In the world of motherhood, perfectionists and sanctimommies are considered especially heinous. On the Internet the dedicated mothers who believe that okay is good enough despite what these other mothers say are members of an elite squad called the Okayest Moms. This is one of their stories.
When I was a new mom, I did everything right.
I had my baby on a schedule. I breastfed. I shopped organic. I made eye contact. I read. I sang. I cooed (but not too much). I narrated. I snuggled. I made my baby my number one top priority.
I did it all.
And I was unbelievably and incomprehensibly exhausted all. of. the. time. And if I’m being totally honest, I was also kind of a bitch, to everyone in my house but my baby (which at the time, was just me and my husband so you do that math.)
PAUSE. You guys don’t know me that well yet, but as a fellow mom in 2018, please know that while I am not providing a lengthy disclaimer about how I understand that doing everything “right” for your children looks differently for different families, I do know this to be a universal mothering truth. Okay good. Moving on.
So anyway, while I was doing all of the things to make sure that my baby was a perfect infant specimen, I found that I completely lost a sense of who I was as a person. Of course I loved being a mother to my baby, but it was like my entire existence before him had been magically erased and I was suddenly supposed to be this new person that I wasn’t exactly sure how to be.
Like after 26 years of knowing myself as a fairly interesting and unique individual, I had suddenly vanished and become someone whose only interest in life was deciding whether to use Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
Admittedly, I didn’t have the appropriate tools to cope with this feeling so, for the time being, I just squashed it down (like any good New Englander) and pushed forward. It wasn’t until a few months back, while I was reminiscing back to a time when my children could sit in my lap without threatening to squish my internal organs out of the nearest orifice, that I had a realization about what caused the tides to turn.
Someone told me that I was a good mom.
It was a simple passing remark, made in the midst of watching me play with my son, but it carried more weight than I ever could have realized.
That comment squelched the biggest question mark in my life. I was a good mom. I was doing okay. And after that, I could be whatever I wanted to be. Hell, I could even start a blog.
I don’t tell this story to say that we need external validation to qualify our motherhood; I share it because I believe that our work as mothers is a place of unnecessary insecurity for so many of us and if we are to succeed as women and as mothers, we need to try and quiet that insecurity and build ourselves up from there.
Because no matter the state of your house or the reading group your kid is in at school, you are a damn good mom. You don’t need to worry about that anymore.
You’re doing okay.
What It Means To Be An Okayest Mom: A Manifesto || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Kristen || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Katie || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Brittany || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Stephanie || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Heather || Evolution of An Okayest Mom: Kelly