“We all need to rethink “bad” mommy. You listened to what your child felt ready to do, that is not bad. He fell down, you helped him back up, that is not bad. You chose to leave the offending bike behind and tend to your child, return at a later time to retrieve the bike; again, nothing bad.”
It was Andrea, in fact, who suggested an alternate name for yesterday’s post (which you see posted up at the top today).
She’s right, of course. So many of us, I think, fall into negative thinking when things go less-than-perfectly. So many of us assume that’s all up to US: that if we just did everything right, our kids would be polite, happy and intelligent, our careers and marriages would be thriving and our homes, sparkling refuges from the reality of the cold world.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Andrea’s right: Good Mom doesn’t mean “perfect.” Good Mom doesn’t mean “nothing bad happens to my kids.” Good Mom means that we do the best we can with reality as its presented to us.
Good Mom doesn’t mean beating yourself up for what you “should have known” (like I did yesterday). Good Mom means accepting and embracing the fact that you’re human too.
Of course, entire books have been written about this subject. I think I need to check out Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Guide to Parenting, by Rene Syler. I love this quote:
“In an ideal world, mothers would have time to hand-sew their kids’ costumes for the school play, prepare all-organic meals, and volunteer in the classroom at the drop of a hat. In reality, most moms have to settle for plopping their little ones in front of SpongeBob so that they can prepare yet another chicken nugget-based dinner, guiltily convinced they’re falling down on the job. “
Yup. That’s me.
Another book I need to look up is by fellow writer and boy-mom Jen Singer. Her hilarious book, You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either) might be just what I need.