Do you ever feel like you’re an imperfect, inferior mom? I do. I hear all the many activities and perfectly structured days that other moms have… on “Monday we have ballet, Tuesday is yoga, Wednesday is pottery, Thursday soccer, Friday daddy-daughter date, next week camp starts and…” Wait – are you kidding me?! Some days I feel like it’s an accomplishment if we get the play-doh out…
Some moms are meant to be that picture perfect 50’s housewife, for me that’s not the case. Kudos to the high-energy moms that make it all happen and kudos to those who feed their kids cereal for dinner several times a week too (hand raised)! I always find myself comparing and I’m so tired of the self-guilt I inflict. There are some days where I do really fun activities with the kids and then there’s days I feel like it’s all I can do to snuggle with them on the couch while they watch TV. I need to stop telling myself that if we don’t have a fun activity planned today, I’m somehow inferior to the mom next door. We all love our children as best we can each day.
The truth is, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to parent. You really need to go inward and follow your intuition for what feels right to you. Some parents spank, some use time outs. Some nights we let our babies cry it out, some nights we rock them for hours. Some days we take our kids to McDonalds, and others we feed them organic, gluten-free snacks. Some have TV time, some have no TV and other days, for my sanity,I leave it on ALOT! I’ve done all the above – and it’s all just growing and learning to see what works best for your family – that day, hour or minute!
(letting my daughter, Anna, put the balls in the instinctual-child-like way)
I use to tell my kids to stop jumping on the furniture, don’t jump in puddles, don’t yell, don’t play with your food, speak softly, don’t cry, basically – don’t be a kid. Unless I’m a guest at someone’s house – I encourage jumping on beds, screaming, building sculptures out of food, and taking as long as you need to feel your emotions (maybe in your room – yet still cry or scream as long as you need). I want my children to be children, enjoy life and I learn from them not to take everything so seriously! Not to care at the restaurant what the people at the table nearby will think if we have a melt down. Or the lady next to me at the grocery store might do if one of them screams. Or the neighboring mom who has them enrolled in a dozen activities, while you’ve got them enrolled in zero. Who cares – they’re just children and they’re so amazing if we just let them be! Although I find it VERY helpful for everyone if we avoid going out on errands hungry or near nap/bed time and if we bring toys along. It’s always helpful to exercise some common sense. Keep in mind, no matter how perfect you feel you’re doing – someone will always have a criticism or suggestion for you – and that’s okay too. All that matters is that you follow your intuition and be confident in that.
On learning the lesson to loosen up, let go and not care so much – my cousin and I took the kids to Target dressed up in crazy-kid fashion and really let them, and ourselves, behave like kids:
This is a spoof on the original Galantis Peanut Butter Jelly video if you’ve not already seen it:
I’m committed to caring less and focusing on letting my kids be kids, while learning just how fun it is to be as care free as their beautiful souls are! What’s helped you overcome comparing yourself to other parents? I’d love to hear!