Like most moms, getting to the end of each day brings joy, relief and sometimes feeling of regret. Many nights I feel I’ve run a marathon and just crossed the finish line as I close my daughter’s bedroom door. It’s in those moments I find myself reflecting the most on the day with my lively 3-year-old.
There are usually happy and sad tears, excitement and disappointment, hangry-ness (for both of us!) and blissful moments of discovery. Her days are filled with thoughts of the Little Mermaid, fairy wings and sidewalk chalk. Mine are a hodge podge of grocery lists, working from home,
trying to come up with searching Pinterest for educational activities and an overarching mantra from Spiderman that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Because at the end of the day, I know my job as a mom is the most important one I have now and will ever have. And that’s a pretty big burden to carry, day in and day out.
While I can be awkwardly accepting of compliments that I’m a good mom, deep down I struggle every day with accepting it. I compare myself to the mom who has somehow managed to never use the word “no” with her kids, who still has her 4-year-old rear facing in the car seat, or who breastfed, who dares not post a single picture of her child on social media. I wonder if they are “better” moms and if these actions somehow raise the parenting bar that I’m quickly slipping under.
I feel guilty that I have to put off playing because I have work to finish first, and consequently envious of moms who have the ability to stay at home and not have to squeeze 25 hours of work in every week. I constantly wonder if I’ll ever have this whole parenting thing figured out.
And you know what? I probably won’t. But who says that parenting is about having it all figured it out anyways?
I’m not the world’s best mom, but I’m the best mom for my daughter.
Many times, I have to stop myself on the runaway train that is regret, uncertainty and fear. Life has never been about being perfect and it never will be. It is in the quiet moments that we find joy, peace and reward. And in my quiet it’s easy to find ways that through imperfection, I’m doing pretty good as a mom:
1. My daughter has a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear and food to eat.
I’m not sure where along the line that being a provider for our children was considered a basic need, and thus, nothing to celebrate. Sure, when we had children it was a basic understanding that we would care for them physically or else we’d go to jail. But in case you haven’t noticed, it takes a lot of hard work and money to do it. It means time away from our kids and financial sacrifices. There are many, many people in the world who’s only goal is to make sure their kids have a place to sleep at night and food to put on the table. It’s a noble and life-altering job and one worthy of affirmation.
2. She’s happy.
Happy kids come from happy parents who are handling parenting pretty good, if I do say so myself! Sure, she has moments (and even DAYS) of being grouchy and unhappy, but don’t we all? I know I’m doing something right when she can run with reckless abandon and laugh more than she cries.
3. She’s kind.
Nothing makes me feel more like a great mom then watching my 3-year-old be kind to others. I can’t take all the credit, because I know in my heart that she was born with a kind and sweet disposition. But I do know that parents are the best role models for our kids, and she must see something she likes if she can be kind to others.
4. The last words out of her mouth every night are “I Love You.”
For all the tears we’ve both shed throughout the day, there is nothing more affirming that I’m still doing pretty good as a parent then my daughter’s parting words. When I can’t love myself or wonder how anyone else could, she reminds me that her love is unwavering. ::wipes eyes with a tissue::
Life As Mama is partnering with Minute Maid and their “Doin’ Good” campaign this Mother’s Day, to bring our focus back to the amazing job that parents do every day to impact their children’s lives in positive ways. Just like our children give us grace on a daily basis, the #doingood campaign’s goal is to celebrate our imperfection and acknowledge that we’re doing a better job than we give ourselves credit for. It’s also about affirming the efforts of our fellow moms and dad’s and the phenomenal jobs they do as parents. Affirmation is a powerful concept. To affirm something means to acknowledge that it has true value or worth, and when you affirm a person you are telling them that they have real worth, that they are valuable and that they are #doingood.
This year, Minute Maid is partnering with four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin to celebrate great parents everywhere. Through the #doingood campaign, Minute Maid is reminding parents of all the wonderful things – big and small – they do to make a positive different in their children’s lives on a regular basis.
Minute Maid is encouraging parents everywhere to share your own message of encouragement and positivity by posting a photo or video that nominates a parent in your life who is #doingood. Five winners will have the chance to join Missy Franklin for a special breakfast after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
You can submit your nominations of parents who are #doingood by posting a video or photo on Twitter or Instagram using the #doinggoodcontest hashtag or on MinuteMaid.com/doingood.