For Real Friday: Mothers

It’s really hard to be a mom. They get judged no matter what they do. They get blamed no matter what they do. And if when they do complain they get labeled as people who complain all the time. They definitely aren’t appreciated enough. It’s not possible to appreciate a mom enough until you become a mom. At least it wasn’t for me.

My mom is an amazing woman who raised me and my brother single handedly after my Dad died when we were really little. She parented us through school while she got her R.N (I got chickenpox on her last day of finals). She managed two kids in school with extra curricular while working twelve hour shifts through my entire childhood. She always looked amazing. She was the actual super mom. We…did not make it easy for her either. She deserves a medal.

The thing is though, she never felt like she was doing as amazing a job as she was. And now that I’m a mom, I get it. I do everything for my daughter. She’s loved and she knows it. She goes to the best school, she has all the toys, we read every night, we have a curriculum for days she’s not in school. She’s in enough sports and activities that I have to be careful to leave her enough free time to know what those words mean. I’m an awesome mom. On an intellectual level, I know that. But I never feel like it.

Somewhere along the way, motherhood became a competitive culture. I may read to my daughter every night, but do I feed her organic? Do I let her watch to much TV? Do I stare at my phone too much instead of spending every waking second focused on her? Or do I over focus? Am I one of “those” moms because we do elf on the shelf? You know, the ones that don’t have a life?

It never ends. There is always some criticism out there and unlike most criticisms in the world, unlike the knowledge that someone somewhere isn’t going to like what’s in your grocery cart or what you wore or whatever, you can’t just shrug off mom-criticim with “oh well, you can’t please everything.” Because mom-criticism comes with a loaded gun.

If you screw up, you can ruin your child’s entire life. Literally. Some guy shoots up a school? Mom’s every action is hyper analyzed to figure out why he would do such a thing. Kid kills themselves? Turns to drugs? Fails school? Succeeds in everything but isn’t happy? These aren’t outcomes a good parent can just shrug off and say “can’t please everyone.” So we have to analyze our choices and hope and pray.

It’s hard being a mom. So this weekend, please take the time to do something special for yours. Chances are, she went through hell for you.

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