I’m so hard on myself when it comes to being a mom and motherhood, and I know I’m not alone in this mindset. I’m guilty of listening to that wretched negative voice in my head telling me I’m not worthy. And while I constantly feel like I fall short, my children still cling to me and yearn for more and more of my love.
I’ve spent years learning that there’s no way to be a perfect mother, but there are lots of ways to be a good one. The truth is, it’s exhausting to strive for perfection, and I’ll never reach it. After all, I’m only human. I’m prone to making mistakes. I mess up. Sometimes I say the wrong thing, and I occasionally fail at making the best choices for my children. I often end up sticking my foot in my mouth.
But the beauty of this journey is that I am created to make mistakes, because these shortcomings strengthen and refine me. I’ll go through trials, but those trials serve to mold me into a stronger version of myself.
When I made the decision to have children, I automatically signed up for a job that’s never-ending. I agreed to sacrifice some of my dreams for a season or two in exchange for sleepless nights and cleaning up after tiny hands. I voluntarily never wore white while they were babies, and I found myself gladly putting them first. Being a good mother involves sacrifice. It means loving your kids even when they’re not lovable. It means having humility and learning to respect their voices, even if that requires saying “I’m sorry.” There are times when I want to pull my hair out because I just want to be left alone, but ironically, when my children aren’t around, I miss them.
When I envision a “perfect mom” in my mind, she is either a character on TV, in a book, or in a play. But in the real world, she doesn’t exist.
It wasn’t until I realized that I didn’t have to strive for perfection that I was able to look in the mirror and find peace. I’ve forgiven myself for the areas that need work. I’ve had to accept and be okay with the fact that my daughters don’t always like me, because at the end of the day, after the dust has settled and hearts have softened, they love me and I embrace them with appreciation. I realize now that they aren’t looking for June Cleaver, whose problems magically resolve themselves within thirty minutes; they just want me – Mommy.