How to be a perfect mother.
What? Don’t you know either? I was hoping that maybe YOU could enlighten me because I SURE don’t know the equation to be the perfect mother.
The thing is, there is not a known method for how to be THE perfect mother. She doesn’t exist.
So, why are we so hard on ourselves to be THAT mama? You know, The Pinterest Perfect one who never yells or swears in front of the kids. The one who feeds them a hearty breakfast consisting of all five food groups seven days a week. The one who would NEVER resort to, dare I say it, some free time on the iPad where their little minds are corrupted by kids dressed in shark costumes singing about their family. See, I didn’t even give the title of the song, and now you will be singing it all day. “Doo doo doo doo doo.” But, ask me how many doo doo doos’s I’ll let them watch so that I can doo doo doo a load of laundry? Seven. The answer is seven because I’m not that perfect mother.
I know that I’ve written about not being the perfect mother before (Check it out here). However, I feel like in this day and age where everyone is comparing themselves to others (thanks to social media) that maybe we could build ourselves up instead! Instead of thinking of all the ways that we fall short on this motherhood gig, let’s pat ourselves on the back for all the things that we are doing right. Or maybe even splurge for a massage so someone else can pat us on the back! Hell, we deserve it!
After all, there is no one way to be a perfect mother, but there are millions of ways to be a great one!
So, let’s hear it for, US, the great ones! The ones who are keeping tiny humans alive. The ones who are getting by on very little sleep. The ones whose diet consists of coffee and rogue pieces of leftover grilled cheese sandwiches that didn’t get eaten at lunch. We are great mothers! And, it’s time we recognized it!
To make myself feel even better, I’ve compiled a list of some of the things that we as mamas do that land us in the excellent mama category. These are probably things that you don’t give yourself credit for, but you should. It’s time to start!
Just being there to make those little munchkins feel like what they have to say is important, because it is even if it’s the same story about why they like blue sippy cups better than red ones. Even if we’ve heard it 89 times that day, even if we hear our phone buzzing, our dryer going off, and the clock ticking before we need to start getting dinner ready, just listen.
If you listen, you are a great mother.
Sure, the house looks like a bomb went off. Sure, you have a deadline to meet, and some time on your laptop sounds pretty inviting. Sure, you’ve got lunches to make for school for the next day. Those things can wait. The kids won’t always want to play. There will come a time that their own social life and activities will overtake all of their free time. All those My Little Ponies that are scattered all over the living room floor? Soon enough, they will be stored away in a box collecting dust and maybe never looked at again. Play. Play on the floor. Play dress up. Play like you are farm animals. Play with legos, hot wheels, dare I say it, slime. Just play.
If you play, you are a great mother.
One of the most daunting tasks is getting three kids dressed, fed, and out the door. It’d be so much easier to be hermits and just stay in jammies all day and cuddle up on the couch. Some of the best times I have with my three are getting out of the house and exploring our great town! Whether it be checking out books at our local library, a new yummy dish at a new restaurant, or even the best deals of the day with my Target Red Card, I consider getting out of the house as exploring because there’s always something for their little minds to learn.
If you “explore,” you are a great mother.
4. Providing a safe place
I KNOW you do this one mama, so go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You are killing it as a mom! The world is a scary place. And, it just keeps getting scarier and scarier. However, the fact you are providing them with a sense of security, a roof over their heads, a safe place, you are a great mother.
5. Providing nourishment
You got this one in the bag! Even if sometimes that bag comes in the form of a Sonic Wacky Pack. You got it, mama! You are providing food for those little, growing bodies. You are keeping them alive! You are nursing. You are bottle feeding. You are helping the hubs make hamburgers, or you are whipping up a batch of hamburger helper. You are making sure they eat.
You are a great mother.
6. Wiping butts
You might not be the sole butt wiper, but chances are you are the one that does a majority of the butt wiping in your household. It’s a job that stinks. It’s a job that some consider a load of crap. 😉 But it’s a job that has to be done! If you have the craptastic job of making sure those little hineys are shiny.
You are a great mother!
7. Showing up
So many littles equals so many activities. The older they get, the more events they have. Tee-ball games, dance recitals, tumbling observations, school programs, school lunches, classroom parties, and the list just keeps going. You may not be able to show up for everything. But, the fact that you show up when you can and that you are present in their lives does wonders for them! You showed up at “minis and moms in muumuu’s eating moist muffins,” even though you hate the word moist!
You are a great mother!
8. You say yes
Sometimes it’s ok to say yes to a cookie before dinner. Sometimes it’s ok to say yes, “you can sprinkle glitter on the kitchen floor.” Sometimes it’s ok to say, “Yes! For the love of God, we can go to Chuck E. Cheese!” Giving them what they want now and then just to see their little faces light up with excitement doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you a mom who experiences joy through their eyes! It can be one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world, and who wants to miss out on that?
If you say yes, you are a great mother.
9. You say no
And, as exhilarating as it is to say yes and do all the fun things and not have a care in the world, you have to draw the line somewhere. So, you tell them no to that cookie before dinner, no to sprinkling glitter on the kitchen floor, and no to a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. You know that spoiling them rotten is not preparing them for the real world, and so you tell them no. And, as they get older, the no’s, they get harder, but you stand your ground because you love them.
If you say no, you are a great mother.
10. You love with everything you have
You not only provide your babes with a house, food, and a clean butt. You also provide them with love. Lots of love. You love them with every inch of your being. You love them so much it keeps you up at night. You love them so much it hurts. You love them when they are right. You love them when they are wrong. You love them clean, dirty, happy, sad. You love. You love. You love. You love them so much that you can feel your heart exploding when you watch them sleep. You love them so much that you cry when they are hurting, and you feel exuberant joy when they are happy.
If you love, and I know you do, you aren’t a great mother.
You are the best mother.
I could list a million more reasons that we are great mothers! What are some of the things that you would add to the list?