Maybe it’s because it’s Monday and I got basically zero sleep last night even though I went to bed at 10pm like the old person I truly am. Maybe it’s because all of the guest blog submissions in my inbox revolve around what we ladies refer to as “The Mom Wars”. Maybe it’s because I spent the evening with a friend who is really struggling through single parenthood, or the fact that the internet is full of finger pointing, criticism toward moms, and just outright ugliness… even though it’s been said before a million times and in a million different ways- I couldn’t not sit down and write what’s on my mind. it’s the curse of being a writer, I suppose.
Even though I hate those stupidly uplifting blogs that try to make you believe everything is being okay without giving concrete reasoning as to why or how. Even though I hate mushy-gushy motivational bullshit. Even though I’m tired of saying it, and even more tired of reading about this shit going on. It is. We can’t deny that The Mom Wars are in full effect. Everywhere we look, everywhere we turn, even from people we love and thought respected us.
I’m going to try to avoid the mush, the filling you with what might sound like false hope, but I want to be honest, so if it comes off that way, so be it.
Being the “BEST MOM EVER.” What does that mean to you? I think it hits us all a little differently depending on our situations, the people that surround us, and our experiences. Even on our best parenting days, one little thing might knock us right back down to “Worst Mom of the Year” status.
Whether it comes from outside sources- comments from strangers, the disapproving eyeball, being straight out criticized. Or inside sources- maybe the voice in your head telling you that you’re just not doing it “right”- or as good as you think you should be, or as good as someone else. You’ve witnessed what you think is “better” parenting than on your best day, and it makes you feel inadequate. It makes you question your choices. It makes you wish you could be more like them, even if you know it isn’t possible. It feels like crap.
Whether its the kids behavior- A tantrum in the store that just won’t quit, back-sass where all ears can hear, door-slamming. Behavior your parents would “never” let you get away with. Behavior everyone else says comes from the result of “bad” parenting.
Or whether it’s from your own mind- not being able to help with homework, just not being able to tolerate the whining, 5 million questions that you simply have no patience to answer, not feeling like making a homemade meal and opting to give the kids cereal.
It seems like no matter WHAT we do- we’re never good enough. There will always be someone out there to pull us down, and if they don’t do a good enough job of it, we do it to ourselves.
I’ve been on the receiving end of judgment on all ends. From the little old lady who approached me in a grocery store parking lot scolding me not to swing my kid because it would permanently injure his arms (yes, this can happen, but not often), the man in the grocery store who informed me I was feeding my baby too much because of how fat he was, the stranger on the internet who said they felt sorry for my kids for having such a “miserable” person for a mother because I dare to curse in their presence. Lest we never forget the group of mothers, who even though they never met me or my child, harassed me for months on end to the point of reporting me to CPS for child abuse because they didn’t agree with how I was caring for my sick infant. And then there’s me. I’m not the crafty mom. I am AWFUL at helping my kids with school work, and I have little to no patience to teach them new school-type things. I let them crack out in front of the television while other parents wouldn’t dare to allow that much “screen time”.
It’s hard NOT to feel “mom guilt”– it’s hard NOT to see the things you can’t do or should be doing and crap on yourself for it.
When parenting feels like you’re sitting at the bottom of a port-a-potty during chili dog night at the Baseball field and the shit just won’t stop falling on your head- it can seem impossible.
We’ve been told “it takes a village”- but let’s be real– the village is full of assholes.
It’s hard to accept that you’ll probably NEVER be what you or anyone else thinks is the best mom ever. So what do you do? Who do you trust? The rest is complicated, but this is where it gets simple- you trust YOU. Not the you that’s constantly putting yourself down, or stressing over crafts, or sucking at math, or being a shitty cook, or having kids that whine and complain and aren’t robots in public. Not the mom who got the wind knocked out of her by the old biddy in the grocery store who scolded you for scolding your kid. Not the mom who questions being right or wrong, wonders if she’s doing a good job. No, that’s not the real you. So what if you don’t craft, hate sports, can’t afford all the bells and whistles, lose your temper, have no patience, or find yourself on the receiving end of some bullshit criticism? The REAL you is the one who knows that, at the end of the day, you know your kids better than ANYONE else. You know what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what kind of discipline does and doesn’t work, what kind of people they are, what scares them, what makes them feel better, and even on the worst of days, you know they’re going to bed well taken care of. Even if you don’t like them very much and they don’t like you either. Even if you know you can do better. YOU know best.
How do you become the BEST MOM EVER? Screw everyone else and their opinions. This includes the voice in the back of your head. They all suck. Trust your gut. I know- this is that whole “no concrete plan of why or how”- and it might take time, a long time, even. It might take letting go of everything you know and starting over. But once you realize that no one has ANY IDEA WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT, THAT is when you become the best mom ever- because you’re just YOU, and believe it or not, that’s pretty damn awesome. Just ask your kids… well, ask them on a decent day.
Weird Things you do for your kids but not Strangers goo.gl/fb/oVuwvG
Tis the season! pic.twitter.com/5VgMLnt22E
I am weak pic.twitter.com/LYdRQ6EZcC
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