Tonight at dinner, Annalyn grabbed my arm and sighed. “What?” I asked, oh so patiently. “I just love you so much,” she said. And just this afternoon, she squealed and hugged me and declared me, once again, “the BEST mommy EVER!”
Clearly, I deserve a medal. A mom medal.
Those things did happen. But so did me yelling at her and spouting off some ugly words right before bedtime. So did me hollering at her in the middle of Walmart for arguing with me one more time. So did me telling her no, she could not take her new stuffed puppy to daycare, a decision that earned me a foot stomp, an eye roll, and a loud, “Hmph!”
I’m not a perfect mom, not in the least. I lose my patience and my temper on a regular – and frequent – basis, I almost always say yes to watching her favorite Disney Channel or PBS shows, and I kind of hate getting down on the floor to play anything. I let her “doctor” me or fix my hair anytime she asks, but more often than not, I search out the shortest book to read at bedtime. She knows which fast food restaurant has the best toys, and she is officially in love with the boys of One Direction. And I gave up on the chore chart we both loved months ago.
But you know what? I am still a pretty good mom. No, I’m a really good mom.
I don’t always feel like it. Most of my friends have heard me say more than once, “Make sure you include THAT in my nomination for Mom of the Year!” But at the end of the day (you know, after the bedtime battle scars have faded a bit?), I remember the truth. I am a good mom.
This summer tested that confidence big time. The tantrums that she was throwing and the behaviors that I just could not get under control pushed me toward the edge of mom-sanity. My own mom even pulled me aside for A Talk about how I can’t blame myself for my child’s choices.
I wasn’t blaming myself for her choices, but I was – for a time – doubting the right-ness of my own choices and considering what I needed to change. As it turns out, all I really needed to do was grab a bar of chocolate and hold on for dear life, because it was – thankfully – just a phase. (A horrible, horrible phase.)
I realized I was back on my parenting feet again when I heard through the grapevine that the director of Annalyn’s former preschool didn’t think I was a good mom. Initially, I thought this person was telling me that the director didn’t like me, and I was all sorts of upset. What had I done to offend her? Did I say something rude? Why didn’t she like me? But when I found out it was my parenting she took issue with, not my personality, all I felt was relief.
Apparently I have more confidence in my parenting than in my personality! Because if she thinks I’m annoying or lazy or bossy or something else, I feel bad. But if she thinks I’m not a good enough mom, then I couldn’t care less.
I’m not a perfect mom. But I’m a really good one. Surely someone should be handing out medals for that, too.
What would go on your Parent of the Year application?
This post is part of 31 Days of Giving Up on Perfect, because despite what Facebook or Pinterest tells you, nobody is the perfect mom. All month long, I’ll be writing about my fight against perfectionism and my quest to get on with life, already. For more 31 Days, visit The Nester.
Love that pic of you both! What a cute grin she has.
Thank you, thank you!
“Grab a chocolate bar and hang on for dear life . . .” Love that!!! You’re ready for middle school now! :)
Oh gosh, NO. Not yet!! ;)
I always felt guilty when my 5 year old daughter would tell me I am the best mommy ever. Until recently. Then I realized that she never has to wonder if I love her, if she is precious and what will happen next in her day. She has security and encouragement. I am her cheerleader way more often than I am the ogre-mom (but some days it is really, really close!) There are still things that happen that make me feel guilty, or disappointed in myself, or will try to make me feel less-than. I apologize when I should, make amends when I can, and when it is just all in my head, I hold my arms out and watch a willing princess/cheerleader/popstar/artist/chef/beauty stylist come running to the mommy that is still the best in her whole world. I let that be the truth for me in those times.
Shannon, thank you so much for sharing this. Letting it be the truth is huge, and I’m still working on remembering that myself!