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Parenting Tips from a Bad Ass Mom
Mothering is a Beautiful Disaster Most Days
Whether you are a mom, grandma, aunt, guardian, or other adult figure in a child's life, I want you to realize first and foremost, I'm not perfect. Nor do I pretend to be. Sure, there are days where I definitely deserve a bright, shiny star on my chest, but there are also days were I am a hot mess. However, I like to call my hot mess days "beautiful disasters."
In fact, I feel like I grow as a mom more on my bad days then I do on my glowing days. When you read this article, I don't want you to expect motherhood advice that is going to make life easier. I mean who am I kidding? This is a tough, sticky, messy, beautiful job, but there are times when it really sucks, and we can't fix that. However, what we can do and what I hope to remind each and everyone one of you that reads this article learns is that we can all be bad ass parents, if we learn to love and accept ourselves and enjoy the moments that life has to hand us.
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Struggling with Self-Esteem and Confidence in Parenting
As a young girl, I buried myself in books. In fact, there wasn't a book that I didn't want to read. My favorite type of book was fairy tales. Unfortunately, I learned early on that fairy tales are lies binded between covers. Cynical? I know! But think about it. In most fairy tales, the antagonist makes mistakes, takes the easy path, the road less traveled by, if you must, and then a happily ever after is delivered swiftly into their lap.
What a crock! Not that I don't believe in happily ever afters because I do. What I don't believe in is the fact that these happily ever afters are wrapped in a tight bow and delivered by fairy godmothers. Instead, these highly sought after, possibly make believe realities, are only delivered to those that really want them.
However, simply wanting isn't enough. The only way I am going to get a happily ever after is if I work for it, and I am. For my daughter, I have decided that I will help her seek her fairytale ending someday by providing her with the life skills she needs to work hard and meet her goals, even when she has to fight to do it. Sound goods, right? I bet you are wondering how I am going to do that. Well, the very first thing I had to do was work on my self-esteem and my confidence.
I'm Not Perfect
As I said earlier, I'm not perfect. Instead, I'm flawed. Am I tragically flawed? Not quite, or not yet, I haven't quite decided, but I'm still standing and sometimes that's half the battle. In the past, I've struggled with anxiety, depression, procrastination, and low self-esteem. One of the ways, I overcame these obstacles was by reminding myself that I'm a bad ass.
In fact, I come from a long line of bad asses, including my amazing and flawed mother, and my perfectly imperfect grandmother as well. What I learned from these ladies, even though I didn't know it at the moment, was that I can be a good mom, even a fantastic mom, even while I'm dealing with my own shit. Furthermore, I learned the best way to do this was to be myself. What this meant was to drop all the fake crap I thought mothering was or wasn't about and to just be myself.
I'm Imperfect, but Bad Ass Because That's Who I was Meant to Be
By this point, you are probably wondering who I am? Obviously, I am a mom. My 10-year-old daughter is as spunky as a little girl can be and is my whole world. Every morning when I wake up, I try to be the best person I can be because of her.
Although some mornings, I wake up with chest pains and a cold sweat because I'm afraid I'm going to screw her up and be the proud mom of a tiny stripper in ten years or so. However, those mornings are few and far between know that I'm a more confident mom. In addition to my daughter, I have an amazing husband.
We met when we were just kids and have had the pleasure of growing up and growing older together. He's an amazing dad and helps me keep shit together when I just can't, or don't want too. (Let's face it, we all have those days.)
By now, you probably realize that I'm flawed, but I'm sure each and every one of you reading this is flawed too. I swear, smoke, have tattoos, and have been known to take my 10-year-old to rated R movies. In fact, I could probably go on for days with all of the things I do wrong. However, when it comes to motherhood, the most important thing to do is to concentrate on the things I do right. I encourage my daughter to be the best person she can be everyday, I love her father, and have taught her to own her mistakes and more importantly own who she is.
Let Your Freak Flag Fly Little Girl
If I could do my childhood over again one of the first things I would hope that I could do better is to own who I am. For that reason, one of the most important lessons I have taught my daughter is to own who she is. Who is she? Like I said before, my 10-year-old is spunky. If the recipe for little girls is sugar and spice someone overmeasured the spice on this one.
The fact that my little one is spicy is one of my favorite parts of her personality. In her young little life, she has been made fun of because she isn't "normal" according to her peers. For instance, she once ripped all the heads off her male Barbies, put them in a jar, and took them to school for show and tell. She then told everyone she was a "Barbie doll serial killer." I know I should have been horrified, but I had to pinch myself not to laugh when approached about the topic.
She simply likes to make people laugh and was born to think outside the box, just like her badass mama. While we did discuss the appropriateness of bringing bodiless Barbies to school, I also reminded my daughter on this occasion and dozens of similar occasions that it is okay not to be "normal." Instead, I encourage my daughter to "let her freak flag fly." You are probably thinking that is an odd mantra for a 10-year-old, but the point I am trying to get across to her is for her to own who she is, love herself, and others will too.
My Tips for Being a Bad Ass Mom
So here are my tips for being a bad ass mom!
- Be yourself, accept yourself, and love yourself
- Encourage your children to own who they are
- Stop worrying about normal (normal doesn't exist in motherhood)
- Let your kids make decisions for themselves
- Admit when you are wrong (then your kids will too)
- Smile, laugh, cry...feel your feelings
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Enjoy Motherhood...It's a Never-ending Journey
Last, but certainly not least, enjoy motherhood. It's a wild, screwed up journey sometimes, but it's never-ending. The sooner you learn what works for you, the better off you and your children will be in the future.