The Good Mother
Does it make me a bad mom because I wish it were bedtime already?? Or at least time to cook dinner, so I can pour that glass of wine hoping my husband keeps the kids entertained long enough for me to unwind, at least a little. Maybe this weekend I can get out for a bit. I haven’t had a girls’ night in forever and all I want is to get away for a few hours. No one tugging on my pant leg, no “mommy this” or “mommy that”… just a few drinks, appetizers, and some adult conversation.
As much as we all want to be perfect and strive to be good mothers, we often feel as though we’re failing. A good mother wouldn’t fantasize about locking herself in her closet with a bottle of wine, just to get some peace and quiet. A good mom wouldn’t count the minutes until naptime, begging for a break from her children. A good mom wouldn’t dream of a getaway with her friends, desperate for some alone time away from her family. But the truth is; that’s exactly what good mothers think. Good moms, deserve a break.
The problem is; we don’t know we’re good mothers. We don’t even know what a good mother is. Good moms do have breakdowns and snap at their kids. We crave a night out, if not to enjoy a bottle of wine with girlfriends, at least to have ice cream and watch a chick flick. Some days we give in and turn on cartoons for more than the appropriate amount of time just so we can get stuff done. We give our kids junk food as bribery. We dream about the days we’ll give up diapers and bottles, because in some far-off land we know freedom awaits us again, even though we know when those days come…we’ll miss this.
Thinking naptime is the highlight of most of your days doesn’t make you a bad mom, because you’re aware of it. Because you feel guilt for thinking it, or admitting it. It makes you a good mom, because you care. The bad moms are the ones who don’t care. They don’t feel guilty when they don’t take their kids to the park. They aren’t concerned if their kids eat corndogs or McDonald’s seven days a week. They don’t care if they drink everyday at naptime. They don’t need a break, because they aren’t involved or interacting enough with their children in the first place. They aren’t asking themselves whether they are a good mom or a bad mom because they simply don’t care.
You do care! So smile, relax and enjoy naptime. Have that glass of wine, guilt-free. Let go! Get dressed up and go out with your girlfriends and admit to your faults. Talk about your parenting imperfections and laugh over your mistakes. Together by sharing stories and encouraging one another, we’ll begin to understand what it truly means to be a good mother; what we’re each uniquely destined to become and most times…already are.