As a mom, you’re always getting all kinds of advice, whether you asked for it or not.
You’re expected to do so many things as a mom, and everyone has an opinion on how you should do them. You must breastfeed only. You can never co-sleep. You’re a monster harming your child if you vaccinate them.
What I’ve found as a mom is that there is no one right way. My kiddos were both bottle fed. We co-slept with my daughter on occasion. And we vaccinate both our kids, because we don’t need polio or measles or mumps in our lives, thank you very much.
But I think the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn as a mom is that it’s ok to have a rough day.
For years, when I dreamed of being a mom, and while I was pregnant with the little girly, I had visions of being this ever-present mom who did everything with and for her kids. Playtime, crafts, story time, dancing, talking. I was always constantly involved and engaged in my mind, like those Instagram or Pinterest moms.
But that’s not reality. It’s certainly not my reality. And when you’re struggling with a chronic illness, on top of the mental struggles of anxiety and depression, it definitely isn’t reality.
Don’t get me wrong – there are days when I’m super present and engaged with my kiddos, talking and dancing, and having fun. But there are days when the Disney+ or YouTube Wiggles videos go on and I watch as my girly dances around, while I sit, exhausted and stressed, feeling like I’ve failed as a mom.
There have been many days where I’ve looked at my kiddos and wondered if I’m good enough to be their mom. Thinking how much better off they’d be with someone more energetic, more present, and happier as their mom.
But then the little girly will run up to me and throw her arms around me. The little guy will look up at me and smile and giggle. And I’ll realize I’m not doing so bad.
Perfection is a myth. Especially when you are working through depression, anxiety, and autoimmune conditions.
I’m learning that I am, indeed, a good mama. I give my kiddos all the energy I can give. And I’m always working on making progress with my health and showing my kids that I can do what I need to do to be better for them.
Progress over perfection.
Not an easy lesson, by any means.
But worth it, none the less.
How can you focus on progress over perfection?