Ahhh…motherhood. Most mothers will tell you that becoming a mother has given them a newer and higher purpose in life. They will attest to the idea that motherhood is the most rewarding part of life. As beautiful as is motherhood, every mother has both good days and bad days. There are those moments in mothering when everything seems just right, and then there are those days when things seem to go all wrong.
When things are great, we don’t often complain. We are happy for the successes of the day, whether that accomplishment is defined by adhering to the daily routine outlined for our ever-busy children, or by reading a bedtime story when we are usually unable. We claim those victories with a peaceful smile, knowing that moments like these are treasures.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, in moments of high stress, frustration, and difficulty, it’s easy to feel badly about our abilities as mothers. I have heard many mothers say, “I’m a bad mom.” Most often that statement is fueled by nothing other than the guilt of responding to a challenging situation in what we see as a less than perfect way.
The working mother often feels guilty if she is unable to adequately juggle the roles of wife, mother, business woman, friend, and daughter. The stay-at-home mom may feel a sense of dread for desiring a child-free moment of peace. A student mother may wonder about her decision to become a mom during her educational journey. An older mother may struggle with remaining contemporary in a society where a child’s experience has changed dramatically since her own childhood. Add to that other common stressors ranging from financial to emotional, to social and educational, and it becomes quite easy to become focused on your perceived failings as a mother.
Well guess what moms? I’m here to tell you that we are not perfect, and the good news is no one is! Our imperfections do not make us bad mother’s; in fact, owning up to our imperfections is a perfect opportunity for growth. That willingness to grow, if we embrace it, makes us great mothers! The working mother, with an unlimited number of roles to fulfill, may need to take a step back and away from something in her life. The stay-at-home mom may need to allow herself the freedom of “me time”. The student mother may benefit from hearing and recognizing the cliché’, “Having a baby changes everything”–and that’s okay. The older mother may use the birth of her child as rebirth of her own spirit.
Introducing a new person into the world, owning your role as a mother, is a great challenge that will undoubtedly force change within your life. Change is not a bad thing. Change is a means of acceleration. Know that in becoming a mother your path may change, but the destination and your goals can remain the same. Embrace all of the bumps along the road; they are put in place to make you into a stronger woman, a better mother. The next time you find yourself exclaiming, “I’m a bad mom,” stop yourself. Say instead, “I am in an imperfect mom,” and realize that that is just fine.
This week’s blog was written by Melissa Brooks-Cuffee. Melissa holds two Bachelors degrees from Towson University: one in Psychology, the other in English. She is a member of the Psi Chi and Lambda Iota Tau honor fraternities, and is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Baltimore. Melissa has assumed various administrative roles within the healthcare and mental healthcare field and maintains the positions of Administrative Assistant and Scheduling Coordinator at The Stone Foundation.
This article is intended for general education purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling or medical care. If you are interested in seeking professional counseling, please call The Stone Foundation at 410-296-2004 or visit our website for more information.