As a mother, I’ve become an amazing boxer. In fact, all mothers are naturally gifted boxers.
The problem is that the only ones we’re beating up is ourselves.
We need to stop. I need to stop.
I am hanging up the proverbial gloves.
I’m a bad mother because my child didn’t eat her breakfast. I cooked her eggs the way she likes and I cut up fruit in appealing bite sizes. I poured her glass of milk in her pink princess cup and placed everything in her favourite dish. I’m a great mom but my child might just not be hungry and that’s okay.
I’m a bad mother because my child watched TV today. We painted in the morning. We had a dance party in the afternoon. We read books together before her nap. We went to the playground after her nap. But now, I need to get dinner on the table. I’m a great mom who is using some diversion tactics and that’s okay.
I’m a bad mother because I didn’t take my child to see The Wiggles. We spend every weekend going on at least one excursion as a family, big or small. My child has been to museums, water parks, libraries, amusement parks, fairs, sporting events, carnivals, picnics, and so much more. I’m a great mom who is forgoing the Wiggles and that’s okay.
I’m a bad mother because my child just had a terrible tantrum at the grocery store. I love my child but I also discipline my child when necessary. We do age-appropriate time outs. I have taught her good manners and how to say please and thank you. She has been taught that actions have consequences. I’m a great mom who encourages her child to use words instead of whining or crying but it doesn’t always work and that’s okay.
I’m a bad mother because I am terrible at organizing my children’s photographs. I take about a dozen pictures every week. We have pictures of the children playing, sleeping, eating, crying, bathing, and everything in between. We live in the moment but we try to capture it, too. I’m a great mom who loves photographs of her children but can’t find the time to assemble them into albums and that’s okay.
I’m a bad mother because I can’t stop worrying. I let my daughter run and jump and skip and roll down the hill but it scares me to death. Every fall makes my heart stop. Every bruise and scrape and scratch that is part of childhood brings me grief. Every symptom is a new search on Google. I’m a great mom who is more often than not a nervous mess and that’s okay.
I may stumble and make mistakes but that’s okay. I’m a mother but I’m human, too. I’m trying my best and that’s really all I can do.
My children know giggles and laughter and joy. They know hugs and kisses and cuddles.
They know love.
And that’s more than okay with me.