You know those kind of moms…
that always have tons of fun activities up their sleeves, seem like they never get tired of their kids and just have a natural mothering way about them? It’s like they’ve got this vibrant glow around them screaming out, “I am super mom!”
Yeah. That’s not me (although I wish I was, often).
I’ll be the first to say that the natural part of mothering does not come, well, naturally.
Funny right? I’m all into the natural resources; food, gardening, cleaning and beauty products but mothering? That I almost feel like I have to force it.
But does that make me any less of a mother? Am I mom enough? I’m not sure but it brings the typhoon wave of mommy guilt… often.
I always use to think that some women are just born to be mothers.
They dream about having families and lots of little kiddos running around, they may even have name ideas before they even get married.
Yup, not me again.
By about 18 I thought to myself, “I really don’t want kids.” But why? Isn’t every mother supposed to have that “mothering” gene in them?
Since I’ve been reading a book that has started me on my peaceful parenting journey, I’ve realized this: most of our parenting “issues” are deep rooted from our childhood. When we begin to understand our childhood, we can begin to grow and move forward in the right direction.
Which got me thinking, “What about my childhood could possibly be prohibiting my natural mothering instinct?”
Maybe it was the tough love?
Maybe it was growing up too quick and feeling like my childhood was taken away?
Maybe it was not seeing my mom interact with other moms and their kids?
Maybe it’s because my mom never put me in extra curricular activities as a child?
Maybe I had Andrew too young (I got pregnant with him at 19)?
Or maybe it was simply the fact that I was not bred with the natural mothering instincts in me?
Who knows? But whatever it may be, it still doesn’t help suppress that mommy guilt every time I’m around one of those glowing moms.
You know which mommy guilt I’m talking about.
- When your friend has breastfed all three of her babies until the age of two and you barely managed to get to 6 months (with help of formula). She is glowing with radiance and her kids always seem so happy. You on the other hand, wonder if part of the reason you don’t have that natural mothering instinct is because you didn’t breastfeed your child long enough and establish an unconditional love connection.
- When you sit down to play with your child and although you enjoy being on the ground with your child, you sometimes drift off and think about other things.
- When you realize you’ve been home all day, for the past 4 days, and suddenly think to yourself, “Is my kid going to be socially awkward because I never get him out of the house?”
- When you see other mothers and how they have all sorts of mommy friends and all their kids are playing happily together. You sorta wonder if there is something wrong with you because you have no mommy friends.
- When your kid desperately needs some sort of brain stimulation and although you’ve got a million things you could use to stimulate his brain, you aren’t 100% thrilled to get out all the activities (Which is why I don’t think homeschooling is for me).
- When you have to get work done so you set your kid in front of the TV? Lord knows when your child was 3 months old, you swore that you would never ever put your child in front of the TV.
- When your husband asks you what you do all day and if you’ve taught him about shapes, the ABC’s or numbers. Well, you haven’t actually sat down and taught him these things but you have taught him life lessons. Truth be told, the thought of sitting down and teaching him numbers, letters and how to write his name does not excite you.
You get the picture, right?
Serious. Mommy. Guilt.
So how does one get over that anxiety, grief, guilt?
I’m not sure to be honest with you because I’m still working on it. But I have to say this, when Andrew does get around other adults and they praise me for how wonderful and smart he is, it suddenly makes that mommy guilt go away even if it is only for 30 minutes.
Maybe I am doing a good job even if I have to sometimes force that mommy love out of me. Maybe I am mom enough even if I can’t see it. You know what they say, we are our hardest critic.
I think the most important thing is to shower your child with love as much as you can and the rest of everything will fall into place. Sure, you may not be the most creative mom on the block but at least your child knows for a fact that you love him/her unconditionally.
Oh, and to give yourself a break, mama— I’m sure you’re doing an amazing job and everyone around you can vouch for that.
Just take a moment to look at your child and how amazing she/he is.
That, mama, is because of you.