Damn Good One

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across quite a few articles/stories wherein the mom/authors fess up to their mediocre parenting skills and while I admire the authors’ candid confessions, most of all because being average is not something about which any of us should be ashamed. Everybody can’t be excellent because then excellence would be the norm, and we all know that no one and nothing is perfect. If we could all agree that average is okay, then we could stop all the judging and insecurities and anxieties and just relax. Raising kids is tough for everyone, so why all the pretending like it isn’t?

But as much as I appreciate the " I still have my baby weight and sometimes I spend too much time on my phone and also kind of lose my cool in public when my kids are behaving like animals", honesty, I also feel like the writers of those articles/stories (and all other parents out there) need to give themselves a big, fat break.

And here’s why...

You’re all damn good moms.

You might be wondering how I know this, so I’ll tell you...

I am a damn good mom.

That doesn’t mean I believe I’m perfect. No way. Not even close.

I can find all sorts of examples that would illustrate the not-quite-gold-star moments of our lives. But I don’t think that doesn’t make me a bad mom or even a mediocre one.

I’m pretty sure it’s the overwhelming, borderline-certifiable, all-consuming love I have for my children. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated when Lochlan throws his food on the floor or lose it when I’m running late for work, and he just won’t get in his carseat. It just means underneath all the muck and mire, there’s always deep, enduring, well intentioned love, and I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters.

No matter what nutso things happen during the week, it’s those moments when I look at my smiling little boy who likes to sing and pretend he’s a dump truck, and I think...

“I love our lives together.”

In almost every other part of my life, I struggle with feeling “not good enough,” but when it comes to my son, I insist on believing in myself. I realize that no matter how hard I try to be the "best mom that ever lived", Lochlan will still go through periods where he is embarrassed by me. I’ll love him through it any way. And maybe he won’t always remember to call me or visit me as often as I like when he goes on into his adult life. I’ll love him through it any way.

I can’t imagine how life will turn out for him or for me, and I can’t say that there won’t be hardship or disappointment or even despair, but there will always be one constant...

I love him. I love him. I love him. And I always, always, always be his biggest fan.

A couple of weeks ago, I was out getting lunch and I noticed a mom unbuckling her infant son at one of the booths. I asked her if I could get her food for her when it was ready. I remembered those days of balancing my baby and my lunch and how much I appreciated it when someone offered to help, and I wanted to extend the same. In the span of our ten minute conversation, she told me that she was loving her time with her now six-month old son, but that nursing is exhausting and that her husband isn’t as big a help as she imagined and she’s worried about losing the baby weight and thinking about when she should have another one. She’s snug in that baby bubble that I also remember quite well. She’s feeling mediocre. So, I told her that the second baby (or not) and the weight and all those other things would work themselves out (they will) and that she should just keep on loving up every inch of that baby because that is what’s bringing her the most peace, and truly, that’s the thing that counts the most.

Basically, I wanted her to know that she’s a damn good mom, something we all need to remember. We may try hard and fail harder, but we keep getting up early and packing semi-healthy lunches and kissing bumped knees and cuddling after nightmares and just being there. We don’t need to stop sharing our stories, but we need to stop labeling them as mediocre because we’re damn, damn good moms.

And it’s time we start owning that.


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