I have had this going around in my head for a bit and really feel the need to share. I know that being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Being a mom is challenging and stressful. I did a post before about how there is so much pressure from society about being "Mom Enough". I just know how easy it is to fall into that game.
As moms we judge each other- we do, I do, everyone does it without thinking. We put each other in this group vs that group, us vs. them, etc. We put so much pressure on each other to be perfect. But aside from how much we judge each other, how much pressure we put on each other, we judge and pressure ourselves. There is so much pressure for us to do everything perfect.
It happens so much especially when children are really young. I remember when my children were still practically babies. I did everything I could to be “the best” mom. It was so important to do things right that I was constantly stressed out about it and was unable to enjoy my children to their fullest. It was exhausting trying to be perfect. This is especially true if you are a stay at home mom or a single mom. If your life is centered around being “the best” mom, it puts so much pressure on you, ok, let me rephrase that- I put so much pressure on me.
We are supposed to be excellent in all things. That is true! Everything we do should be given our best, but your best doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. We will make mistakes as parents. Expect that it will happen. So those days when you are sick/tired/stressed out/ whatever and you don’t want to get off the couch, cut yourself some slack. If you are at the end of your rope and say something you regret, apologize- but it will be ok. Don’t beat yourself up over it, try and do better tomorrow.
If your child goes through a phase where all he/she eats is peanut butter sandwiches and potato chips- give them other stuff. If they won’t eat it- it’s ok!!! They won’t starve themselves. We have “eating times” in our home- but that doesn’t work for everyone. Be careful not to give in to their eating whims so that they don’t become the 12 year old at the sleepover who demands a different breakfast from everyone else (for the record, I was that kid and am still embarrassed that I made the friend’s mom make a completely different breakfast for me!).
And let your kids be kids. They will work things out, figure life out, and make general life observations on their own and you don’t have to follow them everywhere. After 2-2 1/2 back off a little and let them be. It is ok to have a grown up conversation without worrying every second if they are ok. Even at the park. My general rule is at a park, keep them in your sight, but at home or a friends home, keep an eye on the exits/ danger zones (kitchen, bathroom, etc). However, if following your child around doesn’t stress you out and you enjoy it without needing the adult interaction (this may be more true for working parents than stay at home moms), by all means, enjoy following your children around!
So my point is, don't worry about being perfect. You are not. You will never be. But if your drive for perfection is going to put a wedge in between you and your husband and ruin your marriage, it is not worth it. I see over and over new and young moms that are so stressed out from being a mom, that they are at odds with their husbands. Your first job is to be a great wife- second a great mom.
The most important thing to remember is that your children are gifts. They are blessings and rewards the bible says. That is all that matters. If you enjoy your children, love them in your own special way and they will know that. There will be a time where they will hold your faults against you (it’s called a teenager), but it is short lived and the rest of the time they will just want to know you. The most important thing is to remember that they are small adults. You are training them to be an adult, so work on making them the kind of person you would want as a friend when they are grown. One day the time for parenting small children will end and you will have to parent adults. Remember that and prepare for that day now. Children will not all of a sudden “get it” so guide them lovingly in the right direction. You will be so rewarded!!