The Mom I Want To Be

Mommy-guilt isn’t a new concept to anyone. If you’ve been a mother, you’ve experienced Mom-guilt. If you know a mother, you know about Mom-guilt. It is pretty much understood that by having the extraordinary responsibility to raise exceptional human beings, a parent is going to feel less than suitable for the position every once in a while.

But, I have to tell you, my Mom-guilt has been on overdrive since having a second kid.

I have been saying “One minute, sweetie” and “Just wait, please” to the toddler far too many times.

Guilt.

I have left the baby crying for much longer than I ever did his big brother.

GUILT.

I have reacted harshly to the slightest infractions.

GUILT.

My normal tone of voice has changed from a positive disposition to constant exasperation.

GUILT!

My time has been divided between two kids.

GUILT!!!!!!!!!!

 

I put the kids to bed in the evening and take a deep breath and realize that I was not the Mom I wanted to be that day.

I was impatient. I was frustrated. I was stressed. I was frazzled. I was short. I was exasperated. I was selfish. I was angry.

I wasn’t patient. I wasn’t gentle. I wasn’t calm. I wasn’t peaceful. I wasn’t kind. I wasn’t self-less. I wasn’t positive.

I wasn’t as loving as I wanted to be.

 

I have this image of the perfect Mother. It is the woman I strive to be. She is primarily devoted to her husband. She ensures he feels completely loved while together they care for their children and their home. She somehow finds time to make each of her children feel special while simultaneously keeping up with chores, maintaining her spiritual duties, and contributing to the household income. She even looks lovely all the time.

She is perfect. She is beautiful. She is superwoman.

She is what my family deserves.

She is completely unattainable.

 

The other day I was getting ready to take the boys to the grocery store. I looked in the mirror and sighed. The woman reflected wasn’t one I was proud to show off in public. But it would have to do. I put a headband over my day-old-hair and turned to my two-year-old to get him out the door.

He took one look at me and exclaimed “Mama’s a princess!”

His little eyes took in his Mommy in a headband and didn’t see 45 unwanted pounds, unwashed hair, and clothes that didn’t fit. He saw his Mommy with flowers in her hair. He saw royalty. He saw beauty.

Me in my headband

 

I set myself such a high bar. I have such immeasurable love for these people in my life and I just want to be all that they deserve. But my unrealistic expectations for myself simply lead to failure. And guilt.

But what if I looked at myself through the eyes of my boys? What if instead of a mother who can’t do everything all at once, I see the Mama who makes the baby smile as soon as she looks at him? What if I see the Mama who shares tickles with the toddler? What if I see the Mama who tells expressive stories and sings multiple lullabies before bed? What if I see the Mama who wakes up hour upon hour in the night to comfort and sustain a little growing person?

Momming my boys on Canada Day

If I look through their eyes, I see a good woman who does whatever she can for her boys. I see a good Mom. I see love.

I see nothing to feel guilty about.

I see a princess.

I see the Mom I want to be.

 

And it only took a toddler’s fairy tale imagination to teach me this.

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About Laura ORourke

Laura is a working Mom of two (but soon to be three) living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She juggles work, blogging, and life at home with her husband Dan and two sons Cameron (age 4) and Gavin (age 2). When she has time, she can be found reading, writing, snapping photos, or awkwardly running. Laura has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 10 Mom Bloggers by multiple publications, including Reader's Digest. Keep up with the fun by following @LauraORourke on Twitter or liking Mommy Miracles on Facebook. Like what you see? Have something to add? Be sure to leave a comment!

Comments

  1. It’s like I could have written the first half of this post.

    The second half hasn’t quite happened for me. At least not in the same way. I’ve been short with the toddler of late. Impatient. Snappy and snippy.

    But he? He loves me the same. It kils me and lifts me up at the same time.

    This motherhood gig sure is a toughie. :)
    Alison recently posted..Never The Same AgainMy Profile

    • Oh, don’t you worry. Making this realization doesn’t mean that I’m no longer snappy and snippy. I just freaked my freak on Cameron for waking Gavin up twice while I was trying to get him to nap. Still trying to come down from that episode.

      I get the whole “it kills me and lifts me up at the same time thing.” It is crazy that the more awesome they are, the more guilt we feel. Gavin is incredibly smiley. He smiles if someone even LOOKS at him. So, of course, I think that must mean that he is so starved for attention that even a glance is just wonderful for him. I know he’s probably just a happy baby, but still THE GUILT!!!
      Laura recently posted..The Mom I Want To BeMy Profile

  2. Pregnancy has done this to me already. I’ve had much less patience with Noah than I generally would and I hate that. I was tucking him in last night and it was one thing after another. One more story. One more song. One more kiss. One more hug. I was exhausted. All I wanted was to go crawl in my bed. After I finally got him settled and I laid down, I felt bad. Within 10 minutes I heard him climb out of bed and tiptoe to our room. He looked at me and said, “Mommy. I said I love you and you didn’t hear me.” He came over to the bed and tucked ME in and gave me a kiss. He wanted to make sure that I knew that he loved me, even when I was no where near as patient with him as I should have been. Needless to say, he snuggled with me for a while before he went back to his bed. The end of this post is fantastic in that you realize that while you may not be perfect (and who wants to be perfect anyway?) you are everything your children and your husband need.
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..Fears & Worries of Second Time ParentingMy Profile

  3. This is so beautiful…we really do put ourselves under too much pressure and really just see through the eyes of our little ones. They don’t care if we are showered or have makeup on…they just see their mommy who they adore!
    Natalie recently posted..Wordless Wednesday-Big Shirt StyleMy Profile

  4. Ahh yes. I know the first part all-too well. The second? I haven’t quite had that great of an affirmation from my eldest, but she usually gives me something when I’m nearly at my breaking point. Aren’t kids great? :)

    You are a princess. You are an amazing Mama… and you don’t have to be perfect all of the time to be those things. (Funny how I can type that for you but can’t seem to know it for myself, all the time…) :)

  5. What a beautiful post and a life changing realization. Hold on to that feeling as they grow older and they don’t always look at you that way. I wish that I had recognized that more frequently when mine were little. I was the most beautiful woman in their world and how blessed I am to have had that. Laura, you are lovely and wise.

  6. Love this! And the sweet lock-screen you made for #shereadstruth! Thanks for that!! <3
    Kim Alford recently posted..meet Lilli…My Profile

  7. I can relate to this so much! Glad to know I am not the only one who feels this way!
    Tammi recently posted..A Gift of Love and SupportMy Profile

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