Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You Are Not A Bad Mom

As far as being a mama goes, I'm fairly new to this gig, being only 2.8 years into it. But, despite being something of a rookie, I've become really good at one of the seemingly key maternal skills in my short tenure as a mother: I'm really good at feeling guilt and really bad at believing that I'm doing a good job loving my babe. Case in point, I'm currently feeling guilty about the following things (specifically regarding motherhood, which means I won't be mentioning how much chocolate chip banana bread I just ate):

1. It's raining here and I didn't send Sam to preschool with a raincoat. #badmom
2. I haven't finished Sam's baby book yet. #scrapbookfail
3. I let Sam watch cartoons while I took a shower and blowdried my hair this morning. #negligentparent
4. Sam didn't eat enough for breakfast and now I'm worried that he's hungry at school, which is obviously my fault because I didn't give him something that he wanted to eat for breakfast (i.e. cookies, rice krispie treats, goldfish). #mychildisprobablymalnourishednow
5.  Sam is almost three and not yet potty-trained. #worstmomever

Ridiculous, right? And that's just a sampling of all the things I will feel guilty about today and then subsequently hear the tape-recorder in my brain click on, repeating this same phrase over and over: You Are A Bad Mom.

But, you know what? I'm starting to realize that that is just a big, fat lie that I'm letting be the backdrop of my parenting experience. Somehow, I've let the Today Show, Parents magazine, mommy-blogs, Facebook, well-meaning friends, random people in the grocery store, and a plethora of other various entities control how I see myself as a mom. And, in the midst of all those voices telling me that I'm failing, I forget to hear from the Lord, who determined that I should be a mom in the first place.

I have this feeling that I might not be alone in this cycle of guilt and insecurity and general feelings of maternal failure. (Can I get a witness?) If you're like me, maybe you've been letting other folks determine your perception of what kind of mama you are. Maybe you've been forgetting what's true, like I have.

Remember that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams' character keeps telling Matt Damon's character, "It's not your fault, It's not your fault, It's not your fault..." until that truth finally sinks into Matt's heart and he breaks into a million pieces and weeps uncontrollably on Robin Williams' shoulder? Well, that's kind of what I'm trying to do right now (minus the breakdown/tears), so let this sink in.

You are not a bad mom. 

You are not a bad mom.

You are not a bad mom.

You might be a tired mom, a sick mom, an overwhelmed mom, a sad mom right now and maybe one of these factors means your child eats PB&J three meals in a row today, or watches Cars 2 on repeat for a while, or has a breakdown at the restaurant over a toy you forgot to bring. None of the above makes you a bad mom.

Do you love your babies? Do you believe that God gave them to you specifically? Would you do anything physically possible to make sure that they are safe, cared for, protected, loved on? Then, feel some freedom, sister, and stop believing the Enemy's lie that you are not enough. He's not the boss of you.
So, ease up on yourself. Ease up on the other moms you know. God gave you the babies He gave you on purpose and you are exactly the right mom for them. God gave them to you, but He also gave you to them.

     And here's a gratuitous picture of this mama and her babe. And, yes, that is an
     "I Heart Great Clips" sticker. Explanation can be found here.


  1. Perfect. And might have made me tear up a little. Because even though I'm not a mom yet, I still believe that lie sometimes.

  2. truth. I call myself a bad mom pretty much weekly

  3. GOOD REMINDER! Preach it, sister. I needed that one.

  4. I felt like such a bad mom yesterday. Thanks for writing this.

  5. Love. You're a good mama, DL. Sam told me so. (We talk. What?)



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