I’ve been thinking a lot recently, and I came to a conclusion the other day, it was a bit of a revelation really. I’m a really good Mum because I try my best.
I really do. And I don’t always get it right, I don’t think that anyone does, but that’s just normal life. There are days when I am too shouty, when I’m tired and have no energy, when I’ve not done enough washing and they have to wait for their clothes to tumble dry before we can go out, but that’s ok, because there are other days when I am calm and patient, have their outfits laid out for them, when we do baking from scratch and when I take them on amazing imagination adventures.
Often I don’t know what I am cooking for dinner, but they never go hungry. When I have no energy, we have movie afternoons and I wrap them in blankets and we watch a film together cuddling. I could beat myself up for not being the ‘perfect’ Mum (what that is I’m not sure but I definitely taunt myself with it at times!), but actually, I’m their Mum, and I love them with all my heart and would do absolutely anything for their happiness, which is really all that matters.
I have spent many an hour beating myself up for all the times when I thought I was a terrible Mum to them, when I had Postnatal Depression for example, but actually, when I look back on photos of that time, they look happy. They are clean, and well fed and smiling. I think we can always taunt ourselves with the things we could be doing and don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things we do actually do for them every single day.
Talking to teachers when they have a problem at school, changing nappies, wiping bottoms, wiping noses, buying their favourite snacks, changing their bedding, making doctor’s appointments, doling out cuddles, listening to woes, reading stories, tying laces, brushing hair, tickling, waking in the night to protect from monsters, emptying the dishwasher and helping with homework, all seemingly small gestures but so important.
These little things become a part of our every day fabric, we do them so often that we no longer see them for what they are, multiple acts of love. Instead of dwelling on our perceived shortcomings, we should celebrate these many many tiny achievements of Motherhood.
It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing everyone else’s highlight reel and feeling that you’re not measuring up, especially on social media, (which is why I try to be incredibly honest here and on my instagram and facebook), but actually, a highlight reel is just that, the high points of a day which might for the other 20 hours have been very mundane and boring, just like most days are!
So I’m going to stand up and say that I am a good Mum. I try my best, I love my children, I’m not perfect, but no one is and that’s ok because although I’m not the perfect magazine Mum, I’m the perfect Mum for them.
I think you should stand up and do the same!