There is always talk about how moms put each other down and of the immense pressure put on moms to always meet expectations. It got me thinking about my own walk through motherhood and I realized something profound. I have never personally experienced anyone shaming me on what type of mom I am, and my husband and close family do not hold me to any unspoken standard either.
I am my own worst critic.
I hold myself to a standard that is hard to reach. The days that I'm most exhausted is due to setting myself up to reach this unattainable goal or when I am trying to become and be like someone I am not. In past posts I have opened up and spoke about how sometimes the mommy blog world is very much like Keeping Up with the Joneses, and in my case, this is only because I am the one trying to be this sort of make-believe superwoman.
On the days I don't finish a task (like laundry, for example) or if dinner doesn't come out picture perfect, I put unnecessary pressure and guilt upon myself. I know it doesn't need to be there, but I put it on anyway. Each evening my husband is thankful for the time, sacrifice, and energy I pour into our home and kids and each evening my kids go to bed thinking I am pretty awesome. Why then do I often sit on the couch after bedtime and criticize everything I didn't do?
It's mid-October and I have not made or tasted anything pumpkin. My kids are wearing hammy down Halloween costumes this year and I have no plans to give Max a 2nd birthday party next month. Normally, I would let this bother me because I have my own idea of what type of mom I want to be like. (In some sense I guess it does bother me since I am mentioning it.) The point is I will never find joy and satisfaction in what I do and the type of mom I am if I don't stop focusing on who I am not.
If you are like me and find yourself always setting yourself up for failure, know that you are not alone. We are called to be mothers, wives, neighbors, and friends. There is no ultimate mom and just because your life might not be Instagram worthy most of the time does not mean you are not a good mother to your children. Our kids do not care how creative our meals are or how creative our art projects are. They care that we are present with them, spending time with them and feeding them. (That's especially true with my boys. Boy do they love to eat.)