Sometimes my kids are little angels that earn me compliments from passing strangers in Target.
Other times I’m totally THAT mom with the wailing, screaming toddler receiving glares and ill-intentioned “advice” from strangers.
It’s called balance.
The truth is, there’s not much balance to this concept. Some days the kids are wild, and others they are timid and shy. There are times that I can trace their tantrums back to a specific missed nap or some other injustice to parenting. But other times, I should be facing an easy, perfect day with my kids and it turns out to be anything but.
Somehow on those angelic days, I find myself taking pride in my superior mothering skills.
Clearly I’ve achieved some sort of “success” or gold star for my parenting today. I’ve done well, my kids are doing well, let’s all sing a grateful chorus together.
Then, on a day when things don’t quite go to plan, when my kids are tired and cranky and the 16 year old checkout guy has just made a snide comment about the behavior of my kids, I feel like I’m somehow now required to turn in all gold success stars.
Surrender my “good mother” award and go back to sulking in the darkness.
We go home, we hide.
If truth be told we probably watch Paw Patrol while I do laundry because, of course.
But I go to bed on those nights discouraged, feeling like I’m less than a good mom because of the tantrums in the grocery store.
seriously, when does the tantrum “stage’ end???
The truth is, there are no gold stars.
None of us ever earn an awkward “good mothering” award, so it’s not there to surrender on a bad day anyway.
The fact of the matter is stellar moms have round days with their kids.
The most wonderfully behaved children sometimes have an off month. (I was going to say off-day, but we all know sometimes these things can last WAY longer than just a day).
It doesn’t mean we’re less-than.
It doesn’t mean we’re failing.
You know what it does mean?
It means this is hard.
It means parenting is kindof a big deal, and there’s no way to be perfect at it.
It means we’re raising beautifully imperfect children, and despite our best parenting efforts, there’s no way any human could behave 100% of the time.
So tonight, when you go to bed, instead of counting gold stars, or defeatedly turning them in to the all-knowing, invisible “good mom police”, remind yourself of one simple thing…
You’re doing a great job.
You’re raising tiny, imperfect humans.
You are enough.
On bad days, on good days… they’re all just days. They each end, and we’re given a new one the next day. Maybe an awesome one, maybe a rough one, but we’ll get a round two with our kids, and that my friends, is pretty awesome.
Here’s to balance….and hoping that today is on the happier end of the good-mom scale!