A Good Mama

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, my mother said something to me that I didn’t quite understand at the time.

“Don’t get all caught up in what makes a good mama or a bad mama. Just love your baby and have faith.”

I nodded and rubbed my itching belly.

After Mini Me was born, I spent a year in New Mom Haze. Diapers, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights defined my existence. I read articles that said my baby should be doing one thing or another by a certain age, and I blamed myself when she didn’t hit said milestone.

I compared myself to other moms, the ones who talked about using cloth diapers and had perfect babies who slept all night and walked at 8 months.

What a crock.

I wish I had known then what I know now. Sure, those babies slept all night, but they probably had to be in bed with their parents, which was often wet because the diapers leaked. Or, those parents ate Ramen Noodles out of paper cups because they couldn’t find time to wash dishes.

In other words, nobody’s perfect.

I see things more realistically the second time around. Lil Ma is a sweet girl. She giggles when you pretend to sneeze, and she is fascinated by socks. She also is quite stubborn. When Lil Ma doesn’t get her way, she cries at a glass-shattering frequency. I have yet to figure out how to deal with that.

And that’s ok. As my girls grow up, I will no doubt make mistakes. Instead of getting caught up in the “Good Mama, Bad Mama Drama,” I will continue to love them and have faith that I’m doing what’s best.

5 thoughts on “A Good Mama

  1. I totally get where you're coming from. Everyone's parenting style is different. As long as love is the main ingredient, you can have faith that it will be ok.

  2. Hi Nicoleandmaggie – Thanks for you comment. I'm not slamming anyone's choice. What I'm saying is that sometimes I see one side of someone else's experience and then overly criticize myself. I walked right past a pile of spaghetti-stained pots this morning and went right out the door. Parenting is not one size fits all, I've learned. Everyone does what's best for them and that's fine by me. My post is about me squashing my own insecurities, not what other people are doing.

  3. You don't have to put down other parenting choices or other kids to feel good about your own choices. So what if those other mothers cosleep or don't cosleep or have never had a wet bed or don't eat ramen noodles and do find time to load the dishwasher? Why should that matter to you? What if there is a "perfect" family out there by your definition of perfect? How would that keep you from loving your own kids and having faith that you're doing what's best for your family? If there's some way that you want to be better, wouldn't it be better to learn from people that you admire than to slam them for having some secret shame you don't really know about? And if you're happy with your choices, then what does it matter what other people are doing?

  4. So true. We are all doing the best we can and everybody is letting something go by the wayside. When my kids ask why they can't have/do something, I typically respond, "Because I'm the meanest Mommy in the world." They always deny it and try to argue with me, so I must be doing something right!

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