An Easy Mistake that Moms Make {and what to do instead}

Have you made this common parenting mistake?  I've made it over and over again.  It makes me feel stressed out and like a not very good mom! 

What is this Easy Mistake that Moms Make?  

The mistake is thinking that I Have To Do it Right!

It starts right at the beginning, when you're expecting. 

You need to go to the doctor for check ups, gain the right amount of weight (but not too much), avoid everything that's bad for you,  and eat right so the baby will grow right.    You have to give birth right.  You have to feed them right - either breast or bottle.  You need to get them sleeping right.  You have to dress them right- make sure they are dressed for the temperature correctly so the lady in the grocery store doesn't judge you. You have to stimulate them right- tummy time, mommy and me classes and swim lessons.

You listen to everything other moms tell you and read all of the books and articles on the internet, so you can make sure you are doing it right.  Then if your kids don't do things on the same timetable, you realize that you're not doing it right.

You have to feed them right- organic, non gluten, low sugar, with a side of extra veggies. You have to get them into the right schools.  You need to sign them up for the right sports and lessons, but not too much so they have time to be a kid!

Make sure and limit their screen time too.  You have to set boundaries and discipline right so they don't become entitled.  But not too harsh because that's not right either.

You have to encourage them right so they'll be smart, have self confidence, and be kind.  You have to help them with their homework right- even if you have no idea how to do 5th grade math the way it's done now.  And just when you think you may be coming close to getting it right, your child starts teething, gets sick, starts school, grows up to become a teenager, gets new influences and develops
their own thoughts and feelings about things.

Not to mention while trying to raise your children right, you have to take care of yourself.  You have to figure out how to sleep right- so that you're getting enough sleep even though your kids get in bed with you every night.  And you need to dress right to fit your ever changing body.  Don't forget to exercise right, still have time for your husband, do your hair and make up right, clean your home and do your laundry right, serve and take care of others outside your home, and of course have time with your girlfriends!

Good grief!  That is a lot of pressure!  No wonder motherhood is so hard!  Whether you are a stay at home mom, a work at home mom,  or a work outside the home mom, you are constantly trying to do it all right.  

You'll want validation that you're doing it right, because your little bosses don't give any positive feedback.  You may fall into the trap of speaking bad about those moms who do things differently than you, just because you want to feel like you're doing it right.  You also may beat yourself up thinking if you just worked a little harder/smarter/better or had an easier life like those moms do,
you would finally be doing it right.

Let me let you in on a little secret

there is no Right Way to be a mom.

But there are a lot of really good ways to be a mom that I'm sure you are already doing.

You love your kids. You make breakfast, lunch and dinner. You buy them clothes that you then launder.  

You get up with them at night when they can't sleep or are sick.  You teach them to walk, talk, and the alphabet.

You try to provide a safe, enriching, stimulating environment.  You help your kids with their homework.

You shuttle them to and from their sports practices.  You ask them how their day was
and talk to them about the things that are important like bullying, drugs, morality, attitudes, alcohol and choosing good influences.

You go through their phones to make sure everything is appropriate.  You volunteer in their classroom.

You hold them when their heart is broken. You encourage them when they're learning something new.

You watch them make mistakes and try really hard to not say I told you so.  You help them navigate their feelings and mood swings.

You try not to take it personally when they act up at home because they've had to be good at school all day.  You give them money for school pictures, club t shirts, dances, field trips, books, and birthday gifts.

You peddle fundraiser items to your friends and family. You love your kids.

There is no one right way to be a mom. And anyway, who decides what the definition of right is?

No matter how hard you work or how much you try, you will make mistakes as a mom.  You cannot try to be a mom like anyone else.  What works for one person doesn't always work for another.  We are all different with various talents and gifts.

The only thing to do is keep trying!  Your kids don't want a perfect mom.  They want a mom that shows up, gives them unconditional love, sets boundaries, and helps them navigate the world. And mostly they want a happy mom!

How to be a happy mom

*Don't hold yourself to impossible standards.
*Get as much rest as you can.
*Develop good self care practices.
*Feed your body good food (not leftover chicken nuggets)
*Make time for your hobbies.
*Leave the kids with their dad or their 
grandparents once in a while.
*Take time to start your day off well!
*And most of all, cut yourself some slack. You do not have to do everything right. You just have to do the best you can!

Taking care of yourself is not selfish! Your kids will benefit from your happiness!!