Despite all that, let me tell you: you’re a good mom.
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart writes in The New York Times, “Just Parent, No Philosophy Required,” that simply worrying or being concerned about your kids—regardless of how you plan to raise them—will likely lead to children growing up just fine. She believes,
The parents who read books about raising children are not the ones I’m worried about. Whichever approach they pick, their kids have a good chance of turning out fine — just by virtue of having parents concerned enough to read a book on the subject. It’s the parents who aren’t worried that I’m worried about, the ones who don’t consider the impact their actions or inactions will have on their kids. I’m worried about the parents who don’t have the time, or don’t take the time, to parent.
The very fact that you read parenting blogs like Sleeping Should Be Easy, that you consider your parenting skills, that you worry about your kids and of course enjoy their company—speak volumes for the kind of mom you are.
Unlike other jobs, motherhood doesn’t come with performance reviews. This job doesn’t have measurable goals like paying off debt or losing ten pounds. Nor is there a clear definition of success, or perhaps one that comes decades down the line. Not to mention that parenting is hard. And it’s not exactly a job where you can turn in your two weeks’ notice when the days grow rough.
But motherhood does afford us numerous chances at improving ourselves. When you’re ready to pull your hair out, you can always make it a point to learn from your experiences and find the best ways to parent your kids in the ways that work best for you and your family. Discuss what you’ve learned with your partners, caregivers, and other moms, whether in real life or across internet communities. Change whichever methods don’t seem to work, and note which ones do.
Learn as much as you can, and keep going. When your kids are sick, keep going. When you feel like motherhood is one never-ending saga, and when you’re not sure if what you’re doing is even effective, keep going. When you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall, don’t give up.
You’re a good mom. I’m not sure when the last time you heard that sentence, so I’ll say it again: you’re a good mom. You’re doing your best, and your kids will turn out more than all right.
When do you feel like you’re a good mom and on top of your game? When have you felt like a less-than-stellar mom?