Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Good Mom

I'm going to start a series of "bad mommy confessions", things that I do or don't do that makes me a less than exemplary mom & wife. But, I want to start with this first.

Recently I have several people whom I look up to tell me that I'm a good mom. I can't express how good that makes me feel. It's always good to hear compliments but to hear that people think I'm a good mom is the highest one I could be paid.

I don't look at myself as a great mother.  I'm just a mom who does her best with what she knows & feels in her heart. As I feel so many other moms do. It's so hard when you hold your baby and know that as a mother (or father) what you do will impact this persons life forever. You hold a life in your hands that is yours to mold and shape, at the very least, a decent member of society. But our children can be so much more than that. And it's our job to help them to that extraordinary position. Which is such a HUGE responsibility. And as a mother, I second guess every choice I make. Is this the right choice not for me, but for my child as an individual. Can I set aside my inherently selfish ways to make the best decision for this child? It's something I struggle with constantly. So, when people tell me I'm a good mother, I appreciate it so much. I recall those compliments when I'm having a day where nothing I do feels right or good enough. On the days that I'm scraping by and feeling like I'm failing, I remember that people I admire think that I'm not failing, I'm not just getting by, I'm succeeding. At least in the grand scheme of things.

So, I want to thank everyone who has told me that. You may not have known the weight of the words when you said them, but I carry that compliment in my heart.

With that, I'd like to pass on the joyous feeling to some of the people I know who don't feel like the greatest moms. I won't mention names but they are friends who feel like nothing they do is right. That there really is no right answer. Being a mom has come natural to me. It made it easier since I was in such a good place in life. Some of my mom friends it hasn't come natural to. And some of those people didn't have baby(ies) under the best circumstances. But you ladies still do the best you can. You give all that you can give. You fight for your baby(ies) to have the best life possible even if it's not everything you want to give them. And that, my friends, makes YOU a good mom.

Steve once told me that being a good mom isn't about the easy times. Almost any woman, when given a happy baby can be a good or even great mom. Feed them, play with them, put them to bed. Easy peasy. Being a good mom is all the things you do inbetween. The middle of the night feedings when you can barely open your eyes. Going to work when your heart breaks because you're leaving your child to provide the best life for your child. Holding a baby for hours on end because s/he is colicky and only stops when you hold him/her. And sometimes doesn't even stop then! Fighting tooth and nail for the best interests of your child when all you want to do is give up & give in. Being at your wits end with a toddler who is emotional and acting out. Sitting up with a child who is sick or just had a bad dream. And at some point, letting your child go & grow. Accepting that they're becoming an adult and letting them make their own mistakes and way. The good moments are important, but those are the moments that great mothers are made.

Ladies, the biggest thing we have to remember is that even if you don't do it all right all the time, you are still a good mother.

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