I had a conversation with my girlfriend that got me thinking about my mother friends. Why does it seems that the “media” today tend to criticize us mothers for the job we do? To often mothers are told what we are doing wrong rather than what we are doing right; there are several reality shows built on this very concept. After I had Alex, advice (mostly unwanted) came from all over. She was colicky… “…put cereal in her bottle”. “You fed her peanut butter before she was 1 year old? Are you crazy?” “What? She still is on the bottle? She is 1 year and 1 day old…take that bottle away already!” I spent the better part of her first 2 years second-guessing myself. And, too often we mothers are even quick to judge other mothers. Be honest; what happens when you see a kid having a super-sized meltdown in the super market? You think, “Where’s his mother?!” Or the baby on the plane that won’t stop crying. “Mom, shut that kid up!” Of course, we say these things to ourselves, or at the very least under our breathe. And don’t forget when a kid does something horribly wrong, it’s the mother that gets most of the blame for not raising her child right. (Just think Columbine. The media here was very critical on the mothers of those 2 boys.) Last time I checked dad had something to do with raising a child too.
Let’s face it, Motherhood it tough. Sometimes it’s down right brutal. I am the first to admit I am not a perfect mother. I yell when I shouldn’t. I curse at the wrong time and then my 2-year-old repeats it. I let my girls eat cake and spoil their dinner. But I do good mother things too. I tell them I love them every single day. I make them wear their bike helmets and buckle them up in their car seats. I teach them right from wrong, to have empathy for others. I make them eat their veggies and nurture their self-esteem… and to be gentle with our pet mice so they don’t squish them.
My point is this: Let’s focus more on our “good” mother qualities and less on our short comings. No mother is perfect.I have yet to meet a mother that is perfect. So, to all my mother friends, know that you are a good mother. You, like every other mother struggles with “mommy guilt”, discipline issues, balancing motherhood and womanhood, and we do all this without pulling our hair out, strangling someone or with the paparazzi taking our picture. We do it everyday. Be empathetic to that mother having a “bad” mom moment because we’ve all been there. (I was once that Mom on a flight from Denver to Kansas City with the screaming baby. It was painful for me too!) Enjoy your children because someday you will miss this. Give yourself a break, pat yourself on the back and repeat after me…Happy Mother’s Day to Me!