“There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill
Of all the experiences in life that I truly did not understand, and could not have understood, until it happened to me, being a mother is on the top of the list. Being a mom is the most amazing thing. To have a person you love truly unconditionally despite their many flaws and that looks at you as if you are a superhero for the first few years of life. I could not convey in words the way I feel about my children, the way I worry about them, or the depths of what I would do for them.
Having said that…Being a mom is hard. It’s days sitting crying because your child spilled a cup of milk on a freshly mopped floor, because you cannot figure out how to make your eight week old stop crying, or for, let’s face it, absolutely no reason at all. It’s throwing on the ‘cleanest’ shirt from a pile on the floor (cause nothing has made it into the hamper, much less the washing machine) because you have to be somewhere ten minutes ago. It’s herding the cats….trying to get a family of endlessly helpless, aimless, distractible individuals out the front door and loaded into the car with everyone in one piece so you can drive five minutes to school. Being a mom means often you cannot remember when you last ate, if you already shampooed your hair mid-shower, or where you were going once you get everyone loaded into the car. It’s (pretending) to be a fully functional human being on little or very poor sleep, negative hours in the day for all the things, and chaotic eating/hydrating habits.
If you have paid even half attention to our blog, you have probably guessed that I have a passion for working with other females and, in particular, other moms. Being a parent is hard work that often goes unnoticed, under-appreciated, and without much grace. I feel like moms are often encouraged to put up the smiling, brave face even when things are a hot mess.
Before you become a parent, everyone you know, and even those you don’t, gives you advice. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad. And most of it is unsolicited. Spoiler alert: It continues after becoming a parent. You may be judged for the birth plan, or absence of birth plan amidst emergent or unusual circumstances, that delivers your baby. Others feel the need to judge whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, pump, or all of the above. You feel judged for how quickly, or not so quickly at all, you lose that baby weight. You feel judged for how closely together or how far apart you have your children or why you only chose to have one. Others feel the need to tell you how to sleep, sleep train, bath, feed, dress and (insert here) your child.
The bonus of this….you may feel judged for talking about it. You may feel like it’s not okay to not be okay. To think or feel a certain way. If you’re a mama out there reading this, you’re doing the best you can. You don’t always have to smile, cry, laugh, or know what you’re doing. And if you need someone to talk to, I would LOVE to listen