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Motherhood is one of the hardest gigs around, and to make things even worse, we moms are too hard on ourselves. I'm around moms frequently—whether at the park for a playdate or chatting in a group on Facebook and one thing is pretty clear: we all think we are failing.
Every mom I know thinks she is messing up her kids in one way or another. I'm not sure if it's because we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves (thanks a lot, Pinterest) or because moms just want the absolute best for their kids.
I'm right there with you, though. Each day it seems like I mess something up in some way. The house is a mess or we didn't do a fun project or I yelled at my kid or no one got a bath or all of the above. It's easy to beat ourselves up when things don't look the way we imagined. It's easy to think we are failing when one small thing goes wrong.
But self-loathing and mom guilt aren't good for any of us. Instead, we need to remind ourselves of what we are truly capable of. We need to insist that we are good moms. We need to know—and believe—that we are capable of raising these amazing children we've been given. If you, too, think you are failing, here are some reminders for you...
1. There is no such thing as a perfect mom. Seriously. Stop comparing yourself to Suzie-What's-Her-Face down the street. The truth is, we are all doing the best that we can. Some days we will make play dough from scratch and other days we will eat Happy Meals for dinner. This is the beauty of motherhood.
2. A messy house is a sign of busy, happy life. If you have children, your house is never going to be clean. I mean it. Stop living in the guilt of having clutter. Instead, embrace it. Know that those messes are memories being made, toddlers doing toddler things, a full day of reading, singing, playing, and fun. You can't do all that with a clean house.
No matter what happens in a day, the bottom line is that you love your kids.
3. A hug and a sincere apology can fix nearly anything. We all make mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up about it, say you're sorry, hug your kiddo hard, and move on. What a beautiful example you can set for your children by doing this!
4. The laundry can wait. I don't know how many times I've told my kids "not right now" or "mommy's busy" because I had some chore to do only to regret it later. Sure, chores need to get done. But there's nothing that must get done right this very second. This season of life will be over before I know it (so they tell me)!
5. You love your children. No matter what happens in a day, the bottom line is that you love your kids. Even when the days aren't great, everything you do is a reflection of your love for them. Don't doubt that for a second.
6. Your children love you. Even when your four-year-old gives you the sass of a teenager. Even when your pre-teen slams the door. Even when your middle schooler breaks your heart. They love you. Remember that, always.
7. Tomorrow is a new day. As surely as the sun will rise, so will your chance to start fresh. If you've had a terrible day, chances are, tomorrow will be better. If you yelled at your kids, try not to tomorrow. If you didn't get to go to the park, try tomorrow. If you didn't get to hug your children today, hug them tomorrow. Each morning is another chance at doing the best we can.