So… it happened. Out of the blue one morning, I woke up and right before my eyes, I had become.. THAT mom. Okay… it actually probably started on day 1 of mom life, but still. I was just now coming to terms with it. That I had become the mom I swore I would never be.
My two year old was screaming, and I mean SCREAMING at the top of her lungs for a popsicle. Now, I’m not talking about those really healthy popsicles you see all over social media, where they’re loaded with fruits and veggies and a magical unicorn, and “make your kid smarter” ingredients… I’m talking about good ‘ol otter pops. End of summer special. Of course I protested this demand for one at 7 a.m. but I was weaker than my two year old. I gave her the sugar filled popsicle, bright and early, just like I swore I never would.
Now, maybe you’re thinking “ Yeah??? Sooo? “ OR maybe you’re thinking the opposite of that. I don’t really know that for sure. But I will tell you that this was something I had often judged another mother for. We’re talking pre-baby and post-baby. THERE.. I said it. I was a Judge Judy Judger. And it came to bite me in the rear.
Let’s Just Call It What It Is…
I guess I should also add that alongside the popsicle incident, I have a whole other list of things I currently do as a mom, that I swore I would never do. But as I sit here and make light of it all, I know its not really a topic that us moms, deep down find to be all that, “funny.” I’m talking about Mom guilt. I cannot for the life of me count how many times I have beaten myself up at the end of the day over the choices I made as a mother.
Often I find myself scrolling social media and thinking, “I wonder where she shops for her baby, I feel like my daughters clothes don’t compete with that,” or “Wow, he’s potty trained already AND can count to 20?” This inevitably leads to me thinking “I really need to stop being so lazy and get on with it already. Emma (my daughter) would probably not have these sleep issues at night if I’d just be more like the ‘Instagram moms’ and take her on adventures more often than I do…” And you can probably relate to the rest of that rabbit hole.
We live in such a resourceful time. We have so many tools at our fingertips on “how to” as mothers, and what’s normal for “this age.” It’s wonderful, it really is… most of the time. But if I’m being honest, it’s truly only sometimes.
Sure, if I wanna know how Sally made those gluten free peanut butter cookies, I’ll Pinterest away. But do you ever feel like sometimes the resources are eating you alive? That maybe you don’t always want to know what age is “normal” for your baby to start walking because clearly kiddo missed the memo. Or how much sunlight they need a day so they don’t grow up to be depressed and have social anxiety? Is that even a thing? I’m sure I read that somewhere.
So How Do We Change This?
My point to all of this is, is that we, as a society really but especially as mothers, need to STOP this comparison game. We need to stop buying into all the things that make us feel “less than” as moms. We need to stop beating ourselves up every time another mom’s kid does something that our kids might not be doing yet.
Stop worrying about the picture you saw online of the “perfect mom and baby duo,” with the stroller that you maybe can’t afford because it probably cost more than your mortgage. What’s that saying? “A picture’s worth a thousand words?” Yeah, maybe some, but these days, most are worth more like two words: NOT REALITY.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s fine! We ALL do it. But PLEASE don’t get caught up in it!
You’re Doing Better Than You Think…
Listen: You gave your all today. Maybe your all wasn’t what it is on your best day, and maybe some days you’re able to give a little more. But I promise you, if you feel the exhaustion at the end of the day, if your child laughed and played that day, and if you feel like maybe you could have done better…You got this, Mama.
That right there says enough. It’s not easy to do this mom gig. It’s not easy to feel like you failed time and time again. But you are not alone, sister, and you are doing it better than anyone else could for your littles. “Pinterest moms” and the “have it all together moms” are both feeding their kids otterpops and gummy snacks too early in the day so they can get some peace and quiet too. They’re doing exactly what you are, mama: Raisin’ babies and doing their best!