This post is one I have been wanting to write for a while. But every time I started – I couldn’t even get passed the title. (Small interjection here – I am embarrassed by how long it took me to decide if “passed” in the previous sentence was, in fact, the correct usage. There may still be some lingering question … Turn to Dr. Google and see for yourself how gol darn confusing it is) So I wanted to emphasize that these things make me, in my opinio, a better mom. But I never wanted to make people think I am a perfect Mom because I am not. Like if a perfect Mom is Alaska – I’m the southernmost tip of Argentina. I’m way way far away. But being a
perfect good mom has always been something I’ve strived for. And thank goodness you can’t see my report card because … ??
Motherhood is my dream job. I have always wanted to be a Mommy and make a bunch of mini people full of X chromosomes. I’d take a Y too but God has other plans for us I guess. Either he keeps giving us a second chance to right our wrongs, or we’re doing such a dang good job that He wants us to continue to do right by these ladies. You decide.
But dannnnnng. This job is hard. And I suffer from a really rare condition, you’ve probably never heard of it, it’s called Mom Guilt. Oh gosh – it’s debilitating. You may also suffer from Mom Guilt if you have fluid discharge from your eyes. A lot. Like several times a day. And if you hide in your closet to binge on Chips Ahoy and then also want to smack yourself for hiding from those beautiful little souls that you would do anything for. It’s a hot mess of emotions and also totally normal! One thing I learned from informally interviewing Moms everywhere is that it’s normal and common and OK!
I have had some really hard days and even months. Months where I cried more than I smiled. Days where I wished I could go back and re-do a whole chunk of my #MomLife. I’ve spent hours on my knees begging for some guidance and subsequently spent hours feeling lost and alone. And then you have those moments where you toddler sneaks up behind you and wraps their arms around your neck and you feel truly cherished and wrapped in their warmth and you forget every bad emotion you’ve ever felt. .. At least until the next tantrum ?
There are a few things I’ve started doing to help build myself up and work towards that “Mom” that I want to be but also be confident in that “Mom” that I am. Because I don’t like feeling inferior, or not enough, when I feel my kids deserve so much more. And when I deserve so much more. I deserve grace.
- My most favorite tool in my Mom Toolbox is this book. Now, bear with me if you’re not a reader. I’m not that much different from you. I like a mean Netflix and Chill session myself. But parenting books are also my jam. Especially audio books. Ain’t nobody got time to sit down and read and turn pages and stuff. Especially not while The Bachelor is on! That’s so 2008. This book, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen Changed. My. Life! I’m full of sarcasm, if you haven’t noticed, but this statement has 0% sarcasm and 100% honesty. Life = changed. This book taught me why my kids say the things they do, how to diagnose their statements, how to react, how to respond respectfully and honestly it gave me so much compassion for my girls and their (sometimes not-so) gentle little emotions. Being a Mom is hard, but I can’t imagine being a toddler and trying to juggle big feelings in such a tiny little body. This book gave me so much hope and has truly changed the way I talk to my kids and because of that, I feel so much more confident that I can handle (almost) any situation and not walk away hating myself. I still make mistakes. DUH! I still get frustrated and angry and disorderly. But I know that there’s always tomorrow and I know how to do it differently thanks to the skills this book has taught me. And when you finish this one, read How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And Listen So Kids Will Talk. Because you’ve got nothing better to do, right?
- The second thing I have been implementing for over a year now is placing myself into the role of a “good” mom. Kids are little sponges and they soak up errrrrything we say. I never want them to hear me shame my body, because I know sooner or later those opinions will rub off onto them. Why then, would I let them hear me speak so negatively about myself as a Mom? Anything that comes out of my mouth is something those little ones will use as ammo against me in the future. So I don’t give them that. When I am red with anger, I tell them “I AM A GOOD MOM!”, When I’ve made a mistake, I tell them, “Mommy is a good mom, but I made a mistake”. And when we have a wicked good imagination session, I conceitedly chuckle to myself and say, “Dang, I am a gooood mom.” .. loud enough for them to hear of course ?. Do I believe it every single time? Absolutely not. But my kids do. And in fact, just the other day I was sledding with the girls. They were complaining about everything and driving my cray cray. I eventually turned around and started walking home explaining why I was frustrated. Gwen frustratedly responded to me, “HEY! You are a GOOD Mom! But we are all fwustwated white now!” I had to chuckle to myself and then smile because they get it. They know that being frustrated doesn’t make me a bad mom. My mistakes don’t make me a bad mom. I’m a good mom because I get back up and try again. You’re a good mom too. So tell yourself that. And keep telling yourself until you believe it!
- My last trick is something I have been trying to implement for a long time. Daily devotional/meditation. This is something that looks different for everyone. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (phew) this looks like spending time reading and studying my Book of Mormon. Only after I challenged myself to read every day and truly foster a relationship with my Father in Heaven did I find that I was able to handle those really rough roller-coaster days with more grace and less guilt. I can feel his support as my anxieties are calmed and the weights are lifted from my shoulders. I know I can’t do it without his help and when I sacrifice some of my time for him, he’s sure to lift me up in return. Yoga, quiet-time, date night, Bible study … a nap … all those things are good for the soul! And what’s good for the soul is good for the Mom! Find something that makes you happy and make sure to make time for yourself. You can’t be expected to fill any little cups if your pitcher is empty.
So those are my tricks! These tricks and takeout, hot baths, Dr. Pepper, dry shampoo, big fat emotional cry sessions, and a husband who loves me despite my many many many (many many many) imperfections are what get me through this season of long emotional days with small irrational children who I would be completely lost without. It’s a big messy equation but it all adds up to perfection. And that is motherhood.
Thanks for reading along! I would love to hear what tips help you feel more confident as a Mom!