will always be someone difficult in their life they will have to deal with. To be perfectly honest I would be prouder to see my child grow up to be kind, caring and compassionate rather then to see them as a star athlete or student. I would even go so far to say high school or collage graduate. I want for my kids to find a way to live happily without the conditions around them being just right. Living unconditionally is my goal for myself and hope for my children.
Now I know that I’m not a bad mother. I also know I’m not the worlds best. If you have read my blogs you know I have this belief that the crappy stuff that happens to us throughout our life is all here to serve us. When I have a less then stellar parenting moment I really try hard not to judge it. I know the way I handle myself has an effect on my kids but I also know that it’s serving them even though we may not see it in the moment. It shows them it’s ok not to be perfect. It gives them clarity on how they would prefer I act and same goes for me. We are all feeding off each other’s energy. I admit there have been days I have been brought to tears because of the overwhelming feelings I get from parenting and yes my kids have seen it. It’s not pretty. But they know it’s ok to cry when the feeling arises. Crying releases so much negative energy it can be such good thing.
When people think of a super moms most would picture June Cleaver, Bree from Desperate Housewives, or that mom you know in your community that is always head to toe put together, volunteering for everything, seems to always be smiling and never loses her calm demeanor. Above all that, her kids always seem to be perfect angels. I’m willing to bet that the exterior isn’t alway what it seems. I saw something recently that said “Don’t ever judge another mom. We are all losing our shit some just hide it better then others.” This reminded me that judging a “supermom” is just as bad as judging the mom that is screaming at her kid in public, wearing pj’s with hair that hasn’t been washed in a week. Guilty! We are all doing the best we can, so if bribery with candy gets you through another day so be it! If making sure you have the cutest Pinterest bake sale item gives you a sense of accomplishment, good for you!! Either way if you are a parenting over achiever, just squeezing by or somewhere in between you are a rock star because momming is hard. We aren’t always going to be at our best and our kids don’t expect that. What they do expect is love, that’s it.
Something that has always intrigue me is when you see siblings, all raised the exact same way. Same parents, same house, same rules yet all end up so different. Or when you meet someone who came from a really rough or abusive upbringing but ended up as a super successful, happy and seemingly grounded person. Or the opposite situation. When a person comes from a “normal” loving upbringing and ends up a drug addict or a criminal. Maybe it has to do with birth order or their zodiac sign or their DNA make up. Probably a little of everything. I honestly think above all that it has to do with perspective. You could ask 3 sibling about a specific event from their childhood and the versions you would get would all be different because we all see things from our own perspective. No version would be wrong, it is just always from the eye of the beholder. This is so fascinating to me. 1 person could see a specific event as an amazing experience that added immensely to their life, while the other may not have thought it was that big of a deal, the last may have found it very debilitating or traumatic. It’s all in how we choose to view a situation. It just reinforces to me that we really have little control on how our kids turn out because they are their own person. They have a path of their own to find.
So I watched this awesome video once and it brought tears to my eyes. It was basically all these moms and they were asked to describe what kind of mom they were. They were all being really hard on themselves about all the things they felt they were doing wrong. Then they interviewed their kids. The things the kids said about them were all positive. How much their moms loved them and everything they do with and for them. I just thought this was so beautiful because it showed how kids really don’t focus on our “flaws”. They just need to know that we are there and we love them. Here is the link to that video.
I am not ashamed to admit that I can’t do it alone, nor would I want to. I ask for help daily from family, friends and other moms. I’m not trying to be a hero or pretend I can do it all with no help. I think that would be totally unhealthy for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I love the saying “it takes a village.” I feel like the more support you have the better mom you can be and the more well rounded and adaptable your kid will be. In my opinion it is necessary to be selfish and want to do thing for yourself with out the mom guilt. If you don’t take care of yourself first what kind of shape will you be in to take care of someone else? I know in my experience when I have tried to do it all and not taken care of me first I have ended up exhausted and resentful. Above all else in life I feel like making sure you have taken care of yourself first should be every humans number 1 priority.
If nothing else, I hope that a mom reading this gets even a little relief knowing they aren’t alone in what can feel like an insane asylums. We all question our parenting ability. We all lose our shit sometimes. We all want to run and hide half the time. I propose that when we see a mom, or dad for that matter, struggling we offer to help. Maybe we give them some encouraging words or even just let them know you have been there and they are doing a great job. A kind gesture can go a long way when someone is having a hard time.
My philosophy on parenting may not be right or ever ok to some, but here it is. No Mom on earth has ever done it perfect and who’s to say what is perfect? We do the best we can. We love our children unconditionally. We give lots of hugs and kisses. We let them know we are there for them no matter what. We can give them guidance and teach them how to treat people and themselves from our perspective and in the end that is, what I feel, all they really need. I believe that everything else in this thing called life, they will just figure out. If they don’t it’s part of their journey and who are we to interfere with that? All is well! Our kids are beautiful souls and so are we.