I'm Not a Perfect Parent and Here's Why That's Okay
Being a mom is hard. Don't get me wrong, though. I know what I signed up for when I decided to have a family: long days, sticky kisses and more crayon masterpieces than I know what to do with. And I'm cool with all of that! But there are days when a bit of self-doubt forms in my subconscious and I ask myself questions like, “Am I giving each of my kids enough one-on-one attention? Am I making my family as happy as possible? Am I a good mom?” Obviously these questions are hard for anyone to answer.
I think I’m a pretty great mom, but I know I’m not perfect. There was one time where my oldest son came down with a horrible cold the day before Mother’s Day. He had a high fever, cough, runny nose and upset stomach. We spent part of the day at urgent care and then went home with a ton of antibiotics — but I knew the next 24 hours or so were going to really, really difficult.
My son and I were up most of the night because he's terrified of throwing up, so every time he felt like he was going to, he'd become hysterical. It was frustrating. I tried to remain calm and patient every time he refused to drink some much needed water or take some much needed medicine, but boy — it was hard.
While I was taking care of him, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that the big special Mother's Day weekend we had planned wasn’t going to happen. I was going to go to the spa, have a picnic in the park with my kids, and then we were all going to take a trip to see my mother and grandmother. I was really looking forward to laughing and enjoying the company of my family. I knew it wasn’t my son’s fault that he got sick, and I certainly never blamed him for anything...but in the moment, I did wish we were celebrating Mother’s Day as a loving family.
On the other hand, I knew I had to shift into supermom mode and get my kid well. And so that’s what I did.
As I was rubbing my son’s back while he had his head in a bucket, I realized that I wouldn't want us to be doing anything else. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this the true meaning of being a mother? Taking care of him and loving him no matter what?” I quickly realized that I didn’t really need to go to a spa or have a picnic in the park to celebrate the fact that I was a mother because I was already in the best place in the whole wide world — right there next to my kid. When it seemed like the worst of the sickness was over, I started to feel super guilty for caring so much about celebrating Mother's Day.
But when my son was running around the house like a wild animal and I knew he was back to his usual self, he came up to me and said, "Mom, you always know just how to take care of me," and gave me a huge hug and kiss. Being the softy that I am, I teared up. Even if I felt like a bad mom because I briefly wished we were celebrating Mother's Day when he was sick, in reality, I was still a good mom because I helped him feel better.
I know I'm not the only parent who wonders if they're doing a great job at parenting. In fact, just 24% of all parents with kids under the age of 18 say they're doing a good job raising them. It feels nice to know other parents have moments where they doubt themselves, but in the grand scheme of things, we're all doing a pretty amazing job. Let's all try and remember that even in the toughest moments, what makes us great parents is that our kids believe that we are.
This post is sponsored by Minute Maid.