- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice
As A Mother I'm Failing Fantastically and Succeeding Brilliantly And That's Exactly Okay
A Mommy Is A Magical Thing
Growing up without a mother has left me constantly feeling like I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. But I'm also pretty confident that most mommies feel that way, no matter the status of their own mother's life span. Motherhood is probably always uncharted waters once it happens. Once that test comes back positive (or you get that call that says they are yours, it's time) and you know that no matter what, your life is now changed forever. No matter how many books you read or how much advice you are given or how much you think you know, being a mom is completely and without one single doubt, the most scary and confusing thing we will ever do as women. As humans. As sentient beings.
But it is also the most magical thing in the world. Mommies are special. No matter how you became one, by pushing them crudely but beautifully out into this world, or by taking on that ultimate responsibility through whatever circumstances brought that child into your world, being a mother is the most undeniably special thing there is.
You become this THING. This important, self sacrificing, goddess like creature who can do no wrong, no matter how much wrong you do. As long as you are always doing your very best, your mistakes are meaningless and you will always be MOM. The woman who gave life even if she wasn't the one who actually did the birthing. The woman who made the monsters run and hide and quake in their boots. The woman legends were made by and of and who worlds were created around. The cookie armed warrior of life who made all things dark seem better just with her presence. The beacon in the darkness. The constant in a world of chaos. The most important person in the world. The most beautiful no matter the scars. The most melodious no matter the voice. You are not just mom or mommy or mother. You are SHE. You are SAFETY. You are HOME.
Mommies Aren't Perfect But They Are Perfection
As a mommy I make so many mistakes. I sometimes forget that they didn't brush their teeth until after they are already asleep. I don't always notice the chocolate smudges on their faces until after we are already at the store. I sometimes let them eat too much chocolate. I forget to clip their nails as much as I would like, I say bad words when I forget they are watching, I let them drink soda when they should be drinking more water. All of these mistakes and sometimes worse. But you know what, that's okay. It really is.
They are smart and healthy and happy and funny and smart. (It was worth mentioning twice.) But most importantly they are loved, and they know they are loved. And they are safe, and they know they are safe. And they are precious and they know they are precious. And as long as they know those three things, that you love them no matter what, that they are safe with you no matter what and that they matter no matter what, then you are the best mom in the world and nothing else matters.
Mommy Wars Are Scary
As a mom I have my own personal set of what's okay and what's not. My standards aren't any better than any other mommy's standards out there, but you know what? They aren't worse either.
It's okay that I don't care about gmos or gluten or that I monitor to a certain extent what they watch on t.v. or who they hang out with. It's also okay if your thoughts and opinions on any of these things, or a million others, are different than mine. It's okay that we don't all parent in the exact same way. It's okay that you have different values and beliefs and wants and needs for your children than I have for mine. If we were all the same, if we all brought up our children in the same way, what a boring, colorless world this would be. As long as we are all doing our best to bring up children who will one day be good people, what else can we ask of from each other?
But sometimes it's scary to talk about our values to other mommies. Sometimes it's worrisome because our values are so important to ourselves that we forget that other people have different values and that it's okay. That their differences don't make your beliefs less valuable. That just because they have strong roots in something completely opposite of where your foundation lies, doesn't make yours any less strong. Just because they are right in what they are doing, it doesn't mean that you aren't right, too.
We are all just doing the very best we can and when other people parent differently than us it forces us to look at our own style. To wonder why someone else could do it differently, which threatens us. It makes us wonder if our way is wrong, or makes us worried that they will think we are wrong. And often that makes us defensive. Enter the Mommy Wars.
We start defending our own ways, our own beliefs, so strongly because we are afraid. But, you know what? We shouldn't be afraid. We should all be confident. Our way, as long as we aren't being abusive to our child, is the right way. No matter how different our way is to anyone else's way. It's okay. We should embrace our differences instead of fear them. They are what makes us unique, and that's a beautiful thing.
As A Mother You Are A Creator Of Worlds
When you become a mom the most important thing to know, the absolute most valuable advice that I could ever give, is that from that second on, that child's world will be what you make it. You have the power to bring up a child into adulthood in any way you wish. You are building an entire human that will go out into the world and effect it. Change it. The world will always be different now that your child is a part of it. And that is a most amazing thing.
A child is an innocent being. A life to be molded and guided and taught. It is a gift. As a mother it is your job to take that child's hand and show him or her everything you can to prepare them for the world ahead. It is your job to guide them in the ways of good, the ways of right, the ways of love over hate. It is your job to make them impact our world in the best ways they can. However you choose to do that is completely up to you. But what an opportunity!
You have the power to weave a world full of magic! Full of love and a life well lived! Full of imagination and beauty. You have the power to give fantastic gifts of pride and admiration and joy. You have the ability to get messy and make learning about fun and make childhood about experience and make the world seem beautiful and big and wondrous. You can show them the brilliance in the stars. You can impress upon them the importance of a single drop of water. You can dance with them in fields of green grass below skies of blue with clouds of white cotton and fall in laughing heaps as the sun warms your smiling faces. As a mother you can tear down walls of fear and build them up of confidence instead. You can teach them about the beauty that exists in everything. You can give them that.
You really can. Just take their hand and go. However it is you get there, in the end it's always about the journey. And that's fantastic.
To all the mommies out there, the tired, the frustrated, the sad, the happy, as long as you are doing the very best you can, you are perfect. Exactly perfect. Keep it up! You're amazing.