You don’t have to be the perfect mom. Give yourself some grace, Mama!
Motherhood is hard. And, yes, sometimes I don’t feel cut out for it.
But, mamas, I think we might actually make it harder than it is by setting our expectations for ourselves too high.
In the Internet Age in which we live, we are surrounded by more tips, tricks, hacks, and parenting advice than ever.
Other moms usually put their very best selves forward for the world to see on Facebook and Instagram.
(I say usually because I don’t. See proof here.)
Pinterest is filled with gourmet dinners, bakery-beautiful birthday cakes, and professional-looking decor.
There is enough mothering advice in the blogosphere to fill up libraries of information.
Some of this comes from young women who are still in the trenches with little ones, and readers are left scratching their heads and thinking: What am I doing wrong?
It’s no wonder so many of us feel like we just can’t measure up.
Mama, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be the perfect mom.
Because, guess what? No one is.
I’m not the perfect mom
In June, I’ll mark off seven years of motherhood.
Sure, I’ve learned some great things along the way:
I can change diapers and breastfeed in my sleep (where I once fumbled over both).
Delicious homemade baby food. Check!
I can potty train. Scratch that one. I hate potty training. I won’t even start with my youngest until after she turns three.
But when it comes to most parenting skills, I’m right there with many of you:
My girls’ bedtime is 8:00 p.m. But many nights, they aren’t asleep until 9.
I occasionally feed my kids processed foods (usually from the gluten-free section at ALDI!).
Sometimes, I get frustrated and yell.
When I look around and see mom bloggers who are in my same life season who “know all of the answers,” I often wonder what is the messy truth, and what is the polished truth.
In what seems to be a sea of perfect mothers, I’m here to tell you: I’m still learning. I don’t know it all.
I’m right there with you, Mama.
You’re not alone.
Learning from Seasoned Mamas
In various seasons of my life, I’ve often prayed that I wouldn’t forget my struggles and challenges, so that I could later encourage and mentor those there once I have moved on.
I pray for that now.
This season will not come again, and even as I’ve moved on from the baby years, and my preschool and young elementary school-aged children try my patience and leave me begging for answers, I ask the Lord to give me empathy for that brand new mama who is crying out for help as she nurses a newborn in the dark, figures out nap schedules, and stumbles over the proper way to install a carseat (I never learned how, by the way. My hubby does that!).
Sometimes, it seems that seasoned mamas are sparse.
I have often asked where are the veteran moms who hold so much wisdom that younger mamas are so longing to hear?
Thankfully, a few years ago, I found it in my mentor, Holly. She is 13 years older than I am. When her youngest son graduates from high school in a few weeks, she will be a brand new empty nester.
But she hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to have little ones underfoot.
She has poured into me and taught me that it’s OK not to be the perfect mom. As long as I am learning, growing, and seeking to love God first, my husband second, and then my children, I am being the mom the Lords wants me to be.
Positive Parenting Solutions
Over the course of our friendship, Holly has often recommended the parenting teachings of Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions.
Like Holly, Amy no longer has little ones. She has moved onto the next season of parenting.
But Amy hasn’t forgotten.
Amy calls herself a “recovering yeller.” Now the mother of two teenage sons, she is a parenting expert and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling.
I am over-the-moon excited that Amy has agreed to offer a FREE webinar for Humbled Homemaker readers next Wednesday night from 9-10 p.m. EST! The webinar is called Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling.
You can register for this FREE webinar here. There will be a recording for those who registered but are unable to attend the webinar live. But you MUST RSVP to claim your spot!
Here’s a description of the webinar:
Tired of the yelling and the whining? Tired of being tired?
You’re not alone. From toddler temper-tantrums to teenage talking back, parents wonder what it takes to get kids to cooperate. If you’re tired of nagging, reminding and yelling to get kids to listen – this session is for you!
I am excited to partner with Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions & TODAY Show contributor to offer a FREE LIVE training webinar on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
Discover proven tools for your most frustrating discipline dilemmas including the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences.
This hour-long investment will lead to a lifetime of peace in your home! RSVP here!
No, Mama, I don’t have the all the answers, but I delight in being able to learn together, alongside of you–to be able to point us both in the direction of mamas who have been there, done that and have made it to the other side of motherhood.
I hope you will join me in learning from Amy in her FREE webinar next Wednesday night!
Don’t forget to reserve your spot by registering here now!
This is a great post. My older child will also turn 7 next month and my younger one is 2.5 and not potty trained (thanks for making me feel “normal” on that, though the older one was closer to four – but he’s a boy and daddy was deployed for half his life at the time). I try to be real in my writing, offering only what I’ve learned or am learning, and that changes daily. By the grace of God, we all make it through the days! Enjoyed this post as always. Also received my planners in the mail from the FB party – they are amazing and I am super excited to fill them!
This will make you feel better–my oldest didn’t potty train until age 4! It took us two years to potty train her! It was then that I decided not to stress about it with my other children. My second child potty trained completely on her own at 3 years and 4 months. Yes, it was still late compared to the average age, but it was STRESS-FREE for us! So I wouldn’t worry about it!
I’m so glad to hear you like your planners!! YAY!!
Thanks for saying it. I say it to myself all the time. I even tell others. But, I still expect way more of myself than I probably should, or could ever live up to. It’s always good to be reminded that not only do we not need to be perfect to be good moms…but our kids don’t expect us to be perfect, either. They love us. And they forgive us. And thye accept us. We could take a few lessons from them, actually.
“Our kids don’t expect us to be perfect, either. They love us. And they forgive us. And thye accept us. We could take a few lessons from them, actually.” <--Love this, Melissa! I totally agree!
Thanks for this post- I finally have come to this realization that I don’t need to be perfect and I am not. I will make mistakes and that is ok. I realized I have to fully give up my way of doing things, as hard as that can be and allow God to work in me. Give up self so my Heavenly Father can work in me so my children are seeing Jesus- not me (who fails constantly). Since doing that- I can face my day with ease. I can handle the little arguments – I can have patience and love. But kids are so forgiving- when I mess up I tell them and ask for their forgiveness. I have learned to claim His promises- ask God to lead and lighten up a little and don’t stress the little things! 🙂
I totally agree, Gina! We ask for our kids’ forgiveness too!
Lately, I have found myself on Instagram feeling inadequate because, like you said, everyone else seems to have it all put together and figured out. I start feeling like I am not a good enough mom for my two girls. Thank you for this post. I was encouraged and realize that social media isn’t the place to figure out how I’m doing! My daughters let me know every day when they smile at me and give me sweet snuggles. 🙂
Yes–social media isn’t the place! And if you want to see a real IG feed..check out mine! Keep enjoying those sweet smiles and snuggles! Love the name of your blog, BTW.
Thank you for the post. I needed to hear that. My children are 11 and 10. I work full time and go to school full time and try to find time for kids, hubby and myself(that doesn’t happen). I hate it when the house is dirty and I too feel inadequate when you see moms who feed their children all of the right things and find time to exercise. I spend more time being tired then anything. But praying for wisdom and guidance on how to raise my children in a Godly way. We have just started eating more natural and my daughter isn’t taking to it too well. Any suggestions ??
Keep holding your head up, Holly! It sounds like you are working so hard for your family! As far as the eating more natural: We started when my kids were really young (partly because they had food allergies, so it wasn’t as much of a decision but a requirement!), so they are pretty much used to not having certain things, but one thing I like to tell them is how fruits and vegetables are healthy for their bodies but other processed snack foods are OK sometimes but are not healthy for their bodies, and I want them to grow up healthy and strong. We have already done small gardens, where they can see how the food grows, and that seems to help.
[email protected] in the Journey
I love this post and thank you for your honesty! I think as bloggers we need to learn the balance. The balance between showing everyone HOW it is done and being so honest we encourage moms to let the house go, and wear sweats every day. Where is the balance? I don’t know! But, I am striving to find it.
My mom confession for the day? Everytime I put jeans on, my kids ask where we are going (see the blogger sweat pant comment above!) 🙂
LOL, Misty! Thank you for that confession! I’ve had my kids ask me that before when I have put on a dress!
I tell you, it is really hard to be a mom. We so often place a lot of expectations on ourselves. I think a lot of times, we do it to ourselves thinking we have to be perfect.
Absolutely! I wholeheartedly agree.