To All the Moms Doing it Wrong;
Short of stopping a zombie apocalypse or finding the cure to cancer, being a mom is the most important job you’ll ever do.
It’s also the hardest, because you’re inevitably “doing it wrong.” Sure, if the primary objective was to simply keep them breathing you’d be a rock-star mom.
Unfortunately your job is much bigger. You have to turn them into responsible, moral adults.
And, wherever there is a bump on the tumultuous road to independence and accountability, it’ll somehow be your fault.
It will likely be disguised as well-intended pops of advice and sentiments. “When I was raising kids, I did it this way and I didn’t have that problem.” “I remember this struggle, the answer isn’t that. It’s this.”
Seasoned mommies seem to struggle with a bought of amnesia. They forget how much they hated the passive aggressive judgment and uninvited advice. They forget how much it hurt to hear “You’re doing it wrong,” when they were already certain they were.
Of course, there’s also the never-ending battle of vaccinations, circumcisions, public schooling, discipline, and unattainable milestones. No matter how hard you try, you suck according to millions of people.
I don’t say this lightly – Screw it. Screw them.
You are a fantastic mommy. You’re reading this because you needed to see what you’re doing wrong this time. The ONLY thing you’re doing wrong is seeking out more reasons for self-depreciation. Take a minute and process all of the things you’re doing right.
Motherhood doesn’t have to be a competition. Every child is different. Every mom is different. We all have invaluable experiences that have shaped us into who we are. The world isn’t made of one cookie cutter mold; thank God for that.
All of the parenting classes in the world can’t possibly prepare us for the level of sleep-deprivation, rambunctiousness and tantrums, anxiousness, and euphoria kids bring. There is no book that teaches us how to cope with feeling like we’re failing at the one thing that we desperately want to succeed at. There is no website that teaches us to turn off the constant worry.
Here are 2 ways to tell if you’re doing it right, even when you’re sure you’re doing it wrong.
1. Are they alive?
I know that seems like a joke, but really, are they alive? I’ve killed a lot of plants in my day, and they’re much less needy than kids. When you think of all the work required to keep them in good health… it’s a win.
2. Do you love them enough to adapt?
Isn’t that why you’re reading this post? I bet you’ve spent hours googling how to get them to sleep at night, eat healthy foods or stop throwing insane tantrums on the library floor. When you realize it’s not working all that matters is that you don’t give up; that you change with them, however they need.
You’re going mess up. You’re going to yell. You’re going to turn the tv on and hide in the kitchen with a cookie. You’re going to joke about sending them to live with the circus (and maybe even consider it).
They’re going to mess up, too. They’re going to kick and scream. They’re going to feed the dog piles of broccoli.
They’re going to say something humiliating and people will stare. You love them enough to keep trying, and that’s all you need to do.
Let go, Mom. The world is filled with successful kindhearted people – products of moms convinced they were doing it wrong.
Someday you’ll look back and realize the hours you spent feeling defeated weren’t in vein. Your kids will make you more proud than you ever knew possible. You’ll suddenly be confident in all of the solutions you found over the years. You’ll feel compelled to share them with the next generation, unsolicited, and the cycle will continue.