Thursday, March 8, 2012

Doing Something Right

Sometimes I wonder how well I fit the “good mom” profile. I don’t even know who this mythical perfect mother is, but I compare myself to her a lot. I wonder if I’m giving Reese the right kinds of foods, letting her watch too much TV, or spending enough one-on-one time with her throughout the day. Am I patient enough? Consistent enough? Loving enough? Is she smart enough? Are her social, motor, and vocabulary skills up to par with other kids her age?

I question myself the most in the moments that make me feel like a “bad mom” – when I forget to turn on the baby monitor until I hear a faint cry from the other end of the house; when I realize that she’s been walking around with a poopie diaper for who-knows-how-long; or when I get bored during our play time. When she catches a cold, develops a diaper rash, or falls and gets hurt, I always feel at least a small sting of guilt. Even though the realistic side of me knows I can’t prevent everything, sometimes it’s still hard not to wonder if I wiped her well enough, washed her hands often enough, or watched her carefully enough. 

To a certain extent, I think all moms do this at least a little bit. We wonder if any of the decisions we make will someday affect our kids’ health, intelligence, or social skills. We want to do what’s best for them, and we equate that desire with the need to be perfect. Because of this need, we tend to judge ourselves for what we do wrong way more often than we take pride in what we do right.

Reese recently reminded me that the most important parts of being a good mom are often the little things that I don’t notice becuase I’m too busy worrying about whether I’ve taken the right approach to potty training. We were playing in her room when she walked over to me, put her little arms around my neck, and said, “love you, honey.” Actually, it sounded more like, “Zuh-vee, Honey” but I knew what she meant, and my heart soared.

In that moment, I remembered that it doesn’t matter how many words she can say or whether her diet is perfectly balanced. All of my little day-to-day decisions don’t matter nearly as much as the fact that everything I do comes from a place of pure, unconditional love for my daughter and more importantly, she knows it. She hugs me and says, “love you, honey” because she hears Matt and I say that to her and to each other so often. Whether she is consciously aware of it or not, she knows that she comes from a house full of love.

I may not make the right decisions 100% of the time and I don’t always measure up to the mythical perfect mother, but every time Reese hugs me and says, “Zuh-vee, honey,” I remember that the small things I do wrong don’t matter nearly as much a big thing done right. 

No comments:

Post a Comment