Good Mom, Bad Mom
“I’d rate myself like a 3 in the mom category, I’m just not the best mom” I slightly chuckled and smoothly said to the 3-4 college students I was talking to in a group. To my surprise they each looked at me in disbelief and said, ..” what? Don’t say that! You’re a great mom”
Imagine me - a 32 year old woman who is “suppose” to have it together (well at least to these 20 year olds) sharing self-deprecating and insecure things about myself that I believed they would take as a joke. In hindsight it was kind of embarrassing. It felt like I was the kid who was always bullied and decided to make fun of myself before others had the chance to. Like, my coping mechanism to deal with pain was to get in front of it and shout it from the rooftop. I give this new generation their props, though. I think their tolerance is limited for the B.S and their grace is deep for the authentic. But, regardless of the affirmation that I was doing OK, I had this looming thought in the back of my head that it still isn't enough.
According to a national parent survey taken by the Zero to Three Organization, 48% of moms feel like they’re most judged by strangers in the community. So, I know I’m in good/bad company :/ Becoming a mom at 25 made me feel like everything I ever did for the girls would always be below standard. I constantly felt judged by the shortcomings that I felt I had. If I walked out with the girls in a questionable outfit- JUDGMENT. If their hair was not done well - JUDGMENT. If I forgot an important event at school - JUDGMENT. The incessant need for perfection on social media doesn’t help. *I most recently had to take a step back from my own social engagement for my own mental health and sanity.* Ugh and let me tell you.. It was one of the most freeing and liberating things I’ve done in a while. While I know I have to coexist in a world that puts on the face of perfection and unrealistic expectations, I’m learning how to mindfully use various tools like social media to continue to uplift and encourage others.
The SisterLee Love platform is all about encouraging. For the past week I’ve been finding random women (mostly mothers) and giving them words of encouragement. I’ve been saying things like, “Oh, what a cutie pie! He’s so lucky to have such an amazing parent introducing him to tasty solid foods!” And if I find a momma that's pulling a self-deprecating comment like I did :/ I tell them, “Hey! You’re doing your best. Your best is enough. Your effort isn’t going unnoticed. In fact, you’re really doing amazing :)
Breaking Down the GOOD MOM
So what exactly is a good mom? Only a week after Mother’s Day I realized there is no good answer. One thing I noticed from all of the posts on my feed showering their mothers with affection and appreciation was the approach every person took to acknowledging their mother. For example, the core memories I have with my mother have always been church, singing, and cooking. Her faith, her wisdom, and sincerity shaped the way that she raised me. I could see those same traits echoed in all of my friends and their explanations of their mothers.
There is no perfect mother, but there are perfect combinations. Every mother is meant to be a figure to their child. They have unique parenting styles, certain methods that work with their unique and special children. They are destined to be in the company of you. You may not think you are a good mom, but you are greatest for your child :)