Sunday, January 18, 2015

I am a good mom. And so are you.

Are their any other mama's who are just weary?  Weary of believing the lie that we are failing at this motherhood thing?  Believing that we are a bad mom?  Just because our every-day-real-life doesn't live up to the pinterest worthy lives we think we should be living?  Or maybe it's because your kiddo isn't in enough extracurricular activities or you yell too much or get frustrated too easily or don't care that their homework is late or you let your baby cry it out or they never cry it out.  You wear them or you don't. Too much screen time. Not enough play-on-the-floor-with-them-time. You co-sleep or you don't even know what co-sleeping is.   Whatever it may be we might laugh & shrug it off  yet we buy into it.  We whisper to ourselves in the quiet of our hearts"I am a bad mom."  We laugh with our girlfriends "I am such a bad mom!" Yet somewhere along the line we started believing it.  We started holding ourselves as a mama up to a mirror that someone else held & no longer was it enough that we were given these kiddos to do something no one else could do for them.  No longer did it matter that they were our hearts walking outside of our bodies.  No longer did it matter that we were trying our best.  What mattered & what reverberated around our heads & our hearts were that we were  failing.

The other night as I was making a birthday cake for my son & I use the term cake loosely for what constitutes as a birthday cake at my house is a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars topped with frosting.  Pin that.  No crumbs & no weird soggy leftovers. Even though my kiddos love it & even though I love it for the lack of pressure & the presence of ease I felt inadequate.  Making the cake at 9 pm was the last thing I wanted to be doing anyways.   (Parenthood was going to be on later so as you can see I didn't even have a choice about going to bed early.)  It suddenly occurred to me as I was memorized by the blenders going round & round that my "cake" as ordinary as it was did in fact not make me a bad mom.   I don't have the gift for making elaborate character themed cakes.  Does that make me a bad mom?  Nope.  Not even a little bit.  Pretty sure no kid ever looked back over their childhood thinking that only if their mom had made them a millennium falcon cake for their 7th birthday than then everything would have been better.  Actually I realized that I'm not even a bad mom when I use my outside voice or my kids don't make their beds.  What is a bad mom anyways?  And if you were a bad mom would you even care?

How dare we cheapen this experience as being a mom with feeling lousy & thinking we aren't doing a good enough job.  How dare we belittle ourselves by thinking that other people would do it better.  How dare we lessen ourselves even a moment longer by thinking that by not doing insignificant things perfectly that it is somehow reflected in the kind of mom we are or the kind of children we raise.  Isn't that when we beat ourselves up the the insignificant?  Being tardy to school.  Birthday parties.  Acting out in public (not us our kiddos) whether or not the excel at a sport.

What if we stopped talking to ourselves in such a way?  What if we said aloud " I am a good mom!" in order to replace those lies with some truth?  Simple, right?  What if we whispered it to the inmost part of who we are?   If we said it over & over would we begin to believe it?  Would we be able to reach out more & encourage each other more if what we saw in ourselves we recognized in others? Wouldn't that be something?  Would we be able to laugh at our messes?  To realize that the messy kitchen is actually something that no one else on the planet cares about?  And if they do then that's their issue not ours,  What if we just gave ourselves the grace we so desperately want to be able to extend to others?  Would we stop trying to create an experience for our kiddos & instead live the life before us?  These kids we have are not commonplace.  How much time have we wasted focusing on what's gone wrong instead of rejoicing on what's gone right?  Anyone?  May not change the world but it just might change our lives & the lives of those who call us mom.

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