I knew since I was a kid that I wanted to be a mom. By young adulthood, I had gathered that it wasn’t going to be easy. But, like most people who aren’t actually parents yet, I had all the answers. I could see the mistakes that the moms around me made and I vowed that I would never make them. Haha. I laugh because I’m guessing every mom can relate to the reality of making all those mistakes that you promised yourself that you wouldn’t. It’s not just me, right? Right?
What I didn’t know was that I would live with the constant nagging fear that I am messing up. Like most people, the kids remember the bad more than the good and I’m terrified that I’m messing them up. I know that I am, really. I can tell you exactly how I think I’ve messed up my 14 year old and my 10 year old, to a lesser degree. I can but I won’t because that’s just too depressing. Sure, I can tell you some good things that I’ve done and I can see how that has positively impacted them, as well. But, the nagging question is always, does the good outweigh the bad?
It’s hard to be a mom. We are so judged. And, yes, dads have their struggles, too. And, sometimes, there’s 2 dads and no mom. So I’m definitely not throwing any shade at any of those scenarios. But, I’m a mom and this is my take. 😉
Of course, for me, I have the extra concern that I adopted them, just to mess them up. Brian often reminds me of their other possible realities when I worry and comforts me by pointing out how low the bar is. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do my best, but it does put it in some disturbing version of perspective. 😉
What if I’m not showing them enough love? What if I’m not protecting them enough? What if I’m being too overprotective? What if I’m doing too much for them? What if I’m not doing enough?
You get the point.
I started to homeschool them so I could give them all of me and my time. But, then I never felt like I was doing enough. And I worried that they are missing out on the school experience. But, if I send them back, I will feel guilty that they are somewhere else all day while I either spend some time with friends or do the many glamorous mom things like cleaning and cooking. I desperately feel the need to do something “for me.” But, I don’t feel like I have the right to be selfish right now. Because before I know it, they will be grown and gone.
I even feel guilty that I’m annoyed that my 10 year old just plopped down next to me and stopped me from typing this. Oh, the irony! 😉
Society says moms should be selfless and put our children first. I agree, wholeheartedly, to a point. But, there’s this whole system where we do our best (or try to do our best). I try and for the most part, my kids make sure I know that they are dissatisfied with virtually every decision I make. That is unless I am taking them to an all-you-can-eat Mcdonald’s buffet or proclaiming an unlimited xbox day. Since that’s not the norm, they are mostly unimpressed. (Disclaimer: I might be exaggerating a little. But, I do feel like I’m constantly disappointing them. So hopefully, you get it.) We struggle through each day and try to focus on the good but are worn out by the bad. And, once a year, they air a bunch of sweet commercials and maybe you get some cool presents. When really, you just want a break. I don’t want to be too hasty, though, I also like presents. So don’t return that Batman t-shirt yet, Brian!
But, since I am a bit selfless, (shameless self promotion), I can live with that if my kids are ok; if they grow up and think of me with the same gratitude and love that I feel when I think of my mom. You know, that gratitude and love that I didn’t show her enough then. But, in my defense, she really should have let me go to the mall more. 😉
But what if I’m not preparing them enough for the world? What if I harp too much on the chores? What if I’m not teaching them responsibility because I let them off the hook on the chores? Are they learning to be good people? Do they think I’m a good person? Do I think I’m a good person?
So what do we do? What’s the right thing? Are my children beyond repair? Are your children beyond repair? No offense to your lovely children or future children. I’m just hoping you’re relating to this post! 😉
I don’t have any idea what to do or what the right thing is or if my children are beyond repair, but I’m hoping not. I’m just going to continue to try to do my best. I am going to accept that I will be judged by someone (possibly me), no matter what I do. I’m going to remember that I can’t get it all right but I can try to get most of it right.
And I can remember that I’m not alone. Misery loves company, right? Well, not misery, exactly. How about- stressed out, worried, frazzled but madly in love with their kids- moms love company? It doesn’t flow as well but it’s more accurate. 🙂
So let’s focus on our successes. What did you do right today as a mom? And if you’re not a mom, tell me what you did right, anyway! Because the struggle is real for us all. I’ve heard that people aren’t saying “the struggle is real” anymore but I still like it, so forgive me. 😉
I really had to think for a couple of minutes to come up with something that I think I did right. But, I’m going to go with this. Lizzie was in the kitchen making her lunch and I was typing away on the computer. She interrupted my flow and said she needed help. I snuck a few more sentences in but then I got up. It’s not the most stellar moment of my mom career but it’s been a fairly quiet day so it’s what I’ve got. Haha. At least, she knows that her mom will come when she needs her. So there’s that. 🙂
So please humor my efforts to be all interactive like and tell me in the comments (or on the facebook post), what you did right today!
Happy begets happy, right? And success is contagious! Is it? I dunno. But, for real, what did you do right?