So I have this struggle…ha, that’s a lie, I have a lot of struggles. But a big one is feeling like I’m a bad mom. Perhaps it’s a side effect of depression, a genetic predisposition or a lack of confidence…all of which could really be the case, but what it comes down to is trying to figure out if I really am a bad mom. If I could disprove that theory, then maybe, just maybe I could believe that I’m not a horrible mother and that I am doing something right, maybe not perfect, but not bad.
This may take a little audience participation, which could prove difficult since I have a following of like 10 (at best) on this blog (in all fairness, it is brand new), but hopefully somehow someone will read this, help me find the truth and perhaps find the truth for themselves if they ever have any of this same type of worry. Although, I seriously doubt any other mother ever feels like she is not good enough, right? That’s ridiculous.
1. Define a “good mom”. (Be realistic and honest. For example: being a good mom does not equal making every birthday party or celebration a Pinterest worthy one. We’re talking basics.)
My thoughts on this: she feeds her children, clothes them, provides them shelter and provides healthcare when needed (unless of course this is truly not possible then this does not make her a bad mom, I do not think a mom who is living in poverty is a bad mom simply because she is living in poverty). She also works to meet her children’s educational, spiritual and emotional needs as best as she is able. Plus, she loves her children…you know, like love in action and love in emotion. She gives them affection. She gives them attention. She does the best she can.
2. Evaluate yourself against the above definition.
Okay, I do these things, but not perfectly all the time. I sometimes get fast food for their dinners. I sometimes (more often than I would like to admit) don’t give them as much attention as they might enjoy. They do have shelter. They have clothes. I get them to and from school and extra-curricular activities. I even attend said extra-curricular activities when applicable and possible. I try to address all emotional needs and involve extra input (therapist, counselors, role models, etc) when possible, but I haven’t done this perfectly. Like the time my son went to therapy and his father (my ex-husband) sabotaged the whole thing so the therapist disowned us (really) and then his father said he would not ever and I could not ever take him back to therapy of any kind. UGH. On to the next thing… I do try to meet my children’s spiritual needs (introduce them to faith, etc.), but I don’t do that perfectly either. I do love my children, I really do. I give them hugs and kisses (even if they get wiped off) and I tell them I’m proud of them and remind them that they are loved. But again, I don’t do any of this perfectly. Oh, that last thing in the definition above…”she does the best that she can“… okay, okay, yes, I do the best that I can, even if my best some days is someone else’s worst .
3. Come to your conclusion.
My thoughts: I’ve got room for improvement, but by my definition above, I am not a bad mom. This is a serious relief. I don’t want to be a bad mom, I want to be a good mom and an even better one tomorrow than I am today. I want to be proud of the mom that I am and I don’t want to have any more regret.
Here’s where the audience participation comes in and is really important. I need to check myself because if I’m truly not a bad mom, I need a little validation. Tell me, what’s your definition of a good mom? Do you ever feel like you’re not a very good one? Do you think my evaluation is accurate? Spill it, okay? ‘Cause this mama needs to know.
This photo came from The House of Hendrix blog and I couldn’t resist sharing with you here, because maybe, even in my imperfection I am actually a good mom and maybe you are, too. And if you don’t worry about it…well…maybe you aren’t? 😉