We all have that “ideal” mom we picture in our heads (or see on social media) who we compare ourselves to. But it’s time to let that image go and accept the moms we already are.
To the mom I’ll never be:
You have exceeded all expectations of what a mother should be and have found the perfect balance between motherhood and your sense of self. Parenting looks so easy when I see you! Your kids eat a balanced diet, have plenty of time to explore the outdoors, and behave like little angels thanks to your exemplary discipline skills. You plan the best birthday parties, volunteer in your child’s classroom, make it to the gym 3-4 times a week, and never use electronics as a babysitter. Your work is complete, dinner is on the table in time, and your home is spotless by the end of the night, so you cuddle up with your hubby and your favorite book for an evening of self-care. Meanwhile, I crash and shower my husband with an hour long venting session before I cram all the work I didn’t get done into the few hours I have left after the kids go to bed.
Your perfection was apparent from the beginning. You breastfed for over a year, co-slept without complaining, and had a strict routine during the early years! Your time in motherhood has never been spent shaming other mamas and you always put your kids first. Busyness is not something you allow to creep into your lifestyle. You know it’s important to involve your kids in playdates and activities, but they also need rest and simplicity. Balance is key and something you’ve always considered before planning your schedule.
Society has dubbed you the “perfect mom,” and though your efforts should be applauded, I’m going to have to put the idea of you behind me. My strengths have become shadowed by the unrealistic expectations I’ve placed upon myself. Your perfection plagues me with guilt, so though I don’t shame other mamas, I shame myself.
I’ll never cook the best homemade meals, I can’t promise my kids’ clothes will always match, and sometimes I just want to stay at home rather than run the necessary errands to stay on top of groceries. (Besides, another night of chicken nuggets and cereal won’t hurt anything). I lose my temper, hide in the bathroom to cry, and sometimes do movie marathons for the entire day just so I can catch up on housework or put my exhaustion on pause.
But I also love my kids deeply, teach them the lessons they need as they grow, and read the same book ten times in a row just because I can’t say no to their sweet smiles when they ask to hear it “one more time!”
My kids are rich in hugs, kisses, and encouragement. They may doubt the supper they will be served each night will be edible, but they’ll never doubt how much they are loved.
The ways I come up short do not define me. I’m defined by my love and effort — both of which I have plenty — so I refuse to be a victim of society’s version of the perfect mom.
Goodbye, the mom I’ll never be. Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep giving myself grace.
One way Life As Mama wants to serve our readers is to show you #realmommoments. So tag your relatable social media images with that hashtag along with #lifeasmama and we would love to repost on Life As Mama’s social media pages to celebrate authentic motherhood moments and not just the perfect images of beautiful, clean homes and magical moments!
Thanks for sharing your “real” lives with us!