Some days I wake up ready to dominate the day: Healthy homemade food prepped for my littles? Check! Limited screen time and lots of books instead? Check! Crafts and playing with my children? Check! Creating memories filled with lots of laughs and cuddles makes me elated and leaves me feeling like a true boss mom.
Other days I wake up slowly and a bit begrudgingly. Why are my littles up so early, anyway?! I feel tired from making all those homemade meals and coordinating all those outside playdates and trips to the library. I’m worn down from remembering every detail and appointment for our family and ensuring I can understand and translate for my son who’s still working on his speech. It’s on these days that I place one foot in front of the other to make it through the day — and I really begin to question my mothering. With the Lunchables and frozen food, and too much TV and not enough engagement from me, I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’m not enough.
It’s the hard days where I really begin to question my qualifications to be a good mom. In my mind all my worry spills out and turns into a negative track: memories of times I believe I’ve failed as a mother, worry about future situations in which I won’t know what to do. I judge myself for not loving every minute of being with my kids. I judge myself for not being more ambitious with my own interests and career. I worry my house will never be Instagram ready, my crafts will never be Pinterest proofed. There’s so much to keep up with as a modern-day mother, but at the end of the day, isn’t it supposed to be about loving for and caring for our children?
I’ve been trying to challenge my own thought process recently, to accept that I can’t possibly accomplish everything in a single day. I read once that children don’t need to be told what is important to their parents — they observe it every day. It’s helped me to realize that the pile of laundry on my sofa can wait, but the baby who wants to rest in my arms can’t. A recent hiatus from my phone also helped me to prioritize playing with my children instead of using my phone. I’ve come to realize it doesn’t take much to be a good mom. Simply being present for my children when I am able is my new top priority, and with that, I’ve let some things go.
The same is true for you — I promise:
You might be a good mom if…
You wake up every day with your children and get them dressed for the day (bonus point for outfit coordination and matching socks).
You feed your children meals — bottle or breast, frozen or fresh!
You spent all day at home with them or spent the day at work providing for them.
You shop the latest trends in clothing and toys or use hand-me-downs and shop secondhand.
You observe other parenting techniques and try to use them with your kids or accept that other techniques aren’t for you (and resist the temptation to judge).
You are content being at home with your children without any side hustle or are thankful for the job that gives you an identity outside of your home.
You’ve accepted your new role as a 24/7 caregiver but find yourself daydreaming about your independent life before kids or what will come after they’ve grown.
You enjoy little moments cuddling your baby or playing with your child and are able to look away from the laundry pile awaiting you.
You watch the clock like a hawk waiting for bedtime only to watch their angelic faces while they sleep because you love them so.
You recognize the blessing that being a mother truly is while also acknowledging the challenges it brings.
You are the number one team mom or despise being on the sidelines of sports games but go anyway.
You pack homemade lunches with notes or dutifully send money for school lunch.
At the end of the day, you’re a good mom if you love your children and you try your best. I read in one of my favorite parenting books, “Simplicity Parenting,” that children never need to be told what is important to a family, they live it. So live out what you want your children to remember you as, and forget about the rest. After all, you’re already doing a great job!