In the past few weeks, I've had several mummies confide that they've been feeling like they're not measuring up. These are great mothers --loving, conscientious, hard-working, generous-- but they feel like everyone else is in on a parenting secret that they're not. Well, I have three secrets of my own to share:
The Realistic Mummy's 3 Secrets of Parenting:
1. No one does it all. Certainly not all the time.
2. Most questions or quandries in parenting do not have one right answer.
3. All mothers --at least all the ones I know-- periodically feel really insecure about how they measure up compared to other mothers.
These realities are, in fact, the very reason I started this blog. Because there's lots of information out there on how we can do better, and that's great. But there's not a lot on how we just make it through. And a hefty portion of being a parent boils down to surviving.
When I'm out with my four boys (and sometimes a dog) I regularly have people comment, "I don't know how you do it!" Well, I'm not exactly sure what "it" is, but I am sure that "it" is NOT what I'm doing. What I am doing is surviving, and being the best loving mother that I can.
I look at other mothers and their areas of strength, and I am inspired and intimidated all at the same time. I try to be realistic in adopting and adapting new ideas. And I feel despair when I fall short of the targets I set.
We all feel this way.
When that nagging self-doubt hits, remember that kids (and families) are unique entities; what works for one family doesn't mean it works for you. Give yourself a fighting chance by taking care of you; it's amazing how some rest, a shower, a chat with a friend or a brisk walk outside can change your thinking. Remember the ways, big and small, that you show your kids you love them; that's what really counts.
And, don't forget, we ALL feel this way.