Today I’m going to speak to all the mamas out there.
You are doing a tough job. I know, I’ve been there. If it’s been a while since someone told you, you are doing great. Your shifts are long and physically and emotionally demanding. If you have a “difficult” child, that is a heavy burden to bare. And if you aren’t the mom of a “difficult” child, don’t feel guilty about it. Your time will come.
You shouldn’t need anyone to tell you good job in order to feel good about yourself. You should tell yourself! Remembering to do that can be difficult too. But it can be life changing if you let it.
Giving yourself positive feedback requires you to know what it means to do a good job. Stop reading and grab a piece of paper and whatever writing utensil you can find.
Now write down everything you think it takes to be a “good” mom.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Now look at your list and cross out anything that is not 100% within your control. Things like “my kids are obedient” or “my kids do their chores” or “my kids eat their dinner,” are all out. These things are not 100% within your control (and these are just a few examples!), therefore they cannot define what it means to be a good mom for you.
Think about it: you could be the absolute best mom in the world by anyone’s standard, but your kids might still choose things that make you sad or angry. You could be the best mom in the world by everyone else’s standard and your kids, husband, etc, could turn out fabulous. But what they do is not dependent on YOU; it’s depends on THEM.
So in order to define what a “good mom” is, you have to think about how YOU want to show up in the world, regardless of how others show up. Do you want to be happy? Do you want to offer a nutritious dinner? Do you want to enforce a strict bedtime routine? Do you want to feed your own soul? Do you want to sew all the family’s clothes? Do you want to chauffeur everyone safely to 15 activities a week? And be on time to each one? Do you want to offer your love to your children? Do you want to do everything possible to keep everyone alive? Do you want to provide for the family? These are things that are within your control. If you do them, it is your own recipe to “good momhood.”
I’m guessing there was very little left on your list after you crossed things out. If not, great job! If so, add a few things to your list (that are within your control) and then do them every day. If you fall short, learn from your mistakes and carry on. And when you do them, tell yourself Great Job!
There is either succeed or learn. There is no fail.