Ah, the week before New Year's. This is a time where I traditionally reflect on all the things I do wrong, and how I'm not going to do them wrong the next year. It's a time when I think of all the things I am NOT (not healthy, not good with money, not fit...) and how I am going to attempt to change all of those things starting January 1st. But this year I actually surprised myself.
Being a mom is probably the largest part of my identity at this time of my life. And generally, since I have been thrust into that role, I have never felt like I excel at it. I always have felt that I am surviving; some days better than others, but surviving nonetheless.
Good Moms definitely make sure to take Instagram Selfies.
Despite all of the reassurances to the contrary from my husband, my family, my friends, my therapist, the internet, the piles of parenting books and my other parent friends, I still believed I wasn't doing a great job at being a mom. I was doing an adequate job; I was the world's okayest mom.
But reflecting back on this year, I had the shocking realization that I don't really feel that way anymore. In fact, I think I'm doing a damn good job. Even if my kids watch too much Netflix, eat McDonald's, and are not fully potty trained. Even though I hate the park, I don't make cute little presents for preschool on holidays, and I often don't shower for more days in a row than is probably healthy. Even if sometimes I feel like I want to scream, and sometimes I do. Even if I need some precious alone time from my children, but then sneak into their rooms and risk waking them up just to get the goodnight kiss I missed. Now, when my children throw an epic tantrum in the middle of the grocery store and all eyes are looking at me and how I will deal with it, I know that no matter how it ends I AM A GOOD MOM.
I am not perfect, but as someone once said to me: "if there was such a thing as a perfect mom, you would hate that person anyway". There is no need to be perfect, because what my kids need is me, crazy and all. All of those times I felt like I was barely surviving, and doing a horrible job at raising tiny humans, I was actually just being a great mom. Because that is what great moms do.
I have told myself this countless times before this day, and never ever truly believed it. I would say it, and then think of all the things that I needed to fix about myself, to make me "a good mom". This doesn't mean that there isn't a bunch of things I can do better, because of course there is. But not doing them doesn't mean I am failing at all. That is a very freeing thought.
So this new year, I will still start it off with wishing I was more healthy, more fit and better with money. But I will not be feeling horrible about the year I just gave to my children. I actually feel really proud of it, despite all the rough spots, because it means that I have been lucky enough to spend it with the people I love the most in all of the world, and I know that they (and I!) am better for it.
So Happy New Year to all of the Great Moms reading this. I wish you another year of joy, tears, tantrums, messes and LOVE.
I'm Amy, and I'm a Mommy with nary a clue as to how to do this whole "parenting" thing. As a former traveler, I view this as another journey, although this time without a map, a plan or a clue! We call Canada home.