Being a mom is HARD!!!
Being a "good mom" is IMPOSSIBLE!
And especially when you are a single mom (not discounting moms with great husbands because it's all still extremely hard).
And especially, especially moms who are in an abusive relationship and are still trying to parent with their abuser. It is impossible to raise respectful kids when your partner is not respecting you.
So what the heck is a "good mom" anyway? Social media shows me that its family photoshoots, homemade gifts and crafts, baking and cooking elaborate meals and desserts, decorating the house for each holiday, etc.
What is a "good mom" according to elder peers? Taking care of your husband and being submissive, sticking it out and toughening up, disciplining those kids so that they show respect, and making sure I keep a good house and home for my family to feel safe in.
What is a "good mom" according to parenting books and workshops? Never yell, Never spank, and Never bribe. Give the kids choices and calmly let them choose for themselves. Give them an allowance but not for chores. They should enjoy doing chores just as part of the family. Use time outs and reinforce positive behavior.
What is a "good mom" according to the divorce classes and counselors advice? Never talk bad about the other parent. Be consistent and don't let them use each parent against each other. Don't use the kids to relay information to each parent. Be sure to have positive feedback for the new partners for each parent and make them feel as though they are now part of the family.
If this is what a "good mom" is, then I'm NOT, by definition, a "good mom." And frankly, I'm ok with that.
It took me a long time to give myself mercy and fall completely in love with who I am as a person and a mom.
I'm a mom who sacrifices my own comfort, desires and time to make sure that my kids feel loved, get education, and have a healthy lifestyle.
I'm a mom who values memories more than material things.
I'm a mom who would rather make time for extra snuggles than make spaghetti noodles from scratch.
I'm a mom who doesn't give desserts because I don't like the extra sugar in their system before bed.
I'm a mom who never talks bad about their dad, even when I hear the awful things he consistently tells them about me.
I'm a mom who doesn't decorate for holidays because I use that extra money to treat myself to golf, one of the most recharging and refreshing activities I have in my life.
I'm a mom who uses positive reinforcement mixed with material discipline so that I don't have to spank and rarely have to yell.
I'm a mom who commands respect and honesty from everyone in her life, including her kids.
I'm a mom who refuses to be disrespected by ANY man or woman, including my husband and/or ex-husband.
I'm a mom who cleans when I have time to and I don't when I don't.
I'm a mom who likes to work and chase her dreams while talented and skilled educators are with my children during the day, teaching them things I can't.
Here is something that has helped me stay strong and fall in love the kind of mom I truly am...
show your babies how to love their Momma by loving YOURSELF!!! They need to see what that looks like, because no one can show them how to love and respect you as well as you can. It's not selfish... it's necessary!
Show em how you want to be loved, Momma. Love yourself every moment of every day. Be merciful. Be kind. Be gentle. Be assertive. Be encouraging. They are watching you. And how you treat yourself is not only how they will treat you, but it is how they will treat themselves as well.
And if you are in an abusive relationship or marriage, CALL SOMEONE! There are so many numbers you can call in your area just to even ask questions. Don't wait too long. Especially if you are feeling unvalued and unworthy. Call 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788 to see if you are being abused (psychological abuse is very hard to understand because they will make you think you are crazy for even considering it).