The Mom Report Card

 
I wonder what my grades would look like if I received a mothering report card?

Time spent playing on the floor with kids . . . B-
Time spent working on homework with Ashtyn . . . C+
Time spent cleaning the kitchen . . . . A
Time spent not yelling . . . um, let's not go there.

Honestly, I have these rollercoaster moments where I sometimes feel like a good mom, and sometimes feel like a not-so-good mom. And there are all these voices in my head (that sound like women I've talked to) telling me all the time that "This stage passes quickly! Enjoy every minute!"

I'm trying. It can be hard to remember that piece of "precious truth" when my 4-year-old is having a tantrum and not sharing toys during a playdate or my 18-month-old has just thrown his truck in my face and my lip is bleeding. Those days are going to come (pretty regular at my house) along with those days where my kids are adorable and sweet and melt my heart. And time is passing quickly. And I am trying to enjoy the journey. Some days "enjoyment" comes easier than others.

The point is, do you ever feel like you're just not measuring up? I would be afraid to see my mothering report card, honestly, and I'd probably hide it from Jeff!

There are days when I've probably spent more time on my phone than I should have. There are days when I've let the dishes pile up. There have been many days when I've felt unsteady, like I can't handle one more thing on my plate.

The problem with women is that we suffer from comparison. Some women seem to have it all and juggle a million and one things and do it well. Some of us tread water.

I'm the treading sort.

I've been practicing being comfortable with "me" ever since I joined the motherhood club. You know:

"Yes, I had an epidural. I wanted all the drugs they would give me."
"No, I didn't breastfeed. And really, I'm okay with that."
"Yes, I went back to work part-time after my daughter was born. Actually, I think that was the best decision for me."
"Yes, my kids watch TV. We like TV at my house."
"Yes, my kids eat sugary cereal. That's the kind we like."
"Yes, my kids are picky eaters. I wish they weren't, but they are."
"No, I'm not always consistent with discipline. I'm working on that."

Moms are different. Being comfortable with how we do things is pretty easy when we only hang out with women who do things like us. It can be a little more tricky when you're friends with people who do things differently than you do. I don't like the comparison trap. I don't like feeling like I'm not good enough or I'm not doing things right. Honestly, motherhood comes with a lot of pressure. (Confession: I wish I could be as creative as the Pioneer woman and make culinary masterpieces while my children are helping with the chores.)

Here's the truth: I can't be "good enough" all the time. I get frustrated. I get upset. I get tired and decide to have pajama-and-movie days with my kids. I'm probably running a 'B' right now on the mom scale. (Can we grade on a curve?) I'm enjoying this journey but it's wearing me out.

Last night, after I finished cleaning the kitchen and the kids were in bed, I looked around at my relatively clean and quiet house. (That only seems to happen after 8 pm.) And I felt happy. Because this is my home and this is my family and my kids love me and Jeff loves me. And I took a minute to thank God for what I have. I've mentioned before that I feel more content when I'm intentionally being grateful. I am so thankful for my kids. I am so thankful that my house is warm and comfortable. I am thankful for my job, for my car, for my family, for my faith.

I encourage you to take a breath after a very long day. If you're struggling with contentment, thank God for at least one thing. If you're struggling with comparisons, remember that no one will love your kids like you do. You don't have to be the perfect mom. It's okay.

There's a verse that talks about God's mercies being new to us every morning. That's refreshing since I need mercy every day. You know what else that tells me? That God knew we'd need mercy every single day.

Accept that mercy when you feel like you've had a rough day on the mom scale. And start fresh the next morning.

Happy thoughts to you, loveys!
  

7 comments:

  1. You know your list of "guilty things" up there? I, too, could check off every single one of those! {Except, I quit my job to be a SAHM after my eldest turned 1.} Being a mom is a comparison trap. We just have to do the best we can and not be so quick to judge other moms. No one knows their struggles, just as they don't know ours. Women could certainly do a better job of supporting each other...And, yes, I too need to play on the floor with my children more.

    XOXO,
    Meredith

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  2. Go girl! Support, not comparisons!!! (I'm currently avoiding the report I'm supposed to be helping Ellie with, and now they are running around...it's due tomorrow and most other kids have had it done for weeks....not to COMPARE.)

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  3. Such a balanced way of thinking about it. I was just reading about when you compare (say to other moms) it brings about dispair. Pretty right on.

    Happy weekend!

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  4. I wondered about that myself. I am not always consistent, so I wonder if they will hold that against me? LoL
    A new follower from Friday Blog Hop.
    Hope you'll swing by and follow me back also participate in the conversations every Wed/Thursday and Post your questions on Thursday Two Questions Meme

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  5. No comparisons. My son likes sugary cereal too. Picks out all the marshmallows every single time he eats it. He'll turn out just fine as will your kids!

    Also, the epi? YES PLEASE. I didn't get one with my 2nd son (I got to the hospital too late) and I kinda wanted them to give me one to take home.....

    Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

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  6. I love this post. It totally sums up my feelings about having shortcomings as a mother and my tendency to compare myself to others. I am a new follower from the Aloha Friday Blog Hop. I look forward to reading your posts.

    Karen
    http://sofabulouskids.blogspot.com/

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  7. Hi friend.. Glad I am snowed in and can blog catch up today... 43 blogs done 22 to go! Very Nice post!!I just wrote about this as a contributor and will link you once it goes up online.

    my point was there many things that keep us in this dark circle...pride, jealousy and insecurity to name a few... those mothers who are not able to keep up are jealous & insecure and judge or mock those who are able to to keep up ( like the smart kid in high school kinda)... I sometimes i find myself hiding my strengths in order to please everyone.. I don't want to be judged for doing something perfectly or "doing it all" so I do things under cover and in hiding not to offend anybody or stir up a debate.

    Then there are those who are able to do it all and are prideful and not thankful for their strength and gifts comes from God and so they judge those who cant do it their way or are struggling. I remember when I had 1 child who was "perfect" & listened to me.. I fell in this trap..wondering why some kids are this and that.. My pride took over my gratefulness--- sooner or latter God answered to me with a 2nd kid who knew how to throw it down!

    Anyway my point is God gave each one of us different gifts and when we try to do things like the other person then our "jealousy, pride, insecurity" tendency checks and we begin this mommy wars/comparison. I ask God each day to pair me with friends with greater gifts in the areas I lack so that I can learn from them but also to guide me not to be caught up trying to be like them...which I easy do by the way.

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