Friday, May 10

Hey mama, you're doing great

This is my 10th Mother's Day as a mom.

Wow, really? I still feel like I'm just getting started. Probably because there are weeks when "I've got this," and weeks when I haven't got anything at all.

What is up with this job anyway? Right after I gave birth, a switch was flipped from "confident" to "woh, nelly - you sure about this?" Which probably means I was actually more insecure pre-mom stage than I am willing to admit, but the mom job brought all those feelings to the surface. It's like being given a CEO job title and all the responsibilities that go with it, with absolutely no training whatsoever except what you witnessed from others and experienced growing up. (Luckily, my mom was a good role model!)

It's a crazy learning curve.

see? sometimes they really like each other!
of course, their relationship began with a bit more skepticism

There are other times in the biz of mothering when I feel like a rock star. Like, I did that today. I accomplished 80 things. I made hurt feelings go away. I taught a life lesson that might actually stick. I got the coveted "You're the best mom ever" nomination from my kids today. Yes.

And then there are the other times.

Is this true for CEOs, too? This up-and-down feeling is more dramatic than I like. I prefer to feel like I'm driving a nice, reliable Camry all the time, not a beat-up Pinto one day and a Maserati the other. 

But this is life. And really, the bumps of mothering could be better handled if I fully embraced my Pinto days as well as my Maserati days. This definitely means a shift in my attitude.

So here's the bottom line to all us mamas out there. If you are in the ring, if you are bringing it and giving it a real go, then You Are Doing Great. You are rockin' this job, and if I could, I would give you a raise.

I mean, come on - we all have a "parenting kryptonite." Mine is whining. When I hear it, I become irrational and unhinged. I think my eye starts twitching. I cave. Even though I know the whining is coming from a place of hurt and struggles and deeper issues, there are days when I lack empathy. We all have kryptonite. When it appears - when it seems our parenting skills are most in jeopardy - that's the best time for friends and family to swoop in and rescue us and take us away for a few hours to help restore our sanity.

Because this is pretty much an insane job. But the best insane job there is.

Feel good about what you're accomplishing. Brush off those failures. Insecurity rankles me. I hate it in myself, I don't like seeing others struggle with it.

We need to build each other up, don't you think? At least for me, there's a perception that everyone is my very own personal critic. Because my kids will only eat PB&Js, mac and cheese, some fruit, zero veggies, and cake. And, did she really just yell at me in the middle of the store in front of all these people? Fantabulous. Oh, and - that's my kid, the only one who didn't win an award this year. Lovely.

We are hard on ourselves. I don't know of a mom out there who hasn't compared their skills, their kids, their husbands, their lifestyle to those of other moms in their circle. What are we doing? We don't know each other's entire story - the pressures, the concerns, the experiences, that drive the parenting choices we each make. While there are those in our lives we know very well, we all reserve special places deep in our hearts that hold the biggest fears and insecurities and regrets that very few people get to see.

And added to that, our children have been born to us for incredibly unique and special purposes that we are just discovering. There's a reason they were given to us, and not someone else. Which means our stories would, and should, all read differently.

Can someone remind me of that once in awhile? Or every single day?

So raise your glass, ladies, 'cause you've got this. Here's to having a Maserati Mama Weekend!

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