Yesterday was a bad day. It snowed, and I hate snow. My kids all freaked out at once, and I hate it when they freak out. The whole thing felt like a scene straight out of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." If I'd had my way, I may have run away to Australia.
It was one of those days that also shook my confidence as a mother. I felt like I did nothing right - from the toys scattered around the floor, to the piles of unwashed laundry, to the crying kids. Like so many moms, I have a mean little voice in the back of my head that sneaks in on days like yesterday. That voice tries to steal my joy, whispering things like, "You'll never get this right. Your kids deserve better. What makes you think you're worthy of being a parent?"
That voice needs to SHUT. UP.
I'm a great mom. You're a great mom. That little voice is wrong, and we need to stop it before it does real damage. When I'm trying to kick negativity out, here are 10 things I remind myself, and they apply to all awesome moms - including you.
1. You chose motherhood
You welcomed children into your life, and that makes you remarkable. Having kids is a selfless act, and you chose to devote your time and talents to raising the next generation.
2. You got out of bed
When the days are long and the nights are short, you keep striving to make each day better than the last. Each morning that you choose to get out of bed and be the mom, you are winning at parenthood.
3. You cared enough to care
No one likes arguing with their kids, but the only way to stop it completely is to give up. When you disagree with your kids, you're demonstrating that you love them and care about them.
4. You made choices
It doesn't matter what those choices are or whether or not they're popular. The important part is that you care enough to do your research and make responsible choices for your kids.
5. You worried
You doubt yourself and you worry whether or not you're doing right by your kids. If you can strike a healthy balance between worry and doubt, you'll continue being a great parent.
6. You gave time
You could ignore your kids and do your own thing each day. That's one viable option. However, you put yourself aside each day to listen to and play with your kids. They really do appreciate your time.
7. You learned
You're reading a parenting article right now. Do you understand how amazing you are? You love your kids enough to keep learning and growing, and you're willing to consider new direction.
8. You laughed
Sometime in the past week, I'm sure you laughed when you felt like crying or yelling - or doing both. Humor is an essential element to successful parenting. The most amazing moms know how to create fun-filled homes.
9. You showed forgiveness
We're in families to learn together, and we all make mistakes. As an awesome mom, you forgive your kids and you forgive yourself. We all need a little more grace in our lives.
10. You trusted yourself
No one is better equipped to raise your kids than you are. They need you, and they love you. Only you know them well enough to give them the things they need. There is no substitute for you, and you are awesome.
Don't let the bad days get you down. We all have them - even the woman down the street who you think has it all together. No mother is immune to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, but don't let yourself stay down for too long. Your kids need you, and they need you at your very best. That negative voice in the back of your mind keeps you from being the type of mom your kids need. It's time to turn it off and remember how awesome you actually are.