I am not a great mom.
This is not to say I’m not a good mom, or even a good enough mom. I’m just not great. Recognizing that and being okay with that is my gift to myself this Mother’s Day.
Let me clarify by saying that I don’t really know what makes a mom great these days. I don’t know if it’s making Pinterest inspired lunches, knowing the right thing to say at the right moment, or finding peace and calm when anger and self doubt flood my tired, overworked brain. I doubt it. Perhaps it’s not seeking out the luxuries of sleeping in, taking the long way home from work, or letting my husband take the bedtime routine for the night. Maybe great moms never feel over-touched, or irritated by the thousandth reading of Goodnight Moon, or exhausted at just the idea of parenting.
Somehow, in my mind, a great mom is a mom who just loves and savors every gripping and mundane moment of parenting. That is not me. I get tired, I get over-stimulated. I am just not that into a lot of things my children are in to… most likely because I’m an adult. It doesn’t mean I don’t enthusiastically support them or take interest in them. It just means that I’m not predisposed to get super stoked about cheaply made plastic tiny horses or weird smelling glitter lip balm.
My gift of self-acceptance includes not having to justify my love for my children despite my aforementioned limitations. I believe I can countdown the seconds to bedtime in one moment and then almost immediately miss my girls and stare at their sweet sleeping faces in the baby monitor the next.
Being a good mom means recognizing my strengths and passing the baton in my moments of weakness. I am fortunate to have a partner who supports me and our girls and who has mad skills where my pool runs shallow. In return, I have his back when he needs it. I know I miss the mark in lots of ways but there is no doubt in my mind that our girls feel deeply loved, fiercely supported, and totally safe with us.
This Mother’s Day, I’m letting go of the fake expectations I’ve conjured up in my mind. I’m cutting loose that perfect image of the perpetually energized, composed, mommy love machine with perfect hair, cute clothes, and a perma-smile. I am professing my truth: I can love my children and not always love parenting.
It’s a hard job. Of course it’s incredibly worthwhile and important and meaningful. But it’s hard as hell. Hard work kind of necessarily implies that it’s not always fun and glowing and awesome. It’s hard. Full stop. And that’s okay.
Permission granted to be the totally human mom that I am. I am taking a bow for the incredibly normal and average way I have walked through mothering. If this is the way most moms feel- tired and never feeling like we are quite good enough precisely because we care so much- then I’m happy to be part of that club. I am part of a league of women who want what’s best for our children while still carving out a sliver of what feels manageable for ourselves. I am taking my moment. Because even though I may just be an average mom, that represents a whole lot of love, effort, sacrifice and sweat. And today, I’m a completely good with that.
So ladies, take your moment. High fives all around. It’s your day, momma. You’ve rocked this shit.
Give ‘Em Hell