Mom guilt is strong, and every now and then, it gets the best of me. When that guilt creeps in, I force myself to take a step back, and revaluate the kind of mother I want to be. In doing this, I work backwards. Asking myself, “What do I want my kids to remember about me?” If I have the end goal in mind, I can readjust my priorities to match up with those goals, and refocus how I spend my days with my kids.
I’m far from the perfect mother. I get things wrong. A LOT. But I am always giving my kids MY very best. If I do that, I haven’t failed them. I never expect perfection from my kids, but ask them to give the best they have to give every single day. We don’t have the same amount to give every single day. And that’s OK! I have to give myself the same grace I give my kids. If I focus on doing the things I want them to remember, it’s possible they’ll forget the times I failed, yelled, or got overwhelmed.
When they look back on their childhood, I want my kids to remember that…
We turned off the tv at dinnertime, focused on each other, held hands during the dinner prayer.
I expected respect, kindness, and gratitude.
I was their best example of respect, kindness, and gratitude.
Laughing with them was my favorite thing ever.
I hugged them so tight it was hard to breathe.
I always said yes to lemonade stands, forts made of blankets, and one more hug and kiss.
Attending their game, performances, and field trip were a priority for me.
I admitted my mistakes and apologized for them.
Family traditions were established in our home.
I don’t try to be their friend. My job as a parent is to keep them safe, teach them, and shape them. I set boundaries and enforce them. If at the end of the day they like me, that’s icing on the cake. But my role in their lives is not their friend. They don’t have to always like me. I assure you there will be times they don’t. And I’m ok with that.
So even on the hard days, after I feel as if I’ve failed at the day, chances are I’ve succeeded at some of this list. The day is not wasted. Living with with the end goal in mind, helps me to be a better mom. These goals don’t require money to create the positive memories for my children. They don’t require me to fit a certain mom mold. We all make motherhood look at tad bit different. That’s the beauty of motherhood. If I strive towards living up to my own expectations, it’s ok if I don’t get there all the time.