Motherhood, what a thing it is.
From the moment we find out there is a human being gtowing inside of us we begin transforming. For me- it’s been wild. Things I thought were fun or even funny have changed. My taste in food, my views on controversial issues, my goals, etc.
What I feel like isn’t addressed nearly enough- is how constant, continuous and actually never-ending that transformation is. Sure, mothers are recognized for having a need to wear many different hats but they aren’t recognized for the transformations that take place underneath each of those hats or what whirlwind of change takes place once we remove all of the hats completely; finally getting the fed, bathed children into bed after what seemed like an endless day already. It begins. We reflect on what kind of mom we were that day- is that the same mom we want to be tomorrow? How can we do better? What we should have done… what we wished we could do. We. Don’t. Stop. -until we slip into a coma for a few hours before we do it all again- and hopefully better than the day before because in conclusion of our reflection each night, more often than not, we decide we are the worst mother in the word and these kids deserve better.
We hold ourselves to an impossible standard. We spend countless hours making decisions about numerous things pertaining to our kids because we want the best for them. Things our children would never even notice make us feel like complete failures as parents.
Every year on the eve of Easter we put carrots out for the Bunny. This year: we have 2 broken cars and are limited on alternatives so on the eve of Easter we had finally arranged a way to get the kids to the mall to see the Bunny. We spent over an hour in line and live 45 minutes away from the mall, we got home late. We got through dinner, teeth brushing, bathroom needs and yet another hour had passed. (The “Bunny” still had a lot of work to do.) We got the kids into bed, the Bunny got to work and then the Bunny realized: we didn’t leave the mother effing carrots out! So seemingly small, I know but it immediately registered to me as “I just broke the tradition”. The Bunny finished the baskets, left some white magical footprints on the floor and full of guilt, chomped away at carrots that my kids never got to see. It broke my heart. I thought about it as I fell asleep. I thought about it when they excitedly announced awareness of said carrots ( not bothered at all by the fact that they weren’t the ones to put them out). I thought about it as they tore through their baskets, so happy with their findings. I thought about it hours later when I saw a comment on someone’s post that said “I forgot carrots #failure”. I even confessed my own failure in the comments of that post and it wasn’t until a woman I know, an incredible mother- replied “I bet they didn’t even notice😘”… then, I realized, they did notice and it made them happy that I put them out since we all forgot; that they were just happy that the Bunny got the carrots. A long winded example, I know. But this guilt was intense to me.
We are responsible for so many important things on a day to day basis- most of which we handle successfully whether we think so or not- and I am brutalizing myself with guilt over carrots. Imagine what I do to myself over things like discipline and saying no.
“Many Hats” is a cute way to put it. We, my friends, wear capes and every once in awhile- we are caught without it. It’s okay to not be perfect. Kids don’t want the pressure that comes with perfect. Send the cape to the Cleaners every once in awhile- let the children see you stumble, they’ll be better for it. The best doesn’t exist inside of perfection- it exists inside of effort and any mother who can relate to this rant- is definitely trying. We have taught our children that they don’t need to be the best that we only expect them to try their best so that’s the same thing they have come to expect from us. Lead by example and give yourself a break- you’ve been moving mountains in their lives every single day.
“Mother’s love is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” Erich Fromm