I come from a community where many women marry young and start their families quickly. I've watched dozens of friends enter the joys of motherhood with fear in their eyes as they conquer the daily struggles that come with it. At the same time, I've also watched them deeply doubt their ability as a mom.
To those friends, and to the mothers reading this, I am in awe of what you do. I've seen the insecurities and heartaches that hammer you. Parenting is a tall order. You are shaping a human life, and there is one thing I wish all of you could know: YOU are doing a beautiful job. And if you don't believe me (as I'm certain you won't), here are a few signs that your little human is in perfect hands:
1. You worry about being a good mom
You may feel that twinge of guilt when you're too tired to be the horsey one more time, or hold back tears when your little one pleads for you not to leave for work. You might wonder if you're messing up your child because you let them watch a few too many shows when you desperately need a break.
If you've ever worried if you're good enough for your child, you are. Only great moms worry about such things.
2. You cry in the night about their heartaches
You gave your whole heart the second you saw your baby for the first time. You feel their heartaches and triumphs as if they were your own, and that sometimes means long, painful nights of worry.
3. You sometimes lock yourself in the bathroom for privacy ... but you always come out at some point
There are days full of frustration and overstimulation. You have your retreats into your toilet sanctuary for a few minutes of (sort-of) alone time, but you eventually come out again. And that's really what matters.
4. You feel guilty when you lose your temper
You're not perfect, and that's OK. The only person who expects this from you is yourself. Great moms make mistakes. Great moms feel sad and happy. Overwhelmed and overjoyed. Furious and forgiving. Stern and gentle. Burdened and blessed.
Great moms are human and sometimes lose their temper.
5. You follow your instincts to do what's best for YOUR child
Have you read the most popular parenting book of the year and wondered if you're doing it all wrong? No matter what the research says, your instincts are worth more than gold, because you know your baby best. Intuition can't be measured by research institutions, but it makes all the difference for your family.
6. You say no, even when all the other kids are doing it
When it comes down to being the popular parent, you've learned to let it go, because sometimes saying no - even when everybody else's parents are letting them do it - is the true sign of love.
7. You love motherhood
You're well aware of the challenges that come with being a mom, but you'd never change switch being the mother to your baby for all the free-time, money or uninterrupted showers in the world.
8. You wake up and do it all over again
Day after day, you keep going. You might want to quit. You probably sometimes wonder if you can make it, but trust me mama, you've got this. It doesn't matter what happened yesterday or last week. Because each day that you wake up and start over, you're doing it.
You are one amazing mom.