This Mother’s Day will have an entirely new meaning. This year I’m the mom. And let me tell you moms, much respect, because mommin’ aint easy, that’s for sure. And I’m just starting. Seriously, kudos to you for constantly giving it your all to be all the mom you can be.
Being a mom is so rewarding… and kind of hard. Like you never get to turn it off, ever. And there’s just so much to it – so many options, so many decisions, so much information, so many people smothering you with judgement and advice. But there’s also so much love, like the kind of love where every once in awhile you look at your kid and get happy tears in your eyes. So you’re tired, but you’re in love, and it’s all just kind of whirlwind of emotion. And you live your days to be all the mom you can be.
You can prepare for motherhood till your brain has nothing left, but at the end of the day you still have a one-of-kind model without a manual. And you’re just supposed to get it right, right? And sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you just don’t. Like sometimes you miss, totally miss, like letting your kid cry it out only to discover his arm is stuck in between the crib rails. Or realizing at daycare that you left all his bottles at home. But I guess there’s not always a wrong when there’s not always a right. Bless you, all of you moms, for doing your best to be all the mom you can be.
I think I owe you moms an apology for ever judging your personal portrayal of motherhood, or more simply, what you choose to share. Motherhood is a complicated thing that we don’t all wear on our sleeves. It doesn’t mean we’re fake, pretending to be perfect or not facing our own unique challenges. It’s more or less that parenting is an understood hard, and we may not want to lug that baggage around 24/7. So sometimes we just smile, share the good and leave the rest at home. I get it now. You don’t have to say it. You’re just trying to be all the mom you can be.
Actually, I get it a lot more now. I get you a lot more now. I get why you post pictures of the smallest milestones, because every moment is such a big deal. I get why you break your own parenting rules, because sometimes you need a moment of happy child sanity. I get why you never put your kid down, because you just don’t want the snuggles to end. We have to make a bazillion decisions to raise our kid(s) the best we know how each and every day. I may not make or agree with all the same decisions as you, but I get that your decisions represent your effort to be all the mom you can be.
And heaven forbid those said decisions are made without unsolicited public scrutiny. I’ve been both criticized and praised for practically the same thing, sometimes by the same person. What I buy. What I don’t buy. Not rocking. Not needing to rock. Having too early of a bedtime. Sleeping 12 hours a night. Cute nursery. Not a very baby room. Breastmilk only till six months. Not adding cereal to the bottle. Allowing others to babysit. Babysitting too much. Classic smile and move on. Only you can be all the mom you can be.
Finally, to you dear amazing mothers, man, the personal pressure, what a feat in itself. It’s so easy to focus on all the things we’re not doing vs. all the things we are doing. For example, one night I told my husband I felt bad about not having a bedtime routine, like giving a bath and following with a book. He just looked at me and said, “Because we’re not those people.” He then proceeded to remind me of all the other things that we do great. That reassurance was the perfect reminder to just be all the mom I can be.