Many young mothers put great amounts of pressure on themselves to be perfect. With this kind of unrealistic expectation, most of these moms end up feeling like complete failures. They compare themselves to the seemingly put-together moms on social media and conclude that they are horrible mothers because they do not have that kind of picture-perfect life.
The reality is that motherhood is hard. It is made up of sticky fingers and sleepless nights. There is nothing "put-together" about it.
Do not fall into the trap of feeling like a loser of a mom when things get difficult. If you are having a hard time seeing your success as a parent, try going through this mommy checklist at the end of a disastrous day. You might just find that you are totally nailing this motherhood thing after all.
1. Tummies are full
If they are full of chicken nuggets instead of organic fruits and veggies, so what? They are still full, aren't they?
2. No one painted the cat
No animals, walls, clothes or children were covered in your finger-paint collection. Check!
3. You didn't total the car
Can we just take a minute to appreciate your supermom driving skills? You handed out snacks, sang songs, changed the radio station and answered random questions asked by an inquisitive toddler — all without crashing the car.
4. Toys are everywhere
You are obviously not the kind of mother that stoops to plugging her kids into a movie or video game in order to keep a clean house. Instead, you let imagination and creativity run wild (sometimes quite literally) in your home.
5. You pulled off the ponytail like a boss
Didn't have time for a shower because you were too busy being an awesome mom? No worries. You make grungy look good.
6. No trips to the emergency room
Congratulations mommy. You kept fingers out of electrical sockets, feet from stepping on rusty nails, hands out of the knife drawer, and mouths away from the cleaning supplies.
7. You didn't cry
It is highly probable that you felt like it, but nevertheless, the tears did not flow. And even if they did, remember that crying is a healthy way to release stress and emotion. You were just taking care of your mental, physical and emotional health. Good job.
Tell me, when did you have a single second to worry about laundry today? It seems you had your hands pretty full with crying babies, running carpools, music lessons, braiding hair, cooking dinner, washing dishes, conquering bath time, calling the plumber, changing diapers, coloring pictures, playing dollhouse, filling sippy cups, buying groceries, calming tantrums and wiping messy faces.
9. You saw your kids smile
Even though you might have been at your wit's end, the kids were happy. At least, they were smiling as they ripped their pants climbing the tree in your backyard.
It does not matter how the day turned out. If you were trying your best, I would count it as a success.
The next time you feel discouraged, cut yourself some slack and remember that there is no such thing as a perfect mother. They do not exist. Everybody has their horrendous days and everybody has their breakdowns. As long as you are trying your best to teach your children what is right and give them the love they need, nothing else matters. So, stop agonizing over the state of your house and quit comparing yourself to the picture-perfect moms on Instagram. You are doing just fine, mommy.