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Momming 101: Figure It Out

I have been a mom for 16 years, since I was 20 years old. There have been so many times, looking at my children that I have wondered if I'm doing enough and if I'm giving them the childhood they deserve. You guys, the pressure to be the perfect mom for three very different human beings can be overwhelming. I sit and I think, they have one childhood, one life, I should be making it perfect for them...

I should have it all figured out.

This is something I think all of us mothers dwell on at one time or another... believing the lie that we should have it all figured out. We sit and we measure ourselves against arbitrary and completely unattainable standards of perfection, beating ourselves up when we fall short of the "ideal" that we see through other people's highlight reels, books, movies, etc. We tell ourselves that we should give more, do more, be more, make every single moment count, and be the best mom ever... We want the absolute best for our children that only have this one life, a life that we occasionally think we're ruining at times.

Sometimes I forget that this is my only life too. When I say that in regard to motherhood, I am not implying that because this is my only life I should prioritize myself and be less for them, but it does mean I should be more willing to extend myself grace because I'm still learning too. This is my first life. My only life. And just like my children are learning and growing, so am I. I haven't dealt with or raised a 16 year old yet, but as of last month, I am.

In trying to be the best possible mom, I sometimes lose sight of my own need for self-compassion, and extending the same grace to myself that I so willingly offer to others. In order to nurture and support my children, I need to nurture and support myself, and that includes grace and forgiveness when I'm not being the mom that I want to be.

Motherhood is a journey of growth and learning, filled with moments of joy, triumph, and yes, big moments of doubt and uncertainty. It's an imperfect journey... a part of a sometimes messy and beautiful life.

I'm learning to embrace the imperfections, to recognize that my children don't need a perfect mother - they just need a mother who is truly doing her best. A mother who learns from her mistakes and tries to be better each and every day. They need someone who shows up, who listens, who loves unconditionally, even on the days when I feel like I'm falling short.

So, to all the mothers out there who sometimes feel like they're epically screwing up: you're not alone. We are all on our first and only go round of life. It's okay to stumble, to falter, to question. It's okay to prioritize your own well-being and happiness alongside that of your children. And most importantly, it's okay to embrace the messy, imperfect, beautifully flawed journey of motherhood, knowing that you are trying your best, learning from the mistakes, and working to become the best version of yourself for you and those around you.


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