If you’ve read my last post then you know two things about me. One, I am a Stay at Home Mom. Two, I cannot cook, or rather, I am learning to cook. And I feel like that says a lot because I do not measure up to the image of what people, including myself, think of when they hear stay at home mom. Or even the term “Mom” in general. And that is okay.
I have learned that the typical image of being a mom is not all that typical. We take the term “Mom” and make a list of requirements for her to fulfill. However many of those qualities we possess and achieve determines our grade as a mom. Moms are given a pass if they cook three healthy meals, clean every nook and cranny with a toothbrush until the house sparkles, schedule play dates for young children, volunteers in the community or church, and can juggle it all while making money either on the side or outside of the home. Everyone wants to be given the title of “Idol Mom”. I am sorry (not sorry) to tell you that that is as real as a photoshopped picture on Instagram. Where does it say that a house must be spotless? That a child is never to have a dirty face or, goodness gracious, snot in their hair (yep, that’s my kid I’m talking about).
Can I tell you some truths about myself as a mom? I love my kids, I have thanked God over and over for them because they have helped me in ways that they will never know. BUT. Some days, I want someone else to come take care of them. Some days, I don’t want to be sat on or snuggled up to and that is a big deal for me because I love snuggles. I don’t want to hear, “Mom watch this!” as my son flips for the thousandth time that day. And oh my goodness, I do not want to hear Baby Shark playing. Again. There have been days when my house suffers because I just don’t want to put my book down, even if I’m reading it for the fiftieth time. There have been a few nights when I’ve felt like crying because I didn’t feel like cooking dinner but ‘I have to cook dinner or what are they going to eat? ‘ plays in my head on a loop. As for play dates, I may have scheduled one last year? You can just forget about getting me out of my pjs unless I’m going somewhere.
What I’m trying to say is that being a mom is different for everyone. We can’t put all these rules and regulations in the title because it’s not realistic. Moms everywhere, whether they stay at home or work outside of the home, are killing themselves trying to put a check mark beside every requirement that is thrust upon them the moment they gain that moniker. It’s not fair. It’s not healthy. It’s not what God intended.
Today, my house is clean. I know what I’m going to make for dinner. I enforced my rule about no tablet or games until after nap time. Today, I feel like I’m doing a great job. And yet my heart has been heavy for the moms who feel like today they’re not doing that great of a job. The moms who are looking at their friends’ posts on some social media sight and feeling so much guilt because they lost their temper and screamed at their kids. The moms who want to be home with their kids but can’t. The moms who are fighting the voice inside that says they shouldn’t need that quiet alone time from their kids and what kind of mother does that make them? The moms who are looking at takeout menus because they don’t know how to cook or they haven’t had time to go get groceries. The moms who haven’t showered in a week because when do they have the time? The moms who are drinking apple juice in a wine glass pretending it’s the real thing.
I see you, Momma. And you are killing it.
Being given the title of Mom is an honor. You don’t have to mother the way your mother, sister, neighbor, friend, cousin…whomever does. You just have to be you, because at the end of the day that’s the person your family wants. And you can’t be anyone else, that’s not how you were designed. So stop trying to check off all the boxes that people give you. Make your own list, decide what kind of mother you want to be, and then don’t beat yourself up on the days when it’s all too much.