am i a good mom? Posted on 14 May 00:00
Mother's Day is bittersweet. On one hand, it's a time to be recognized for the Mom's that we are (in whatever form being a Mom takes). On the other hand, for me and for most Moms I know, it reminds us of the things we don't feel we do best as Moms. Perhaps this is the imposter syndrome we often hear about in the business sense. As Moms, there are times we feel like imposters. Being a Mom is way harder than I ever thought. And for me, with 4 children, there are different facets over time that are difficult. With the first child it was the continuous need another human had for me. It was the physical exhaustion, the anxiety and the constant feeling like I had to manage the millions of opinions about the correct way to 'Mom'. Now that I am 4 kids in and less concerned about other's opinions on 'Momming' I feel challenges in other ways.
My two biggest challenges are feeling like I am doing it all wrong (myself being the judge of course) and that I simply don't have enough time to spend with each of my kids on their own to get to understand who they are and build and understand their character.
People often ask how I run a business and manage being a parent to four young kids. I also joined the Board of Coast Mental Health's Foundation Board of Governors, I coach my daughter's baseball team and I think have a pretty wonderful group of friends. A lot of the time it is fun, rewarding, full of joy and I feel incredible pride through things my kids do. But the truth of it is, it's also very messy and frantic. The main reason for this isn't all the commitments on my plate and on most people's plates. I believe it's frantic and messy because children are not predictable, and neither is parenting. At times, it feels like everything flows the way it should. And at other times, it seems the house may blow up at any one moment because everything has hit the fan at the exact same time.
I've tried many strategies for managing 'Momming' such as saying 'No' more often, 'ignoring other's opinions' and 'letting things go more easily'. But, all in all, doing less generally means I worry more about less things. And I certainly observe this with almost every one of my Mom (and frankly also Dad) friends. So which is better or worst.
I think that depends on what fires you up inside. While I love being around my kids and just enjoying who they are, I also love to do what I do in both my business and volunteer capacities. But more important than that - I love to be a role model for my 3 boys and my daughter. I like them to see me doing things that make me happy, even if it takes me away from them. And as much as I am the center of their world in so many ways, I do believe my job is to teach them to be without me. And this is the dance of parenting. Being here, being reliable, constant, trustworthy, and loving them with everything inside of us. But also, giving them the push from the nest and the tools to manage life without us there. And trusting that 'Momming' is full of failures, mistakes, regrets and tears. But like anything in life, it's acknowledging them and resolving them that teaches our kids the skills in life to be resilient.
So I will choose to enjoy Mother's Day knowing full well, that I have made many mistakes as a 'Mom' and that perhaps being a 'Mom' means love so abundant and a job taken so seriously that wondering if we are good at it tells us that in fact the very questions proves that we are. Happy Mother's Day to all the 'Mom's' out there.