It seems to me that moms are held to an impossible standard these days. Maybe they were before and it just wasn't as obvious as it is now thanks to social media, but it seems like moms are expected to be everything to everyone, be on top of it all, never fail, always look amazing, and never lose their shit.
As a real mom, I lose my mind on a weekly basis. I rarely have everything together, and my kids aren't even in school yet! What is my life going to look like when they start having activities and school functions? I have no idea, but I guarantee you I will not be perfect and I will almost certainly drop several balls.
Mom guilt is a real thing and it plagues every single one of us. Stay-at-home moms worry that their kids will be too isolated and dependent on their mommy because they didn't spend enough time away from her. Or that they'll be awkward and never make friends because for the first however-many-years, they were just chillin' at home with momma and any siblings.
Working moms worry that their kids will feel neglected or secondary because momma made the choice to go back to work. She loves her job, but she loves her kids too. Will they see that? Will they know that she loves them more than anything even though she leaves them every morning to go to work?
Homeschooling moms worry their kids will be isolated and weird.
Public school moms worry their kids will be bullied and/or shot (it's fucking ridiculous that we even have to worry about that).
Breastfeeding vs formula.
Vaccines or not.
Playing too much inside or outside.
Watching tv. Not watching tv. Using any tech device at all. Cloth diapers vs disposable...
The list literally goes on forever. You'll do all the research and study all the info from experts in those fields and you'll still feel lost and confused and there will always be someone telling you you're doing it wrong. Then they'll give you a list of reasons why your way is so clearly wrong and detrimental to your child's well being.
I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again so you can stop doubting yourself: There is NO SUCH THING as the perfect mom. There are, however, plenty of awesome moms, rocking at their lives because they know that they are the best mom for their kids.
Motherhood is not a "one size fits all" kind of experience. Motherhood looks differently from one woman to the next, and parenting is different from one kid to the next. The You can only be the best version of yourself for your children when you accept that you are the best mom they will ever have. You are the best mom your kids will ever have.
Do right by them and make sure they know that they are love, supported, and special beyond words, then turn around and do the same thing for yourself. You are loved. You are supported. You are special beyond words. You are a badass and you should embrace it!
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community