When I had my first child, I used to constantly beat myself up anytime I made a mistake or whenever I felt like I wasn’t living up to the mom I envisioned I would be. Every day I felt super overwhelmed. I just didn’t feel like a good enough mom, and I had no idea what I was doing. And at that time, I didn’t have anyone around to show me how to care for this new baby.
Even through the toddler season, I second guessed and doubted myself. Most of the time, I just felt like I was in over my head. Now that I’m a mother of 2, I look back to years ago and realize I was way too hard on myself. When I think back to that time, it makes me sad for new mom me. I’d give her a hug if I could.
But even though I’m no longer sweating the small stuff like I once did, I still find myself constantly questioning whether I’m making the right choices with my kids. I wonder if I’m doing enough, or spending enough time with them, or setting the right example. I think the worry of whether I’m doing enough is something that will be with me until my children are adults. We just want what’s best for our kids and worry that we’re not giving it to them.
I still get upset with myself for not having the patience I could have had earlier in the day or feel bad for not giving my undivided attention at a particular moment. But there’s one thing I do differently these days. I show myself grace. I don’t expect perfection from myself anymore or beat myself up about feeling stressed, or needing a moment to myself, or about wishing I handled a situation differently. Instead, I encourage and remind myself that it’s okay to have those days.
If you’ve been having a hard time lately and haven’t been seeing yourself as a good enough mom, I’m here to help you change that. Whenever you start doubting yourself or start feeling like the job that you’re doing isn’t good enough, let these 7 reminders encourage you to show yourself grace when it comes to motherhood.
1. You’re a mom, but you’re also human
For some reason, it seems like moms are expected to almost be superhuman. There are so many expectations placed on us by ourselves, by our families, and by society that often makes us feel like we need to be perfect. As if we can’t get tired or burnt out. Like we can’t ever lose our cool or have a bad day. Yes, we are moms and we have children and homes to take care of, but no one is perfect. No mom is perfect. We will get tired, it will feel overwhelming some days, we won’t always get it right, and we will make mistakes along the way. And that’s okay.
2. It’s okay to not have all the answers or have all the perfect techniques
A lot of motherhood is trial and error, and what works for one mom may not necessarily work for you because all children are different. I read a lot of articles and there is so much conflicting advice out there. Sometimes the real answers to our problems or concerns just come with experience or trying out different methods. Sometimes time is the answer and children grow out of phases all on their own. Just because you may not always know what to do or how to handle every situation, doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Things with kids are ever changing, and each new change is new territory for us. You can’t fault yourself for not knowing what you don’t know. You can seek advice from other people, try doing your own research about the particular trouble you’re having, and take what you can from both. Eventually you’ll find what works for you.
3. Your best is enough
This is like my mantra for the year. Your best is enough. Doing your best is literally the best that you can do. You can only give what you have. If you approach situations with the best of intentions and are trying to be there for your kids, and love them, and care for them, then why be so hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned? What matters most is the effort we make, the time we invest, and the hearts we have to try to do what’s best for our kids.
4. Your kids aren’t seeking perfection from you
Kids want our love and attention. We are their entire worlds, their comfort, and their safe place. One of the things that I love about children is their innocence and how forgiving they are. Even on my bad days, when I’m tired, when my patience is low, when I’m just not feeling it, my kids still love me and want to be near me. I can take something away from my son for misbehaving, and he can have his tantrum and be mad at me, and a few minutes later, ask me if I want to watch a movie with him. My baby sees me walk into a room and his whole face lights up.
I am far from perfect, but my children don’t care about that, they just need their mommy. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not always keeping it together or not always responding the “perfect” way. Just do your best and apologize to your kids when you feel like you need to. You may not be perfect, but your kids still love and think the world of you.
5. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it
This is something that I used to struggle with. I used to feel like, as I mom, I should be able to handle everything on my own. I thought that asking for help made me look weak. Like I was a failure for not being able to handle all the things that came with being a mom. But that was so not true. Everyone needs help. And you’d be surprised how willing your husband, family and friends are to support you.
6. God chose you to be your child’s mom
You have what it takes. God already knew all of your flaws and shortcomings. He took all of that into account when he put your child in your care, and He’s given you everything you need to care for them. And when things feel too hard or too overwhelming for you to handle, God is always there for you to call on, lean on and ask for help.
7. You’re not alone
You’re not the only one who thinks being a mom is hard. Being a mom can feel so isolating at times, and between social media and google, it can feel like every other mom has got it all together but you. That’s not the case. All moms struggle and have difficult moments when it comes to parenting, even if social media paints a picture that says otherwise. Know that all moms face challenges when it comes to raising their kids. I’m one of them. Don’t ever feel like you’re the only one who finds it difficult to do this mom thing. We’re all in this together.
It’s okay if you had some rough moments today. Maybe you lost your cool and raised your voice. You might not have had the energy to play with your child. Perhaps your child kept misbehaving or wouldn’t listen. Maybe you spent the whole evening frustrated or overwhelmed. I’ve experienced all of these scenarios and more. We’ve got to remember that being a parent is hard enough, and there are a million critics out there judging. Let’s not be one to ourselves. Let’s be kind to ourselves, learn from our mistakes, try our best to be patient, and just do the best we can. You got this mommy!