You Are Probably a Better Mom Than You Realize

The other day I was a little shocked by a comment a friend made to me. We were talking about the never ending commentary and endless suggestions that we encounter while strolling the town with our children.

“Your child will get sick. She’s not warm enough!”

“A part of her leg is showing. Surely she’ll get ill.”

“She’s eating a carrot! She could choke on that!”

And on and on the pontificating goes. I suppose I’m highly sensitive to it because in the States, where I’m from, a child has to be in a near death experience for us to pipe up. So this Mommy assistance baffles me.

My friend’s remark though is the point of this. She said the comments bother her because she already struggles with the guilt of being a “bad mom”. Now, I was shocked when she said this because she’s absolutely the farthest thing from a bad mom! She’s absolutely caring for her children, she is constantly teaching them about the world that surrounds them, and she’s devoted to raising them up well. So why are her impressions of herself and my impression of her so different?

I was thinking on this deeply as I was nursing my sweet girl to bed the other day. She was nursing as if her life depended on it, I was gently stroking her hair and singing her a hymn to end the day. My mind started to swirl with how I had failed her that day. I had inwardly lost my temper when she pulled all of the freshly shelved books off of the shelf, when she continually threw broccoli and yogurt onto the kitchen floor and when she refused to nap for longer than 45 minutes that day.

What I failed to remember, and my guess is what this other mother fails to remember, were the countless ways I had been a fantastic mother. My daughter was fed well that day. She didn’t have to sit in a dirty diaper, nor did she go without water when she was thirsty. I read books to her for well over and hour and pointed out the dogs and cats and even barked and meowed. We went to the park and I walked her up and down the stairs approximately 37 times because that’s what was fun for her. And, I definitely swallowed my pride and went down the big slide more than once. I snuggled with her, told her I loved her more times than I could count, and sang her every song I knew. That doesn’t sound too bad to me as I write this, so why is it so hard to remember at the end of the day?

I think the humility that comes with being a mother is the ultimate character shaper. No one applauds me for making sure I take good care of my daughter. There’s no employee of the month, no bonus, no promotion. I carry on faithfully knowing that what I’m doing is the best thing I can be doing, and hope that the result is a grown woman who is a blessing to this world. That will be the fruit of this labor. That will be my promotion, my employee of the year plaque, my bonus for a life’s work well done.

In the mean time, be encouraged by what you are doing well. We all fail, we all lose our tempers, we all have hard days. Try not to beat yourself up over not getting the laundry folded, or a gourmet meal on the table. Enjoy being present with your kids today. Delight in the fact that in this season they absolutely adore you and want you near. And, take heart that you are probably doing a better job than you realize.

About Melissa

Melissa is a wife, mama and fan of all things Turkey. Among other adventures, Melissa loves living life in Turkey while raising her daughters. On IstanbulMoms you can hear about her adventures and escapades, tips for success, strategies for untangling the culture, and ideas for enjoying life in Istanbul to the fullest.

View all posts by Melissa

Comments are closed.