Thursday, May 7, 2009

The perfect mom

A great post was written by PHD in Parenting and it got me thinking about what makes a perfect mom. We always question whether we're pefect moms, don't we? Does the perfect parent actually exist?

We all make mistakes. We all have questioned things other mom do, and we've maybe even announced it loud and clear that we're not fans of 'their' way of parenting. I know I have. I don't understand how someone can let their child cry it out - my boys so much as sigh in their sleep and you should see how fast I run up those stairs! Is it wrong of me to tell other moms that I'm not a fan of this method that they have chosen, that works so well for them? I don't think it's wrong of me, because I respect these moms no matter what they choose for their child. If it works for them - great.

I don't care if a mom breastfeeds or formula feeds. I absolutely do not think a mom is less a mom because she did not breastfeed - for whatever her reason. My mom never breastfed me and we are closer than most people I know. It was her choice. I chose to breastfeed both my boys. I'm happy I did. It came naturally to me and to them, and it was a bond I'll forever cherish. But that was my choice.

I don't really care if your child watches TV, because of course mine do, too! I'm a very hands on mom. I'm very active in playing with my children, in reading to them, in teaching them, and laughing with them. If you can be actively involved in their lives, and they watch some TV, you are doing a great job as a mother. There really isn't a right and wrong way to be a mom - whether your baby wears Pampers or cloth diapers, whether you buy baby food in jars (I did) or make your own baby food (good for you) you're doing what is best in your situation.

Why are moms insecure about their parenting skills? I know my kids are loved and happy but, of course, as a mom, I feel guilty sometimes and feel that I'm not doing enough right - don't we all feel this way, at some point?

Is there such thing as a perfect parent? I have huge issues with mommy guilt, especially since having my second son. I feel that I am not able to spend as much one on one time with each of them as I would like. I hate when I am not able to put both my children to bed at night - for instance, if both boys are tired, I'll put the baby to bed because he won't fall asleep with anyone but me - and hubby puts Christos to bed. This makes me sad, because I love putting both my boys to sleep at night. (Even though Christos is totally happy with either one of us putting him to bed!) The fact that I can't put both kids to bed at night makes me feel terrible.

Also? I rarely cook for my children, because during the week my parents or inlaws babysit and we end up eating dinner at their homes. The fact that my boys will not say: "Remember moms cooking?" when they grow up - kind of depressing!

We all have areas where we know we can be better at in terms of parenting. Yelling less, being more strict, or more lenient, turning off the television, making healthier food choices - but we also know we rock in certain areas, too, right? And that's what I think about when I think about being a good mom.

I'm not a perfect mom - my boys eat chocolate almost everyday - but I'm a great mom to my two boys and I know this because all I have to do is look at them and see them smiling all day long.(*When they're not having a temper tantrum or fighting with eacother*!)

The things I am proud of as a mom? Co-sleeping with my boys. Being actively involved in their lives, and really, really playing with them, reading to them, teaching them, exploring with them, and laughing with them. I am overly enthusiastic about the little things they do and it can be embarrassing sometimes, but that's who I am! I hope they grow up to be confident and continue to be happy.

So, basically - we're all great moms and we're all just trying to do the right thing for our children and for our situation. And doesn't that sort of make us perfect, after all?


Jessica - This Is Worthwhile said...

I've got a post brewing in my head about this, too.

And I think you're 100% right about it's what you do RIGHT more than what you might not do perfectly.

I've been seeing more and more posts about this popping up lately and it's a great reminder to give ourselves a big pat on the back :)

Thanks for posting this!

OHmommy said...

Had to come over and check out NP design. LOVE it.

Loukia said...

Thanks! I loved working with her.

Summer said...

I loved this post! So so true.

My kids will say, "Remember mom's microwaving? Man, that was some good stuff how she found a way to make scrambled eggs in there. Genius!"

Oh, and yes we are moving...I wrote about it here...

A Crafty Mom said...

So true!! I am terribly guilty of this too, always feeling I fall short of being a great mom. And, trust me, your kids will never care where their food comes from, I cook healthy meals every single night and half the time they don't even touch the food I make and beg for cereal, which I usually end up giving them!!

But I think my kids are pretty happy with their mediocre mom, lol :)

♥spoiled mommy♥ said...

Hey you-Im huggin ya over here...I needed to read that today.
Great post my friend.

Chelle said...

Oh-so-true, isn't it? I am always suffering from mom guilt...but then I have to remember everything that I do that is right...and that's what is most important.

No matter the choices we make, we are all different in our parenting choices and styles...and just because so and so did it one way doesn't mean you have to do it, too :)

Great post honey!

amanda said...

oh the mom guilt - man does it run thick!

but you are right - we are all perfect in our own way :)

Kelly said...

Thanks for the post, I suffer from lots of mommy guilt. It's hard to be a perfect mom but still have some me time so i don't go crazy. Then I feel guilty that I need me time and dont' want to spend every single second with them. It never ends

MamaJoss said...

What an AWESOME post. There are TOO MANY people out there that say "do this, do that" this is refreshing to read :) I'm also a co-sleeping Momma...that is until Pinkie fell out of the bed on her head yesterday morning -- oooops! Happy Momma's Day!!!

Mon said...

Hi, just found your blog. I just posted soemthing that wasn't directly about perfectionism, but indirectly so.

I want to be a mindful mama - that is, I want to make conscious choices rather than just do what seems easiest. But that is not the same thing as trying to be perfect.

I dislike so many mommy blogegrs and mommy forum users who behave as if their choices and lives are superior because they breastfeed or co-cleep or whatever. Thos things are lterally just things.

Love matetrs above everything, right?

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