Mar 27, 2013

StrongMoms® Empower #StrongMomsEmpower

Are you the perfect mom? Yeah, me neither! I wrote recently about how it makes me crazy when people (especially celebrities) share their 'tips' on having it all. This annoys me because it's just misleading. You can't have it all.  Read more on that here.  But controlling our own expectations of ourselves is only half the battle. You see the world is full of people who swear they know better and will judge you based on what they see on the surface, in an instant.  If you haven't read the post about mom on an iPhone (sorry not sharing the link love on that one, I'm sure you can find it if you Google it) you probably want to skip it.  You see you could give yourself an ulcer trying to be all the right things for someone.  One person will judge you for being on your iPhone while out at the park, while someone else will judge you for being a 'helicopter parent' if you follow right behind your kids in the same setting.
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Yup I'd LOVE to be the ideal mom.  To be able to parent my kids with zero guilt.  To be free of the thoughts of, did I do the right thing, did I say the right thing, do they have too much, do they not have enough, would be liberating.  But the reality is, that that's not life.  And the only way to have less self doubt, is to chose to have less self doubt.  Mind you there are days when I have no doubt.  But that's usually because I KNOW I did it WRONG.  In those moments there's nothing I can do but take a little peace in knowing that my kids know I'm human, and that I"m flawed.  And that hopefully, that means they know I will always be here when they mess up too. 
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As a first time mom, I lamented this fact.  I mean they 'teach' you how to change and bath your baby but where the hell was the lesson on what to do when the baby is screaming, dinner is boiling over and I think if I sneeze one more time I will pee my pants right here?  Or what to do when you infant projectile vomits all over you and your spouse in the middle of Christmas Eve candle light church service?
After awhile, I felt like I was getting the hang of things, I learned that I could trust my gut on whether the baby was hunger, gassy or just wanted to be loved on.  I knew when the crying meant a Dr's visit was in order.  But then came new hurddles of preschool, speech delays and ADHD evaluations.  More uncharted territory and with fewer people in my life who'd been down the same roads.  More moments I wished I'd gotten that damn manual.   But it'd be an impossible manual to write and an even more impossible one to read.  Just think if you'd had to read about every possible challenge you and your child could face?  Could you handle the worry of knowing all the things that may or may not happen to a single child in their life time? I know I couldn't.  The only possible good that reading such a thing could do was maybe give me some perspective when I feel like I'm having the worst day ever, I could remember all the things we've never had to endure!

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So, you can't have it all, you'll definitely get it wrong sometimes and you don't know it all!  Are you feeling defeated? Ready to just throw in the towel?  Don't!  Here's the moral to this aren't a perfect mom, there is not perfect mom, but you are the PERFECT mom for your kids! No one can EVER replace you!  Take some time today and enjoy your kids, don't worry about the little things that won't matter tomorrow and just BE with them.  You'll feel better for it!

And the next time you see a stressed out mom, don't shake your head and judge her, smile and if appropriate offer a hand!  In generations past, it truly took a village.  Everyone chipped in and helped in whatever way they could.  But today in our effort to prove that we are strong, we try to do it all alone.  Think about how good it feels to help our a friend.  To take them a meal or to grab their kids and give them a night out!  And THEN, think about giving one of your friends the chance to feel good about helping YOU out!!!

Strong doesn't mean doing it all, all by yourself
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  1. Simple, good-will actions take so little effort but leave such a lasting effect for both the giver and the recipient.

  2. It's so hard not to feel guilty about the lack of perfection when parenting our children...but when they look at me and know in their hearts that I love them dearly and would jump in front of a moving train for them, I know I've succeeded.


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