There's a phrase I hear a lot from other moms and from myself more often than I'd like. It's easy to say and just rolls right off the tongue. It makes light of the situation when you're feeling judged or inadequate in some area of your mothering duties. And it's something I'm not repeating anymore.
"I guess I'm just a bad mom."
There it is. It's not at all the truth and deep down we know it. So, I've compiled a list of the my actions that I will NOT be dismissing with the phrase "I guess I'm just a bad mom". I don't blog often, but when I do it's cuz I've got a bee in my bonnet over something or I'm feeling particularly thoughtful. Well, this is just a freebie. ;-)
Number One-I am NOT a bad mom because I don't put my child to bed before nine o'clock. Who in Tarnation said 7:30 was the magic bedtime hour, anyway?? We do what works for us. That's how it should be in every house.
Number Two-I am NOT a bad mom because I don't bathe my child every day. He's little. We don't go outside. He doesn't roll in mud. He hates baths. Nough said.
Number Three-I am NOT a bad mom because I dress my boy in smocked outfits. That's all I have to say about that one.
Number Four-I am NOT a bad mom because I let his grandmother, whom shall remain nameless, let him take swigs off her decaf coffee and/or her Starbucks, well, and/or her soda. It's the little things in life that make us happy...this way, they're both happy.
Number Five-I am NOT a bad mom because I don't sit down with my son every day and "teach" him his colors and junk. You'd be surprised what a kid picks up if you just TALK to them. His response of choice right now when you say his name? "What?". Yeah, we're gonna work on those manners...ours. My mama always says "it's what's 'caught' that matters".
Number Six-I am NOT a bad mother if I choose to spank my son when he runs into the street. I said "spank"...(gasp)...
Number Seven-I am NOT a bad mom if my son cries for a grand total of 1.5 minutes when he goes to bed or for a nap, and I don't go "rescue" him. He actually falls asleep that way and they (you know, the collective "they") say that some kids just have that in their sleep pattern.
Number Eight-I am NOT a bad mom if I let him eat the occasional fast food. Sometimes you just got to.
Number Nine-I am NOT a bad mom if I don't buy him everything under the sun or keep twenty gazillion toys for him to play with. The kid is happy with a spatula and bowl, for crying out loud.
Number Ten-I am definitely NOT a bad mom if I don't forget who I was before I was a mom and continue to embrace that and enjoy the things I did before the Caveman came along. It's weird though that the longer you're a mom, the harder it is to remember what you did before you were a mom. Anybody feelin' me on that one?
There are so many other ways I've felt scrutinized as a mom, but I won't go any further. You get the idea. If you're a mom, and you understand what I'm sayin', make an effort to encourage other moms in this journey. We're in it together...we have a lot we can offer and a lot we can learn from each other. Why do we have to tear each other down over such inane things? These things I've mentioned are all opinion...even my own! I'm not Super Mom and never claim to be. I don't exercise daily, I don't eat right daily, heck, I don't even get to shower daily (sometimes!). I'm a mom in her thirties just starting out and have a lot to learn. Being a mom is a more than laundry, cleaning and bedtime. It's about pouring yourself into the life of another human and thriving in that position until your job is done. So, if not cleaning the bathroom for three weeks or doing laundry for 4 weeks (not that I would EVER do that!) makes me a bad mom...then I'm ok with that. I'd rather spend that time with my sweet gift from God. Time spent with him is of much greater value than anything my "to do" list has to offer.