You Are Not a Bad Mom
- Written By:Alexis Alvich
I hear it all the time: Don’t be so hard on yourself. I also say it to myself during those moments when I am (most likely) holding myself up to some ridiculous, unrealistic standard. Truth is, all of the mothers I know are hard on themselves. I’m not sure when the motherhood bar was repositioned so high you can barely pole vault over it, but it was, and we hold ourselves to it.
Maybe it’s because our parenting is out there for the whole world to see, so we want to appear to be doing the best job possible? Maybe it’s because we live in an uber competitive society? Maybe it’s because there’s so much more literature on parenting that we have access to that applies pressure to how we raise our kids? Maybe it’s because we are doing so much more as mothers now — juggling home life, careers, relationships, social lives, and taking care of ourselves too (ha!) — that we feel like we have to overcompensate for not being at home with our kids?
Whatever the reason, I often feel like I am killing myself and have decided to just let it go. I encourage all of you to do the same. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember:
You are not a bad mom if you don’t puree the baby’s food and feed them jarred baby food or pouches instead.
You are not a bad mom if this one time (okay, maybe a handful of times) they don’t eat organic.
You are not a bad mom if you formula feed.
You are not a bad mom if they go a night without a bath.
You are not a bad mom if you leave your baby in the crib with some toys in the morning so you can get a few extra minutes of sleep.
You are not a bad mom if you plop your toddler in front of the TV so you can get shit done (or sleep). And you are not a bad mom if plopping them in front of the TV turns into two hours.
You are not a bad mom if you just don’t feel like cooking and make them a PB&J sandwich... a few days in a row.
You are not a bad mom if the Halloween costume wasn’t handmade.
You are not a bad mom if you work.
You are not a bad mom if you shut the bathroom door for some privacy… and lock it.
You are not a bad mom if you take time for yourself to go get a mani/pedi, work out, meet up with friends, or go sneak in a movie solo (mostly so you can sleep in peace).
You are not a bad mom if you accidentally curse in front of the kids. Or even if you do it on purpose.
You are not a bad mom if you give them an iPad when you’re out at dinner so they allow you to eat a hot meal for longer than 5 minutes that isn’t made up of their leftovers.
You are not a bad mom if you lose your temper every now and then.
You are not a bad mom if you cry in front of them.
You are not a bad mom if you never book a playdate.
You are not a bad mom if you don’t buy your second child any presents for the holidays because they are so young and will never know and have all of their older siblings toys to play with.
You are not a bad mom if you can’t make the school play/party/activity.
You are not a bad mom if you have to choose work sometimes.
You are not a bad mom if you say NO.
You are not a bad mom if sometimes you reminisce about the days before you were a mom.
You are not a bad mom. Full stop. Know that there will be moments that you shine, and moments when you suck. In their eyes, as long as you love them, you’re the best mom ever.
This story originally appeared on Alexis' blog, Mama Wife Work Life.