The release of the movie Bad Moms brings to light an extremely important question that many mothers face daily—“Am I a bad mom?”
Before continuing, it is important to note that actual bad moms definitely do exist. There are those who intentionally put their children in harm’s way, physically or emotionally. There are those who have not appreciated the gift of motherhood and willfully abused or neglected this responsibility. These truly bad moms are not the ones to whom this article is addressed.
For a mother who loves her children and is doing all within her power to provide a safe and nurturing home, the answer to the above question is very simple—no!
It is imperative to any mother that she realize that no mom is perfect. No matter how pretty she is, no matter how perfect her children are dressed, no matter how clean the house, no matter how many activities her kids attend, no matter how smart or talented her kids—no mom is perfect.
Every mother is gifted in different areas contributing to her child’s life. Some are great at crafts, baking, and sewing. Many moms are athletic and coach their kids’ sports teams. Some are talented in organization and cleaning. Others are natural-born leaders and excel in PTO and school environments. Some do not relate well to domestic life and beneficially expose their children to adventures outside of home and school. All are different, and none are bad.
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Especially the case for new moms, some mothers tend to see the perfect, happy baby portrayed on television or in books and magazines and think that they failed as a mother the first time their kids throw a fit in the grocery store line. Embarrassed at the stares and judgmental glances, she immediately labels herself as a bad mom. Not so.
Just like every mom is different, every child is different, too. Just because your kid decides one day to misbehave and create a scene in public does not make you part of the bad moms’ club. Kids are just like adults and have bad days, too. Raising children is unpredictable and full of surprises. No matter how perfectly you discipline your children, they each respond differently and will always choose to test limits in unexpected ways. It does not make you a bad mom.
Stop worrying about the toys all over the floor, the burnt homemade goodies, the messy hair and dirty clothes, and the eye-rolls from those more “perfect moms.” Instead, stop everything and hug your kids. Let them know that some days do not go as planned, but that’s okay. Just be present. Focus on the things that matter like playing catch and having a tea party and kissing boo-boos.
Don’t forget to take some time to focus on you, too. You are beautiful, and you need to see yourself that way, not only for your own good but as an example for your children watching you. You deserve time to do something to treat yourself, to invest in your talents, to indulge your interests. Ensuring that you feel as if you are still a woman, still an individual apart from the dirty diapers and carpools, will better equip you for confidently handling the role of mom.
So to all the mothers, stop holding yourself to such a perfectionist and competitive standard, take a deep breath, and know that there are “bad moms” everywhere—complete with kids covered in chocolate syrup, skipped practices, and cereal for dinner. You are not alone.