Oh, motherhood. It is such a wonderful, messy, exhausting experience. Since we want the best for our children, we strive to be the best mothers possible. We scour Pinterest for hacks, look at Facebook and Instagram for ideas, read books, searching desperately for the secret formula.
In my job as a Site Coordinator for the Parent Child Home Program, I come into contact with a lot of mothers on an average day. I see mothers who struggle through disaster after disaster, moms who exude confidence in their parenting, and everything in between. What I have realized is that they are all wonderful mothers, in their own way, no matter their circumstances. And so are you. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it.
5 Characteristics of Wonderful Moms
- You make it work– Gone are the days of predictability, getting places on time, and time to yourself. Yet, somehow, you juggle all the responsibilities you did before and take care of a tiny human (or two, or three). That is no small feat. Little people are unpredictable. From the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed, we are improvising, thinking on our feet, and just making it work. So, if everyone made it through the day in one piece(ish), that is something to be proud of.
- You make sacrifices– It may be giving away your last bite of ice cream or leaving a job you loved to have more time with your little one. Big or small, those sacrifices go a long way. These seemingly unnoticed and under-appreciated sacrifices are showing our little ones that we are there for them and always will be.
- You love– As my mom used to say, “I love you but I don’t like your actions right now.” Let’s be honest, sometimes, our little people drive us nuts. For me, it’s at least daily, if not hourly. Yet, we love them with all our hearts. We love them in a way we never knew possible before he or she was born. We love every moment of every day that we have with them despite all the messes and disasters they create along the way.
- You do your best– Thanks to Pinterest, Facebook, and magazines, we have a lot of unrealistic expectations of what motherhood should look like. Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is a great tool for ideas, communicating and sharing. However, we can drive ourselves crazy by letting all of those great ideas turn into expectations. I have a secret for you- no one else expects you to be perfect- just you. Your toddler could care less if his graham cracker and gold fish are intricately made into an ocean scene, he just wants to eat. You best is always enough.
- YOU are what your child needs– We all want to give our children the best. For some people that means buying organic foods, a high-tech nursery, designer clothes. The beauty is that none of that really matters. All your child needs is you. He or she needs your time, your love, your presence. So put away Pinterest and sit down on the floor. The mopping can wait. It’s time to play. Your baby needs you.
You may be thinking, wow Vanessa, thanks for teaching me nothing. I already do all of those things.
That’s the point. You already are a wonderful mother, just by being you.
Yeah sure, your hair’s a mess, you haven’t slept a full eight hours in…ummm…years, and your house, let’s not even talk about that. Some days you feel like you’re in the midst of a tornado and you just can’t keep up- but you can.
There are too many messages out there telling us we need to do more, be more. To make matters worse, the motherhood culture has become one of competition instead of support.
I think it’s time to hit the reset button. The saying is, “It takes a village to raise a child” not, “It takes a perfect, Pinterest worthy mother to raise a child.” We don’t need more competition or people telling us what to do. We need to support one another.
So, take a deep breath. No matter what happened today- you are a wonderful mother.
Life may be messy but you my friend are not a mess.
Although today will have its trials, hang in there. Remember that you are a wonderful mother because you always make it work, you make sacrifices, you love, do your best, and you are, and always will be, enough for your child.
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I am a busy, working mom on a journey to drown out all the negativity in the world with positive. I am striving each day to live simply, live fully, and love life. You only get to do life once, so join me on this adventure to make the most of it!