Today’s post was written by my cousin-in-law … I truly appreciate her sharing her story. I invite others to do the same!
Good Job Mommy
Remember the day you stared at that white stick with a “little pink” line? A little innocent pink line that would change your life forever? That feeling of excitement and nausea hits you all at the same time. Reality hits you, and it starts to echo in your head … ”I am going to be a Mommy.”
Fast forward. nine months later, without any required training, the world allows you to be a parent. No course, no certification, no exam. NOTHING. And as you gaze into the eyes of innocence you wonder, am I going to do a good job?
Fast forward. Two years later you have a toddler with independence and stubbornness that will test your patience and sanity, both at the same time! Again, no one prepares you, no course, no training, no certification. But everyone judges you, provides their opinion and is the world’s best parent that knows way more than you. You feel beaten, you feel defeated, you feel like time stands still, like there’s no way you will ever get through this … and just in that moment, you find yourself staring at that “little pink line” all over again.
Fast forward. Now if you ever felt defeated from one “miracle of life” … you’re tired, exhausted, haven’t showered in days, can barely get a comb through your hair, and just in that moment that you think you’re going to crumble, as you’re breast feeding a baby while making breakfast for the other who just spilt their cup of milk and is attempting to mop it up with dirty laundry you have been attempting to wash for a week…. a little heart shaped face, with a beaming smile, looks up at you, and says, “Did I do a good job mommy?”
Fast forward. Before you know it, those days that seemed to last forever, you can barely even remember. You find yourself torn in a hundred directions – work, school, activities, yard, vacation, travel, etc. If you thought you couldn’t get any more tired – just wait. You will drive to town, more than once, without your purse; you will show up for appointments that don’t exist; you will make a grocery list, only to lose it on the way to town, attempt to remember by memory and buy doubles of everything you already have. And as you get lost in the hustle and bustle, you seldom take time to think, “Am I doing a good job being a Mommy?”
What am I teaching them? Who are they becoming? Are they going to be good parents one day too? The pages in the calendar seem to flip – like tumbleweeds blowing on the prairies, your patience seems to get thinner like melting spring ice, and as they grow bigger, so do their challenges.
After a jam packed weekend and an early frost, forcing my child to help me pick tomatoes because we are always so busy – shouting demands so we can get done “quicker” – feeling the tension thicken as time ticks by – I had my “ah ha” moment happen. I’m tired, my back hurts, and as I’m thinking about this week’s meal plan and how I forgot to buy milk, my son comes over to the plant I am picking off and proceeds to watch. I can feel my nerves getting shorter, frustration brewing, as he knows what he is suppose to be doing, and only seconds before I am ready to blow, he says “You’re doing a really good job Mommy.” Before I could utter a word – I smiled. And as we both paused and looked at each other – we smiled. No words were needed. We knew.
Over the next few days, I couldn’t stop thinking about his statement. By no means am I a perfect parent, but am I doing a really good job? Have I taken the time to make sure my children are enabled to be all they can be? Do I take the time to fill them with the positivity they will need to conquer the world? Do I tell them how much I appreciate them? Do I allow them to make mistakes? Do I empower them? Have I enriched their self-esteem? Do I listen?
And I realized, through a lot of emotions, I didn’t. I needed to press PAUSE. REWIND. RESET. RE-DO. LET GO. UNWIND. STOP. I cannot conquer everything. I cannot get everything done. It’s not going to be perfect. But I CAN STOP … to be a good mommy.
I will wait for you. Take your time.
You make my day better.
Mistakes mean you are learning.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Ok, you can have a few more minutes to work on your project.
I appreciate you. I’m listening.
It’s good enough for today. Be kind to yourself.
Today matters more than yesterday.
I LOVE YOU.