As this year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the goings-on of the past 300+ days of our lives. For parents, that doesn’t just include our own lives, but the lives of our children. Did they have a good year? Did WE give them a good year? It’s a hell of a lot of pressure!
People always told me that parenting would get “easier” as the years passed. First, it was when baby started sleeping through the night, then when they were potty trained, then when they started school. Yeah, sleep is nice, not cleaning out poopy pants all day every day and grody plastic toilets is great, and actually having peace and quiet while the kids are learning from someone other than me is awesome–but I would never say parenting has gotten “easier”. The challenges are just different.
Making your life, and their lives happy is not just different between age rages, but from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. The surprises, they never stop! And I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way. So, when I say we now take the time to reflect upon the past year, we reflect upon all the shit that went awry because we either weren’t prepared, didn’t see it coming, or just didn’t have the patience. We see people on social media posting all of their “thankfuls” and bragging about their most awesome year that we know wasn’t really all THAT awesome but it still, for some reason, gets under our skin the tiniest bit- and we wonder- “did I suck as a parent this year? Would I ever win mom of the year?”
If your instant reaction to that question was “HAHAHAHA HAHAHA AH AHAHA” and once you caught your breath, let out a resounding “no”- you are not alone.
Who WOULD win ‘Mom of the Year’? I mean, if anyone on this planet could, who would it be?
The mom who seems perfect and is constantly posting about how thankful she is to have children? The mom you know goes to all the PTA meetings, volunteers all her time, and always has a smile on her face? The moms you know work really hard all day only to come home and work even harder at home, barely getting any time to sit down?
What about the mom who hid in the closet just to get a 5 second break from her super needy kids? How about the mom who said her drink had alcohol in it so she didn’t have to share? The mom that put the kids to bed early because she seriously didn’t think she could handle another whiny kid-filled second without snapping? The mom who got a call from a telemarketer and put her toddler on the phone telling them it was Santa on the other line? How about me, who is sitting here now wondering why I have to pick my kids up from school when I’m just gonna have to take them right back the next day?
NONE OF US WOULD WIN. No matter how amazing or how shitty you think you’re doing, none of us are winning any mom of the year awards, why? Look, I’m gonna say it again, and I don’t care how many times I’ve said it before, and I don’t care how cliche it is, or how tired you are of hearing this- MOTHERHOOD IS NOT A COMPETITION.
Why do I feel the need to post this if I’ve said it before? Because this is one of those times of years where it’s really easy to get down on yourself– to, instead of seeing all the great things you’ve done as a person and a parent, focus on the negative things (or at least things that you see as negative, because we’re all our own worst critics).
No awards needed. You’re doing this shit, and you don’t even have to do it well all the time. You’re DOING IT. Give yourself some credit. It might not be a trophy, or a ribbon, or come with prize money (wouldn’t that be nice?) but you’re doing it, and that’s pretty medal worthy all on its own.
Besides, I’d rather have cheesecake than an award for a job decently done- and we can buy that shit at the store any time we want, so who’s the real winner here?
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