You’re Still a Good Mom If You…
- don’t love being around your kids every moment of every day.
- need time to yourself.
- want to reconnect with your pre-baby interests.
- feel resentful towards your friends who seem to “have it together.”
- forget to communicate your needs to your partner.
- feel overwhelmed by decisions you have to make every day, big and small.
- want to stay home and do nothing.
- want to spend time with your friends without your baby.
- get mad at yourself for making a mistake.
- feel uncomfortable in your post-baby body.
- are rethinking whether you want to go back to work from maternity leave.
- decide you aren’t “stay-at-home mom” material and want to go back to work.
- decide to stop breastfeeding.
- don’t want to explain your parenting choices to your parents and friends.
- let your baby sleep in bed with you.
- want your baby to sleep in another room.
- choose an epidural.
- have a C-section.
- get pregnant sooner than you wanted after the last baby.
- feel overwhelmed by the mess.
- let the mess stay there while you do something you want to do.
- feel short-tempered when you don’t know why your child is crying.
- yell and want to respond calmly but don’t know what else to do.
-struggle with symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- didn’t have a healthy model of parenting during your childhood.
- aren’t sure why you get upset at your toddler.
- are too tired to go to the park.
- run out of diapers or milk.
- get fast food when you don’t feel like cooking.
- can’t sleep while the baby’s sleeping.
- get stuck and procrastinate.
- your relationship with your mom, dad, siblings, or spouse makes parenting more difficult for you.
- are uncomfortable socializing with other moms.
- skip some events for more precious downtime.
- don’t feel like you have time to take care of yourself.
- and your partner disagree on how to parent.
- feel like you never get to the end of your “to do list.” And guess what? That list doesn’t end. And that’s okay.
As a mom of four, having started this parenting journey 17 years ago, I know intimately how the process of coming to accept being an imperfect parent is a long road. I’m here to tell you – confidently and with no doubt – there are SO many ways to be a good mom. The decisions that are in front of you are numerous and at times overwhelming – the stakes are high, this is YOUR child, after all.
But because you are in that key position to make important life decisions, there is inherent freedom. Freedom to raise your family as you see fit. Freedom to break free of what’s “supposed to” happen. As you find the opportunity in that freedom, you also may find it easier to let go of that to do list—let go of feeling things have to be done in a certain way—feeling better about being in this moment, however fleeting it is, to just enjoy yourself and make memories. As you learn to harness that freedom, focus in on it and don’t apologize for the things that really matter to you. Your family and children will be better for it.
Even on the bad days, you’re still a good mom.
About the Author
Emily Griffin, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C is a native Washingtonian, wife, and mother of four sons ages 3-17 in a blended family. She is the founder of Happy Parents, Happy Babies, LLC, a private practice specializing in perinatal mental health and parenting support for individuals, couples, & families.
Contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation or learn more at www.happyparentshappybabies.com.
Follow Emily on Twitter: @HappyP_HappyB