I think it’s just to say that each one of us enters parenthood with a set of beliefs or expectations about what it means to be a good mom. We realize these beliefs from the pressure of our areas and society as a whole, the experiences with our parents, and through the expectations of friends, parents, and media. These external influences can have so much power and control over us that when we finally do become moms ourselves, it is unbearably hard to listen to our ideas of what this “good mom” thing is all around.
So hard, that stress, depression, and strong emotion can latch on like crazy to our new identification.
Here are my thoughts on what good moms should be:
Loves her child completely
Never abuses her child
Always does what is most suitable for a child
Always puts the child’s wants before her own
Always needs to be around her child
Should always feel that the most important thing in the universe is her child
Should ever be ready to give up anything for her baby
Should be happy staying home with her children all-day
Never hates her child
Should feel the only thing she needs in her life to feel happy is her child
Should fully define herself as a character through motherhood
Shouldn’t feel bored spending time with her child
Should feel comfortable and overjoyed every time she looks at her daughter
Should never guess about how enjoyable her life was before children
Should be able to handle children all day outdoors needing breaks
Shouldn’t feel miserable at night when up with her child
This list makes me uneasy when reading it, and so I can only guess what it must have felt like to her to believe that all of these things were a necessary part of parenting.
They make it hard to breathe.
A good mom or Good Enough Mom, gives her best to:
Show her child how to live life to the fullest
Be always there for her kids when they need her
Teach her child the value of self-worth
Give food, shelter, and love
Be a good model for her children
Make an opportunity to have fun with her kids
Allow room for her kids to make mistakes and learn from them
Teach her kids how to love unconditionally
Pretty big variation, right?
No shoulds, shouldn’t, always’, or never.
We all do this. Each of us enters parenthood with some idea of what we “should” do in this new and often terrifying role, what a good mom is. While many of those things may be entirely relevant, many others may be completely unachievable.
I encourage you to ask yourselves what is it that you think goes into being a “good enough” mom to your kiddo and to write down your list. Take note of the “shoulds” and the “always’” and whether or not you are seeing ideas that are truly yours or whether they are someone else’s.