Before I was a mom, I didn’t really give a ton of thought to the type of mom I would be. When I got pregnant with Abbie, it was a different story.
I was going to make all her food so she’d be a great eater. I was going to cloth diaper 100% of the time. She was going to get on a schedule ASAP and take great naps. She was going to hit all her milestones ahead of time. My kids were going to get along 100% of the time and I was going to spend tons of time with them.I would always be baking cookies, doing crafts, and taking them to the playground.
In short, once I got pregnant, I had all these visions – and while some of those visions came true, others didn’t – and things I never thought of turned out to be even better.
I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and one I’ve rapidly been consuming is The Mom Hour. While catching up last week, I came across a two-part episode they did on the 10 Habits of Happy Moms (episodes 137 and 138) and one really struck a chord with me.
Happy moms embrace the mom they are.
Not that mom they thought they would be. Not the mom they think they should be. The mom they are.
There are so many ways we try to improve our lives and be this idealized version of a what a mom should be. We hear it everywhere – moms should play with their kids, moms should cook every night, moms should have spotless houses, moms should stay home with their kids, moms should have behavior systems, moms should be endlessly patient – I could go on and on.
But in the end, none of that matters. If you’re going to be continually chasing some standard you never even set, how on earth are you ever going to be happy as a mom?
Answer: you’re not. No matter how hard you try to live up to that idealized version of a mom, it’s never going to make you happy.
So mamas, it’s time to instead embrace the mom you actually ARE – the mom your kids need and love. It’s going to look different to each of us, but the mom I am?
- I am the mom that happily drops her kids off at daycare in the morning and is just as thrilled to get home to them.
- I am the mom who relies on yogurt pouches and goldfish to make sure her kid is eating something.
- I am the mom who has a messy house and too much stuff.
- I am the mom who hates cleaning and can’t wait until my kids are old enough to do it all.
- I am the mom that loves baking cookies from scratch with my girls.
- I am the mom that makes batches of pancakes on weekends to heat up during the week – but buys frozen waffles.
- I am the mom that would rather snuggle with my kids in bed than take them to the playground.
- I am the mom who buys the vast majority of my kids’ clothes on consignment.
- I am the mom that lets my kids have entirely too much screen time.
- I am the mom that loves legos and puzzles.
- I am the mom that gets my kids a cake pop from Starbucks every time.
- I am not a perfect mom, but that’s okay.
I choose to embrace the mom I am – and that’s exactly what’s best for my girls.
If you liked this post, be sure to pin it or share with others!
You’re 100% spot on. The mom ideals you listed were a copy of mine. When moms gave me advice, I had decided they were just not as invested as I was, haha.
Reality showed me that motherhood had other plans for me. Once I stopped exhausting myself, trying to maintain unrealistic expectations, life and being a mom became so much more fun. I’m very happy to be the mom I am and not the one I originally set out to be. Great article, thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad it resonated with you! We put such crazy expectations on ourselves, and I’ve found that as I let all that go, I’ve been a happier mom!
I so needed this post! I just started cloth diapering and am still figuring it out. I was stressing about not having it all down and failing. I then took a step back and realized even if I cloth diaper half the time, that’s saving money and the environment some. It’s so easy to put entirely too much pressure on ourselves. I love this as a new mantra, embracing the mom I am 🙂
Oh I’m so glad it spoke to you! The pressure we put on ourselves is the absolute worst and it’s so hard to let it go! Congrats on the part-time cloth diapering – I love that we’ve done it and I’ve now been doing it since 2012 (minus a potty-trained break before Ella was born). Let me know if I can help in any way!
Thank you! I got a bunch of pre-loved pockets with microfiber inserts and have realized those aren’t enough for my 6mo old so I’m trying to figure it out with FSTs and prob buying some bamboo but don’t want to spend too much $$$. Do you have any items you swear by ( diapers, inserts, etc) ?
I do! I have a few older posts on cloth diapering (if you search at the top you should find them), but we use Bumgenius 4.0 pockets. They were a bit of an investment at first, but now that I’m using them on baby 2, they were DEFINITELY worth it. In fact, I keep meaning to do an updated post of my essentials, so I’ll get working on that this weekend, but feel free to email me in the meantime! firstname.lastname@example.org
Great, I’ll search your posts and let you know if I have any questions. Thanks!
The messy house thing really stood out to me. I SO struggle with this! I want my house to always be in pristine condition, but I have a boatload with my 3 kiddos (under the age of 5). Thank you for the inspiring read today!!
Hi Jess! Just saw this post and wanted to thank you for the podcast shout-out! –Sarah