I think that there is one thing that every single mom has in common with each other. It's something that often creeps up on us in our silent moments of introspection and reflection. There is always a small part of us that wonders if we are doing a “good job” with our children. Are we doing the right thing? Are we screwing up our child's life? There is always a shred of self doubt there. For me, this happens more often than not. Especially as a mom living with OCD, those thoughts can be put on repeat, like a broken record spinning in my head. I'm often afraid that I will somehow monumentally mess up my child's life in some way that he will surely never forgive me. Yes, I know that those thoughts are pretty irrational ones, but that's never stopped my mind from going there. Especially lately, being sick. Am I being a "good mom?" Will he remember only this about me?
There are times late at night where I will end up crying myself to sleep because I feel like I cannot provide a good life for my son. This little person, who I want to give the best life possible to, and I don't think I can. We aren't wealthy people. Due to my illnesses, I can't work a regular 9-5 job, so I work from the house doing freelance work. Between that and my husband's job, we get by, but just barely. That tugs at me more often than not.
But each day, we wake up, put two feet on the floor and still persevere. No matter how we feel, good or bad, we make the best of it. In being a mother to my son, I have learned a great deal about children and even myself as well. I've learned that being a good mom is pretty easy when you put your mind to it. It's a learning process, just like everything else in life. Here's my take on the whole thing:
Enjoy this quick how-to guide on how to be a kickass momma.
As moms, we juggle a lot of responsibilities. Daddies do too. This goes for both of you. Make time for yourself, even if it's only once a week for ten minutes at a time, at least its a start. Being around the kids 24/7 without any break can drive any parent up the wall. Hopefully you can catch some time for yourself after the little ones are slumbering away. Take that time to do something nice for yourself. Read a good book, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa, take a bubble bath, drink a beer, unwind.
In the same respect, make sure that you keep up on your own health. We as parents can often get distracted taking care of our children, work, errands and more. Its no surprise that our health tends to fall by the wayside. It's important to keep up with doctors, dental and eye care appointments. Perform monthly self-exams, too. Write notes down on your calender if it helps you remember, or get a task reminder application for your phone or tablet. We have to keep ourselves healthy because we certainly can't take care of anyone else if we're ill, can we?
Children are never ending sources of joy and laughter. They can take our worst days and turn them around with that tiny giggle of theirs or a sweet little smile. But the best part is, they help to bring out the child in us. Don't be afraid to act silly right along with your little ones! Giggle, laugh, yell and jump around with them, it's a real stress reliever.
Don't be embarrassed to act like a child. In all reality, it's a truly beautiful thing. Keep that sense of childhood wonder and curiosity. Look at the world through the eyes of a child, and you will begin to look at things in a brand new light. Love without limits and offer friendship freely.
You and you alone know what is right for yourself, your child, and your family as a whole. You know your children best, and you know what works for them and what doesn't. Everyone parents in a totally different way. If we all did it the same exact way, the world would be one hell of a boring place, don't you think? So own it and work it.
Don't let the opinions of others affect the way you do things. Opinions are like, well, you know. Everyone has one. Take it with a grain of salt, let it go in one ear and out the other. But don't let it bother you. In this day and age, so many people are intensely critical of one another. Let change begin with you, and offer encouragement next time you see a mom or dad struggling with a tantruming toddler or a fussy infant. Let them know you've been there, even just a wink or an understanding nod. It can make someone's day.
But the point here is you're a fucking awesome parent. Keep it up.
Everyone knows that the key to a happy relationship with your spouse or significant other is communication. You've got to be able to talk out how you are feeling before any change can happen. But the same goes for our children too. Every parent loses their temper at one point or another and we end up yelling at our kids for a moment or two. You need to understand that you should not be ashamed of that. It happens to all of us. Parenting can be a frustrating experience at times.
Take that opportunity to teach your children about how to express their feelings. Let them know that everyone has a bad day every once in a while, and that is 100% okay. You can apologize if you see fit, and then explain to them why you yelled. Perhaps they were about to do something that would have almost certainly resulted in bodily harm. Let them know that you were scared. Maybe they were scribbling on the freshly painted wall with permanent markers. Talk to them about boundaries and personal space. The more that we communicate and talk with our kids early on, the easier they will find it to come to you with their problems later on in their lives.
I don't know how many times that I have rushed around my home in a frenzy when one of my child's friends were coming over with their parents. Not to mention the fact that I've more than once felt like I had to dress up in order to give off the impression that I'm a well put-together mom at all times.
But, that really isn't the truth. More often than not, I'll head out to the grocery store in yoga pants. My house most definitely has that “lived-in” look to it. It took me a couple of years to learn, but I eventually realized that I don't have to impress anybody. It's not about that. Life is about enjoying the little moments, however messy they may be. Who cares what someone else thinks of yourhouse? And I say, we can totally rock those yoga pants like nobody's business.
Live life your way, parent your way, love your own way.