Why You're Already A Perfect Mother
I've never seen another role in life with more pressure to strive for perfection than being a mother. Let’s not even open up the conversation on how fathers don’t have to deal with even half the nonsense we do to be considered great dads. Even when we know mom-shaming has less to do with us and more to do with them, it’s hard to not get caught up in the feeling that maybe you aren’t the “perfect mother”.
As soon as I became pregnant for the first time, I quickly realized that everybody has an opinion. When I say everybody, that’s exactly what I mean. Even the random lady in the gym who you have never seen before and will probably never see again, will give you her two cents about why you shouldn’t be working out pregnant. If you’re reading this, you are most likely already a mom and I’m sure you know by now that the opinions only become more frequent and a lot of time more hurtful. Intentional or not.
Everybody thinks they know the right way that you should be parenting your child and anything other than that will throw you into the Bad Moms Club. At first, for me at least, it was hard to not take these “opinions” way too personal. After being a Stay At Home Mom for 10 months with my first born, I decided to go back to work at almost 3 months pregnant with my second. Yup, I decided to take my pregnant self on an interview, land a job and leave my baby in daycare while I went to work. I was so proud of myself. I wanted to do something, I went out and did it! It wasn’t long before the criticism began… “You left your baby to go back to work… and you’re pregnant?! …that won’t last, you’ll soon realize it’s too much for you to handle. (excuse you?) This is just a little thing you need to get out of your system to feel like you’re doing your own thing.”
Inevitably I started questioning myself. Not because of my decision but because of what other people thought of my decision. This is when you start playing dangerous mind games on yourself and start believing that maybe you really are being a bad mom. Before I continue, listen to me: YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOM because you decide to go back to work. YOU ARE NOT A LAZY MOM because you are a SAHM. Being a SAHM is one of the most difficult and least appreciated jobs ever!
I have slowly learned, and am still learning, to differentiate people’s opinions from my reality. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. Somebody’s opinion on whether you are a great mom or a bad mom, is just their opinion. It’s up to you to mother your child in the way you feel is best. Obviously I am not talking about extreme cases where you might be unfit to parent to your child. In that situation then of course I agree on people trying to interfere and helping out that child and hopefully helping you as well so that in the future you can be the great mom that child deserves.
Regardless of how happy my children are and the fact that in my heart I believe I am doing a great job as a mom, of course I sometimes still get hit by sudden pangs of worry as to whether or not I am doing enough. And the truth is yes! I am doing what I feel is right with them and I am striving to raise them to be the best versions of themselves. I can proudly say that I truly believe I am the best mother these two little ones could have.
It’s inevitable to not get caught up into what everyone else believes you should be doing or not doing to be a good mom. Especially when everything you do is being seen as good or bad depending on who is judging you. Sometimes all you need to do is take a deep breath and look at yourself and what you’re doing. Are you proud of the little humans you are raising and who will eventually be the people making decisions in our world? If yes, then smile, pat yourself on your back, serve yourself a glass of wine (mom shamers, relax) and cheers to knowing you are the perfect mother in the eyes of the ones who matter most. Your babies.