The Mother My Son Deserves

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Doodle is my world, if you haven’t figured that one out by now.  I’m completely smitten, absolutely obsessed, in so many ways completely and utterly in love with this guy.  I want the very best for him in all of his life.  I come to terms regularly, however, with the fact that I am in no way the mother he deserves.  I’m lazy, I’m selfish, and I just don’t know a whole helluva a lot of what it takes to be a good mother.

My little man deserves a mother who, among many other things:

· wakes up with him at 8 in the morning when he first gets up rather than closing all of the doors and curtains and fibbing to him about it still being a little bit dark outside and trying to beg him to go back to sleep for just a little longer.

· gives him fresh fruits and veggies with his home-cooked meals rather than a bowl of dry cereal, a plate of microwaved chicken nuggets, or a cheap turkey and cheese sandwich with the occasional side of canned green beans or mandarin oranges if I happen to remember them.

· builds Legos with him rather than telling him to go play by himself or turning on a cartoon to get him to leave me alone and sitting on the couch checking facebook or the bloggy world in peace.

· has the energy to go outside and swing and slide with him or take him to the park to meet new friends rather than keeping him inside by himself on far too many nice days.

· puts him in nice clean clothes every morning rather than keeping him in his pajamas until he has an accident and needs to change his pants or until we have to leave the house to run some errands.

· does arts and crafts with him more than once every few weeks rather than getting flustered by his lack of help or making whatever we’re working on less than perfect and feeling as though the time had been a stressful waste.

· takes him to the children’s library to borrow books and play with other kiddos rather than shoeing him over to his own bookshelf of 20-ish books that he’s already read dozens of times before.

· keeps his home vacuumed and sanitized regularly rather than mostly relying on the dog to clean up the floor and waiting until I want to get around to wiping down the counters and dining room table.

· cuddles him more often when he’s sick and whiney rather than trying to get him to still play on his own, go to bed just like normal, do everything just like we always do, and not really focusing on how miserable he probably is.

I know that these are areas that I need to work on or that I do sometimes and slip others.  I know that no matter how many times I actively try to incorporate some of these into my day-to-day, some of them will just never come naturally.  I know that many of these things would help structure his little life better and help him learn and grow more.

I also know that no one is perfect.  And I know that I do a helluva good job with what I do get right, no matter how rare that may be.  I’m not here trying to get your sympathy.  I’m not looking for comments like “you’re a good mom,” or “stop picking on yourself so much.”  That’s not what I’m trying to say here.

I feel like parents are regularly made to feel bad about their shortcomings.  Someone is always a better mommy or daddy than they are.  Other mommies weren’t upset when they found out they were pregnant, they cook healthy organic family meals every night, or they make all sorts of games and learning activites for their kids; other daddies come home every night for dinner, they do family game night or movie night with pizza, or they take care of baths and nighttime routines; other families can afford yearly vacations, they have family around to watch the kids while the mom and dad enjoy a night out every other Thursday, or they own a beautiful home with a fenced yard, a pool, a garden, and a dog that doesn’t jump on visitors.  Other parents – other families – are just better at this or that.

We’re so compelled to compare ourselves to these other people.  Sometimes they’re real people we know and love, sometimes they’re strangers who we’ve met through the internet, and sometimes they’re just an idea we have, this mythical person who does everything “right” and we pick ourselves apart for everything we’re doing “wrong”.

I’ll say it right here and very proudly, there are a lot of things I do wrong.  But that’s ok.  I do everything I possibly can for my Doodle (and my husband, for that matter), but I can only work to the best of my ability, I can only do what is in my capacity.  I don’t want to sit around thinking someone does it better than me, because they’re not doing my “it” and they’re not working off of my abilities and circumstances.

So I’m not the mother he deserves.  But you know what?  I’m the only one I want him to have.  I’m the only mom who’s going to love him the way I want him to be loved, the only mom who knows just where to tickle him to get him to almost stop breathing with laughter, the only mom who knows just how to hold him when he’s not feeling well or he’s just bonked his head on the table or he just wants to cuddle.  I’m his mom, and that makes me the best mom in the world from where I’m sitting.

I want every parent who loves their kids as strongly as they think they do to feel the same way.  I want them all to understand their faults, but to not be discouraged by what they think other parents are or what they think they should be.

You’re the only mom or dad who loves your kids with the same passion as you, the only one who loves your kids the way you want them to be loved.  No matter how much someone else does whatever they do right, they’ll never do what you do better than you.  And for that, you are everything your kids deserve.  And I am everything my Doodle deserves.

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19 responses »

  1. Awesome post :-). I feel the same. We go to the park a lot and I cook at home a lot but I have my own shortcomings. I do almost zero craft projects. I hate it. I get so impatient when it isn’t done *right* and a huge mess gets made. I love to read and play blocks and tickle but hate playing dolls and tea party, which are the games they love best. I let them watch far too much TV. And you’re right, I pick on myself for those things. I loved how you wrapped this up, though. To my kids, I’m the best mommy in the world, and their opinions are the only ones that really matter 🙂

    • Thanks. I was actually thinking about your mommy&daddy guilt post when I wrote this. Another fantastic blog got me thinking again about it, and several of the comments on it just solidified the notion of horrible stuff that people will say to make themselves feel above others by putting down their parenting habits and thoughts.

  2. As I started reading this post I wanted to say, “Don’t be do hard on yourself”. None of us are perfect, we all do our best, and that’s what you ended saying yourself. But I honestly believe that all the organic stepford type mums are FULL OF SHIT. For some reason there are women who buy into the mommy competition that the media dumps on us. And let’s not forget, I grew up in the days of smoking in the car, no sunscreen or seat belts, fatty foods, and still turned out fine. Motherhood is not about clean houses or five star food, it’s about happy healthy little people turning into happy healthy adults. Sorry for the essay 😉

    • “Motherhood is not about clean houses or five star food,” – freaking exactly! And personally, I think it’s probably a lot healthier for kids to grow up with mamas who aren’t frantically trying to do everything as perfectly as Pinterest or online forums make it look like it should be. 🙂 And no worries about essays, lady! I love reading peoples’ honest thoughts.

  3. YES. Yes to all of this. It is so easy to dump all over ourselves by not momming by the book, but just by loving our kids and being cognizant of the impact that love will have on them, we are already giving them everything.

    • This was actually kind of an extended response to your playing nice post. 🙂 It just really hurt my heart looking at so many comments by parents made to feel bad about not doing this or that the right way. I’ve fallen to it, too, the whole thinking someone else’s stellar parenting makes me somehow inadequate, someone else’s thoughts about how much they love their baby means I must not have loved mine enough because I got frustrated with whatever. I just think it’s so important for people to know that real people have real shortcomings but that doesn’t mean they’re any worse than anyone else. 🙂

  4. I could have written so much of this verbatim. Just today I was feeling like a shitty mom because I lost my cool when he woke up two hours early. I’m so guilty of not vacuuming as often as I should, getting angry because he won’t occupy himself, not teaching him as much as I think I should. You are so not alone. And thank you for reminding me that I’m not either.

    • Two hours! Yeah, you’re not alone even a little bit there! I would’ve flipped! I think sometimes it’s good to hear that other people are just as fallible as you are. Not enough people seem willing to talk about their faults, and it can make other people think their own issues are theirs alone. 🙂

    • But not really, though. It seems like those people who are “more”, the Martha Stewart moms for me (not sure if there are dad equivalents), only talk about their positive attributes, making people wonder if they have any negatives. Everyone has negatives. I think it’s good for people to know about other peoples’ whenever possible. 🙂

      • Other people’s what? Negatives. I don’t know. I think if you want to feel down, knowing someone else’s may or may not help. It depends on how down you are. These Marta Stewart types as you put it probably have a hard time identifying their own negatives. Choose not to see.

      • Great point. If you’re looking to be depressed about something, someone else’s shortcomings aren’t necessarily going to make you feel better, but that’s not quite what I meant. I guess what I mean is just that some people will Facebook, blog, tweet, post on Pinterest, and it’s often times only the good, only what makes them awesome and motivated. I think it’s very natural to puff yourself up and look as perfect as you can. I just think it’s nice to share with people what makes you not so great so if they have some of those same thoughts or habits they don’t feel alone. 🙂

      • Yeah, I hear that and agree. People are hyped on image and projecting something. Yet, the blogs etc. that I find most interesting are those that show a well rounded person. I guess that’s been your point the whole time. My fault.

  5. Glad you came around there at the end. We can all spend hours thinking about what we wish we could do vs what we do actually do. The important thing is to love our kiddos and do our best on any given day. From what I can tell via the blogworld, you do a magnificent job! And no, I’m not just pandering with a compliment.

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