Hey you, you with the top knot and bags under your eyes. How are you? Are you hanging in there? I know you’ve just had a day from hell and feel like the worst mom in the world. That mom guilt… it’ll get ya. And it hits the minute the kids go to sleep; you start to feel guilty for how many times you lost your temper or how you told them “give me a minute” over and over when all they wanted to do was play with you. And now that they’re in bed, you miss them. All day you wanted nothing more than for them to stop hanging on your leg or crying and yelling “carry” at the top of their lungs, but gosh darnit you miss them now.
Motherhood is an emotional roller coaster. One day you’re steadily rising to the top and the next minute, you’re spiraling out of control. The brakes have failed you and you have no idea when and if help is on the way. But I promise, it is. It gets better. And you want to know the truth? Your kids think you’re the best mom in the world. No matter what. Even when you’ve locked yourself in your room and cried ugly Kim Kardashian tears because of how terrible the day has been, your kids still love you. As soon as you emerge from the darkness, they’re there to hug you and smother you with kisses. Because you’re their mom, and they love you.
Do you know how many mistakes I make daily? I don’t think I could count. I let them watch the iPad too long or bribe them with candy. I take them to McDonald’s for lunch because it’s raining and I need them to burn energy at the Playplace. I snap at them in the grocery store when they’re crying and screaming for blue juice. And then I feel terrible about it. But I’m human and so are you, mama. I’m sure you’ve said and done things you wish you could take back. Or you wake up and say “today’s the day I have more patience.” And while that’s a hell of an ambition, it may not happen. But just know that it’s okay and it won’t always be this hard. As long as you love them at the end of the day, you’re doing it right.
I wish I could hug you and hold your hand during the tough times, because Lord knows we need to lean on each other for support. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or let them cry it out, eat organic or let them drink Kool-aid, I’m here for you. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are, how you choose to discipline, or where you buy your kids’ clothes. I care about their happiness, your happiness, and that you know you’re doing a great job.
We can’t be perfect and why would we want to be? What message would that send to our kids? That it’s not okay to mess up or cry or admit we’re wrong? We should show them how we deal with our mistakes and embrace imperfection. That the best we can do sometimes is admit we were wrong, apologize if necessary and learn from our mistakes. The most important part of these lessons? Not to dwell on the things we cannot change. That the past is in the past and the only thing we can do at that point is do things differently the next time.
So don’t worry mama, you’re doing just fine. Because when you wake up tomorrow morning, your slate is clean. You can hug and kiss those babies and start the day on a positive note. They’ll look at you and smile from ear to ear when you hold them and laugh when you tickle their belly. They’ll be excited for a new day of adventures and forget anything bad that happened yesterday. I know you’re tired, we all are. But these years don’t last forever and will want this time back when it’s gone. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, or heck bring one to your exhausted mama friends, and push through it. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but rather look how far you’ve come! Did you know how to raise a tiny human when you heard the first cry and a tiny finger wrapped around yours? No! You’ve learned so much and grown so much as a person and a mom, so give yourself some credit.
Just know that you’re doing a wonderful job. You’re balancing taking care of yourself, kids, family, house, career, whatever else it is you do. Whether you work from the home or outside of it, you’re a badass. Don’t ever let your mom guilt tell you any different. Between the spit up, potty training, temper tantrums, and food fights, you’re doing it. And even on the worst days, those kids want nothing more than to snuggle you and love on you by the end of it. So take a deep breath, count to ten, and remind yourself you can handle it….all of it.
Mama, you’re doing a good job. And you more than anyone knows how good it feels to hear that once in awhile. So tell your mama friends they’re doing a good job too. Such simple words can mean so much, especially coming from another mom who knows what it’s like. Supporting and encouraging each other is one of the best things we can do. So I’m here for you mama; I’ll be here when you fail and I’ll be here when you succeed. And even on the worst days, your kids will be there too… looking up at you with bright eyes filled with love. And that my friends is what makes it all worth it.