Motherhood, Fo’ Real

Kids crying
Unhappy Campers

I joke about good enough mothering and chide my friends for feeling guilty for letting their kids watch too much PBS Kids (gasp) or play one too many learning games on the computer (the horrors).

But there is something very real and vulnerable about that guilt. Wondering if I’m doing right by my two children.  If they’ve eaten well, been active enough, slept enough, if they’re polite, and well behaved “good listeners”.  If (and when) others judge me for being too lenient or too controlling it hurts.
  • Do my kids know they’re loved, even when I’m mean and cranky?
  • Do they know I care even when I’m distracted and scattered?
  • Do they know I want them to be themselves and develop their own thinking and passions, even when I chide them for not following the rules?
  • Do they know they’re wanted, even when I’m annoyed and irritated by their whining?  

The answer is:  I don’t know…

Understanding that I am sure to inflict some emotional wounds is hard to fully take in.   So I feel guilty ahead of time, even before I know what precise wounds I’m inflicting.

The good enough mothering bit is good for gaining some perspective and there are many skilled mommy bloggers who use humor and sarcasm to discuss the difficulties and challenges of being a mom.

And I’m adding, for the record, that it is at times heart-wrenching to be with the reality of my imperfections as a mother. Hard to be with the overwhelming desire (and impossible task) to protect and shelter them while exposing them to every opportunity available. I want so badly for them to be happy– the problem is knowing when saying no, or a consequence, or a disappointment is going to lead to their long term potential for happiness.

So while I’ll probably continue to joke, make fun of myself, or dispense advice, there is a part of me that is right there with everyone else feeling guilty about being, well, just too imperfect.

The wise part of me knows that being in touch this vulnerability, tenderness, and confusion is precisely what will allow authentic relationships with my children to develop.  Noticing and being honest about these feelings helps loosens the guilt’s grip on my attention.  Admitting that motherhood is sometimes difficult allows me more space and freedom to act from a place of  kindness–  kindness for me and for them.

xoxo E

**Big hugs and thanks to my friend Jen M. for inspiring this post.

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12 thoughts on “Motherhood, Fo’ Real

  1. Feels good to air it out, right? Thanks for helping me do that on the text lifeline! It’s a necessity to have a parenting comrade to share the nitty gritty with. Great post, my love.

    1. Really great blog! And beautifully written.
      Loved reading it and I look forward to reading more–and getting some advice on writing a blog (smile).
      Best.
      Valerie W.
      (Nandi’s mom)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing. Want my advice? Kick the guilt to the curb… it does not serve you and does not serve the world. I just want to raise productive, happy , engaged citizens….if I do that , than I am ok. They may not be the best or the smartest– they may watch Maury and or BET but do they laugh with YOU , do they talk to YOU, do they share their hopes and dreams with YOU? If so, you are doing way more right than you think.

    1. Thanks for the comment and advice- it’s exactly the type of thing I often tell my friends. And I’m admitting that sometimes the guilt grips me like it does many others. Sometimes I want so badly to do right by them that my heart aches. It helps to remember that they too have their own paths and karma…
      xo
      They are 3 & 4 yrs old so we don’t have deep convos yet. But I do get lots of snuggles and kisses xD

  3. I’m glad you reposted this since I missed it the first time. Wonderful post – and so on point about how it feels sometimes. I’m going to go give my kids hugs and snuggles so they know this cranky Mama loves them even when she’s snippy. :)

  4. Thank you Eloiza! This touched sooooo deeply, still wet-eyed.
    You’re truly a great inspiration and an even greater mom!
    I’m so glad our girls are in class together this year!
    ~Alice
    (Maya’s mom)

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