My Life as Momma: Part One
Am I Good Enough?
I spend a lot of my time wondering whether or not I’m doing what's right for my daughter. To be honest though I think this is what travels through most parents heads when they are raising an almost 4 year old and a premature 6 week old or any age for that matter. If it hasn’t then I’m not sure you are doing something right.
Kids make you question everything you thought was right in life. Nowadays we have more and more moms opening up about how life truly is with kids and how hard it can be with all this pressure to be the best mom. Especially, when we get criticised for being a stay at home mom, but also for being a working mom. We are never good enough in anyone else's eyes. We aren’t feeding our kids healthy enough or we are feeding them too healthy and not letting them be kids. We are either yelling too much or not enough, being to hard on them or not hard enough, the list goes on and on. It never ends and the truth is the only person who can validate you as a mom is you. The only person who knows what's best for your child is you. The amount of great moms in this world is tremendous and they deserve the respect and praise for being just that, a great mom. We also have to realise, though, we do not have to listen the the negative comments and criticism from anyone. The fact they think they have the right to bring down another person, mom or not, is proof that their opinion is just that, an opinion. It’s not fact. We make the facts in our lives and we are the ones who know our kids best. We have to understand that our own criticism is enough to deal with. We get it enough from ourselves that we don’t need it from anyone else.
I know, from experience, that there are days where I feel I am doing the best ever and I’m totally winning at life and then all in the same instant I feel as if I’ve failed. We try to make sure we are giving our kids everything they need and want because “We didn't have those things”. We always say “I’m going to do better than my parents” when we are younger that seems possible. Then when we finally hit adulthood we realize there is more to it. It is so much harder than we imagined. The bills, stress, marriage, and work. Throwing young children on top of all that and expecting it to go as planned is laughable. If life can throw it at you it will.
There are definitely things that I know I didn’t want to do when I had kids. I saw my mom yell and scream at us for things I could never understand. Spanked our asses for things I didn’t understand. I always wished she’d be more “understanding” but now I know exactly how difficult it was for her. I know that everything she ever said to me was for a reason. I spent my childhood blaming her for things she couldn’t control. Now, looking back on everything I went through and seeing what she has done for me over the years, I wouldn’t change anything about my childhood because I know it has made me who I am today. My Mom is the best mother anyone could have and I would do anything to be as good of a woman as she is. So, if you are reading this, Thank you, Momma, for all that you did, do, and will do (I know how needy we are sometimes). Thank you for all the love, support and firmness you gave us. Thank you for the structure and discipline. For keeping us healthy and taking care of us the best way possible. I’m sorry for all that we put you through and I hope one day we can pay you back in a special way to show you how much we appreciate you.
Do we all come to that realization after we hit adulthood? I would like to think so. We all have our flaws, but those are the things that can make us beautiful. Those are the things that can make or break us. We need to understand that it is ok to second guess ourselves. It is ok to cry and scream when we need to let it out. Every person has a way of coping and as long as you aren’t harming anyone in the process then go for it. Coping and letting it go is how we are able to wake up the next morning and feel like we can conquer the things we will face.
I, too, feel ashamed of myself sometimes. I will be so on edge that I yell and scream at my daughter and then 5 minutes later feel like I failed her in some way. I find myself apologizing to her while she sleeps telling her how much I promise to do better. I stare at her thinking how lucky I am to have her, to be her mom. I want to give her the world. I want to lay it at her feet and tell her to take it by storm because she can. I know I’ve expressed too much anxiety around her causing her anxiety as well. I see it. I see her forming habits that I had when I was younger as well, like biting her nails. I can’t reverse it, but I can show her how to handle it. I can show her better ways to cope, but it takes me doing that as well. My job as her parent is too better cope with my issues myself so I have the tools and the means to help her through her moments too. I can show her what being a strong woman looks like just like my mom showed me. I can teach her to be kind, humble and never take shit from anyone. I can show her it’s ok to fail as long as you don’t give up. And I can show her that it’s ok to cry and second guess herself as long as she stands up and takes care of business.
The question: Am I good enough? Yes, yes I am good enough. I am doing the best that I can. I know she will one day be an adult with her own kids and saying similar things to herself. I will be there to remind her that she will always be good enough. Just like my Mom reminds me!
© 2018 Aaren Murphy