on Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think back to those first days after giving
birth and how overwhelmed I felt. When you first became a mother, didn’t you
wish there was a playbook written just for you? One that would take into
account your utter lack of experience along with the temperament of the
beautiful and delicate human being you just gave birth to? It’s ironic that,
despite all the books I read during my pregnancy, nothing really prepared me
for what it was truly like to embark on the challenging and amazing journey of motherhood.
Now that my daughter Chloe has graduated from high school and will be starting college in the fall, I can look back and feel good about the job I did in raising her to be the incredible young woman she has become.
Although I am proud of the mother I am, there were many times while my daughter was growing up that I silently chastised myself for not being the perfect mother—one who was better, smarter, more flexible and patient, etc. Rather than focusing on my parenting successes, I could be self-critical and pay attention to my perceived shortcomings. This of course made me feel like a failure at times. Can you relate?
I found that with age comes wisdom, and I can now accept that even though I
wasn’t perfect, I raised a great kid. And that speaks to me much louder than
the judgments I had of myself as a mother in the past.
I also know
that parenting is, by far, the most important job you have. It’s also the
hardest one! So, if you’re anything like I was, it’s time to cut yourself some
slack for mistakes or regrets you may be holding onto.
think about your child—or children—is there anything (within reason) that you
wouldn’t do for them if you were able to? My guess is you would answer that
question with a resounding, “no!” I also bet that you are a pretty amazing mom
who doesn’t give herself the credit she deserves.
It’s time to change that!
To help you
start identifying all the great things you do—and have done—as a mother, I want
to share with you a journaling exercise I did that helped me identify what I
did well, rather than the self-criticism I was prone to in the past for being
an imperfect mom. Doing this is a great way to honor yourself for Mother’s Day.
In other words, by focusing more on the positives instead of the negatives, I
was able to shift my mindset which allowed me to recognize and acknowledge the
good things I have done in my job as a mother.
Doing this is a great way to honor yourself for Mother’s Day!
10 Ways I
Have Been a Good Mother
like some examples to help you get started, here are 10 of the things I have
written down about why I am a good mother:
While all of
us moms have made errors during this journey, the positives greatly outweigh
the negatives. So, without reservation, start thinking about many ways you have
rocked motherhood, and set the time aside to record them in your journal. Re-reading
them occasionally can be a good reminder of all the strength, patience, care,
and love you have as the incredible mother you really are!
For more inspiration, order my new memoir, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child: How Persistence, Grit, and Faith Created a Reluctant Healer.
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