This week, one of my blogger friends posed a question on her Facebook page. She was calling out to the moms in her community, asking them to speak positively about themselves. It was truly a wonderful opportunity for moms to brag on themselves for a bit, because that never happens. She basically said this: What’s one thing you do really well? I just want to hear you say something positive about yourself as a mom.
When I read it, I was giving the baby a bottle, putting him down for his nap. I had been scrolling through my Facebook feed, waiting for him to drop off into unconsciousness, so that I could lay him down. My bigs were already napping, and this was about to be my glorious hour or two of quiet freedom.
What’s one thing I do really well as a mom? Get them to nap at the same time so that I can have a moment of sanity. Oh wait, that’s really selfish. How about the fact that I’m great at getting a workout and a shower in every other day? Well, that still benefits me, not them.
All of a sudden, my mind is reeling and tears are coming to my eyes. Why can’t I think of a single thing I do well for my children? All I can think of are the basics. They’re clothed. They’re fed. They’re (relatively) clean. Well, that doesn’t make me a good mom… that’s the bare minimum. I can’t think of a single thing that I do as a mom that’s outstanding. I know so many other mothers who fall into that category. I’m often short-tempered and easily stressed out. Do those things count?
The more I think, the more I realize that as a mom, and as a woman (and a southern woman in particular), I’m trained to just try to be better. Not to recognize something I do well. I should be humble, hard-working, and put together. I shouldn’t be focused on what I do well – those things don’t need attention. The things that need attention are the things that need improvement. That’s where I should put my focus, right?
I agree with trying to be my best self. I agree with seeing that there may be things about myself that I can improve, change for the better. But I should be able to call to mind a thing or two that I do well. Feeding my children healthy food at almost every single meal and snack. Working out with and in front of them, so that they know being healthy is a priority. Spending lots of family time together, at home or out on the town. Reading to them most days and every night. THOSE are things I do well as a mom.
Here’s your encouragement for today. I read the comments on her question. It was lovely things like, “taking my kids to the park a few times a week” and “teaching my daughter sign language” and “listening to my children and taking their words to heart”. Those are truly wonderful things that moms are doing for their kids. Why don’t we give ourselves some slack? We’re doing a great job, moms. Love yourself a little. Give yourself a break. You’re a good mom. I know it.