I have had really bad days of motherhood.
I have had really good days of motherhood.
When am I a good mom? On all the days.
Yesterday I spent upwards of 12 hours cleaning my house like a maniac. I was cleaning the things that I never clean. Do other people get dog hair in their freezer or is that just a me problem? I cleaned UNDER things; I threw away things; I scrubbed things. Afterwards, I ate a pint of ice cream and relished in the glory while trumpets sounded from heaven. Now my kids are staring at me pathetically from the yard while they eat graham crackers, because this house is not used for eating or living anymore.
Sometimes I do not clean my house for like 100 hours. I run out of dishes, so we use paper plates. We run out of clothes, so we wear things that require “spot cleaning” with a soapy dish rag. I’m not going to sugar coat it; it gets gross around here. By day three it’s like an episode of Hoarders.
When am I a good mom? Both times. All the time.
I try and be compassionate when my kids are hurt and sad, even though there are times I want to say, I JUST TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT, FOR THE LOVE. I hug them and I kiss them and I say, “Baby I am so so sorry that happened to you”.
Other times I am running and I am sweaty and hot, and my daughter runs into my leg with her bike, and I yell at the top of my lungs for all of 5th street to hear: “I JUST TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT, FOR THE LOVE!” I apologize and also want to yell, IM NOT ALWAYS LIKE THIS! just to clarify things for onlookers.
When am I a good mom? Both times.
Sometimes I’m the mom at the grocery cart that is talking all singsongy to my kids and making a game out of everything. I’m a regular Mary Poppins with my entourage of fun-loving kids. We prance down the aisles as people say, “Wow what a great bunch of helpers you have!” We flash them blindingly white smiles and sing out greetings.
MOST OF THE TIME I’m biting my bottom lip and muttering to myself while I try to make life altering decisions like: should I spend one million dollars for the organic version or buy the cheap chemical kind instead?? Meanwhile the kids are asking for s’more Pop Tarts and decorative duct tape, and fighting and stubbing their toes and spilling their drinks. If I ever lose my mind, it’s going to happen while trying to grab “two things” at Von’s. On those days someone definitely says, “WOW, you suuuuureeeee have your hands full.”
Next time I’m going to fight that person.
When am I a good mom? BOTH times.
I have had seasons where my life fit like a glove. I got up in the morning and I felt purposeful and peaceful. I was happy and content.
I have also had seasons of dark depression and anxiety. I was impatient, stressed, and barely hanging on by a thread.
When was I a good mom? Both times. There is room for us to struggle.
Motherhood is like mud wrestling; there’s no way to do it without getting dirty. We have good days and bad days; we have moments we’re proud of, and moments we are not. We have a few things we are really good at and a lot of things that we are not.
Bad days and dirty houses don’t define us.
We love them with our whole hearts and I’m a believer that love covers a multitude of mistakes.
There is room in motherhood for us to be human. We can be good at this and struggle at the same time. We all struggle.
The best thing we can do is love ourselves in the mess, love our kids in their mess, and love each other in our messes too.
From my hot mess to yours, may you know how amazing you truly are…