Sunday, May 11, 2008

to Tiffany, and my other Mom friends everywhere

My dear sweet friend Tiffany is having a hard time. She's fighting that ugly beast that all Moms have to beat off every now and then. You know it - you've confronted it before. It's the lie that tells you that you're a bad Mom. That you're not doing your kids justice. That you should be the one holding The Bad Mother Award.

Tiffany wrote,
I get tired of being a mom every now and then and I am not the perfect mother....the one who enjoys every single minute with their child and thinks that all of their antics are delightful. I tire of the whining and yes (GASP) I even get tired of playing Candyland and Hullabaloo. Sometimes I even breathe a sigh of relief when the child is down for the night.

And for those reasons, I suppose, I am a bad mom (per my husband's definition). Please tell me I am not the only one who doubts herself? Please tell me that I am really a lot like other people. Please.

It's the mothers who claim to NEVER have those feelings.... who claim that they ALWAYS gaily anticipate another round of Hi Ho Cherry-O... who say that they still read Go Dog Go with fresh enthusiasm, even on the 348th night in a row...who expect us to believe that they've NEVER sent baby to bed with a bottle, or have NEVER shoved a cold Pop Tart in to a 6-year old's hand on the way out the door in the morning, or have NEVER pulled dirty socks out of the hamper because there were no clean ones in the drawer...THOSE are the bad mothers, because they're liars.

You, my dear friend, are real. And honest. And while you might have occasional thoughts of "get this kid away from me!!!!", the majority of the time, you're rational even when stretched to the limit, nurturing even when sleep-deprived, and a wonderful, loving Mom, even when the doubt monster thumbs his nose at you.

I have my moments, I'll admit it. I'm not always a GOOD mom, as is evidenced by the layout following this post. But by golly, I'm certainly not a BAD mom, and neither are you.

Cut yourself some slack today. Let yourself be honored, and honor yourself. You deserve it!


Donna said...

What a beautiful post Stacy. Thanks so much for reminding all of us bad mums out there that we aren't alone. If we didn't care so much 'about' our kids, we wouldn't care so much 'for' our kids.
Love, love, love that layout. Must CASE that for my three little monkeys.

Menjiness said...

Stacy, you are the best! Have a wonderful mothers day!

Jackietex said...

Your post reminds me of some harsh feelings I had recently for Dr. Phil's wife, Robin. The show was about a mother who said terrible things to her children, but Robin's response was that she couldn't imagine doing that. She said she had never said a harsh word to her children, never touched them with anything but love, blah, blah, blah. I thought,"What a disservice to moms!" We need to know that we aren't alone out there. That we are normal when we don't feel the joy of motherhood. We just do the best we can. Thanks for your post, Stacy.

Brynn said...

What a wonderful "tribute" to "real" moms, thanks! I want you to know that I used your LO "story" in a class at church today. This is one of my all time fav LO's of yours, it is so heartfelt. By the time I was done telling the story, I was in tears & couldn't even talk.

Thanks for helping easing the guilt associated with being a mom.

Happy Mother's Day Stacy!

Lee said...

My kids will be lucky if I'm as "bad" a mum as you ... and Tiffany ... are ;) Love the honesty, ladies!!

Kris with a K said...

Why do we even feel that we need to define MOM with an adjective?

We are just MOMs....normal human mommies. Not all good, not all bad. Doing the best we can as often as we can. We love, we hug, we kiss, we play, we get tired, we hurt, we are frustrated, and we cry for all these reasons and for no reason at all.

We are just mommies. And we celebrate that in others and in ourselves!

Midnite Scrapper said...

All I can say is Amen sister, Amen! You have a way with words Stacy and you put it all down perfectly!

Elaine said...

Jerry and I count down the last 75 minutes before the girls' bedtime just about every night.

I love my girls. They know I love them. There's no question there.

But most days I cannot WAIT for them to go to bed so I can be not-a-mommy again. The constancy of it wears. me. out.

And I don't think that's bad at all. I think that's totally healthy.

What I think is unhealthy is the moms that only live for their children, to the detriment of their own passions and their own marriage. While I agree that children are and should be a priority, it's not good to let the rest of your life go as a "sacrifice" for your children. That doesn't do anyone any favors.

A friend of mine was like that, and recently her last kid went off to college. She was totally and completely lost, without focus, unsure of what to do with herself now that her nest was empty. It hit her really hard because she had never taught herself what to do with her free time. And now that there was a huuuuuuge expanse of free time in front of her, she freaked out.

That won't be me, obviously. And I'm tremendously glad for it. My mom was a steward of her creative self when I was growing up, and because of it I grew up craving time to make things. And I stuff creativity into the nooks and crannies of my days.

My children see this. And they see that most of the things I make end up being about them (scrapbooks) or wrapped around them (quilts or clothes). They know they're loved. And they know that their mommy has a life outside of them, and I'm trying to nurture their lives away from me as well.

Well. I got off-topic, didn't I?

Tiffany, you're not a bad mommy, unless you're willing to share that trophy with me. Because I'm every bit as bad. And I just think I'm healthy, that's all. :)