As a full-time working mom of a two and a half year old I’m always struggling between feeling completely guilty and the worst mom ever and feeling wonderful and organized and the best mom on earth.
This diversity is driving me nuts even if I know at the end of each day, good and bad days, that I truly am the best mom on earth for MY child.
I feel so often guilty as I would like to spend much more time with him, even if I pick him up at the kindergarten in the afternoon it’s not just time for us but we need to do things he not prefers at all (like grocery shopping or playing alone while “mummy need to write just a couple of emails and then I am fully with you” lies as it often takes more time and then the guilt sets in.
But why am I doing all of this, why am I not quitting and jump to the full-time mom job?
Simply because we cannot afford it and this is not a unique situation, it’s the struggle of sooooo sooooo many other moms out there.
We work hard and we do all of this for our families. We don’t go shopping just for us anymore, each earned cent is in first place for our children, they deserve a warm home, a safe space, clothes, toys, food they like and apparently is mainly healthy – I never went so often into the whole food stores before I had a child. It started when I was pregnant and when I knew I’m NOW responsible for a human, a tiny human incapable of taking care of himself. But that’s another story.
So how do I cope with this guilt and how do I try to create the safest space on earth for this little boy?
I first of all love him like nothing else on earth! And I’m telling him, obviously. He needs to know that he’s love from the bottom of our hearts and souls and that he is perfect exactly the way he is.
Second I try to be there for him whenever he needs me – why try? Because he’s going into the Kindergarten and even if I would like to be there 24/7 I need to let go for a couple of hours per day. But, and that’s the good thing, I see how happy he is there and how wonderful they take care of my child.
Third is that I listen – he’s just now starting to speak in sentences and I listen, I don’t start to correct directly or just let him talk, I want to hear and understand what he is saying. He’s not talking because he loves talking, he’s talking because he wants to be heard.
Fourth is quite easy as I always referred to our home as a nest, he should live in a warm and loving home, we share a family bed and he has his bed attached so that he can decide where he wants to sleep, snuggled up between us or on “his own” in his bed. Our home should be the safest place on earth for him. Here he lives, his toys belong to our living room in the same way as our “toys” belong there. There is no mine and yours, it’s our home. He can for instance reach fruit when he likes to eat a banana or an apple, his water bottle is always standing filled somewhere within his reach, he can move through the flat like he wants to (only the bathroom and the kitchen is “locked” as long as he’s not understanding that flushing the toilet 5 times in 2 minutes isn’t funny or that the stove gets hot if you press the buttons and that this is dangerous.
Fifth is not really easy but crucial – I am not a bad mom, I am not a bad mom, I am not a bad mom…
Acknowledge that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you are not always the mom you would like to be, because you are human.
We make mistakes, we learn, we cry, we regret, we should know better but am stuck, we are exhausted, we shout, we heat up a pizza instead of cooking, we break down and night and still we are there and take care as soon as our child just moves while asleep, all that we are makes us the mom our children need.
At the end of each day we love our children, we don’t harm them, we try to do everything we can to make their life the most wonderful life a child can have with all possibilities we have.
We should tell ourselves much more that we are great in what we are doing and that we do enough. Nobody can give 110% every minute of her life, to expect that from ourselves is far from reality.
I could start now and go on with number 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, … 100, 101, … but in the end all that counts is that you are there for your child and that you do the best of what you think is the best.
Moms tend to criticize each other like crazy but it’s not worth it -we all want the best and there are millions of ways of what is the best.
Hug your child/children, tell them you love them, listen to what they tell us and enjoy being with them.
These crazy days of sleepless night will one day be a memory, these days of anger attacks and crying for no (for us) visible reason will fade, these tiny hands that grab ours will grow and let go, these wet kisses will become a “don’t mom, the others will think I’m a baby”, all of our struggles will not be what we will remember. We will remember the purest kind of love, we will remember the smell of our child after it was born, we will remember the brightest smile and the first steps. For all of that being there as you are is the most important you can do to let them grow in their safe space.
I love you, my son – thanks for making me one of these real moms who are messy, crazy, loud, laughing and most of all LOVING like never before <3