M is for Mother’s Day: There Is No Way To Be A Perfect Mother
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Yep, it’s true… There is no way to be a perfect mother. So, take a deep breath mama, lower the bar and be gentle with yourself. Motherhood is hard, exhausting, messy, wonderful work, but it is not perfect. Yet so many of the women I know and work with hold themselves to impossible standards and beat themselves up when they fall short. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes about motherhood from author Jill Churchill-
I first heard this quote from a mother I was working with who was struggling with significant symptoms of postpartum depression. “There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Oh, yes! Isn’t that the truth? This brave mama was using this quote as inspiration and a reminder to be kind to herself as she recovered from her depression. We could all take a lesson from her on this one.
We each bring our own strengths and weakness, fears and insecurities, and joys and expectations to our roles as mothers. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with ideas about what we “should” be doing and what is “best” for our children, it is no wonder that women are feeling overwhelmed and less than perfect. Have you ever noticed how much of the advice and best practices we hear about parenting contradicts itself? It can feel paralyzing just to make the simplest of decisions. I remember my mom asking me why I had not bought a potty chair for my oldest daughter yet. The truth was I simply could not decide what potty to buy and I didn’t want to spend money on the “wrong” kind. So I waited … I was paralyzed by having so many choices. So chin up, mamas! Make the decision that works best for your child and your family and leave the guilt and worry behind. You are doing great and you are a good mother even if it doesn’t look or feel the way you thought it would.
I have one more secret to share with you. Are you ready? It is okay to not love every minute of motherhood. Motherhood is the best, worst, most rewarding, most exhausting, most inspiring, most heartbreaking job there is. There is no shame in admitting that it is hard, that you are struggling or that motherhood is not what you expected it to be. We all have these moments! You are still a good mother even when you have your doubts, lose your cool or miss things about your life before kids.
I hope you find this quote as lovely and inspiring as I have throughout the past few years. This Mother’s Day weekend be kind and gentle with yourself and remind yourself of what a great mother you are. Even if you don’t totally believe in yourself yet, start talking to yourself in a loving way. “I am doing the best I can.” “I am a good mother.” “My children are loved and cared for.” The more you start to say these things, the more you start to believe them. Let go of perfect, embrace messy and enjoy the wild journey through raising children. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Mother’s Day! Xoxo -Cristina
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