Every mother (or father) thinks she knows best on how to parent her own children. Yet the shelves at bookstores are filled with books on how to get children to sleep, have proper nutrition, which way to parent, how and when to potty train, whether or not to vaccinate, and so on. I should know because I own half of them. I seriously should have taken out stock in Amazon.com when I became a mommy. I read and read and read and I still make plenty of mistakes. I have an ideal picture in my head of the kind of mother I should be, how my household should run, and how, just because I read something, I should be able to execute it immediately and flawlessly. I am learning more and more each day that mothering takes an enormous amount of practice, patience, and perseverance. I have many days where I feel I exemplify what a “good mommy” should be and days that I’m just trying to survive. For example:
I bought, washed, cut, and stored several organic fruits for my toddler son to snack on throughout the week. I am a good mommy.
I bought him a chocolate frosted donut for breakfast as we rushed to a class after having overslept. I am a bad mommy.
I prepared several new activity bins for sensory exploration. I am a good mommy.
I let Thomas the Tank Engine babysit for much longer than I should have. I am a bad mommy.
I let my son make a mess for learning’s sake. I am a good mommy.
I have let my son stay in the same soaking wet diaper for several hours to avoid arguing with him. I am a bad mommy.
I breastfed my almost three year old through pregnancy and now tandem nurse with his sister because he wasn’t ready to wean. I am a good mommy.
I have had the urge to run out of the room screaming, “Get off of me already!” when he’s nursing (though I never would). I am a bad mommy.
I take my kids to gymnastics, music, swimming, the library, playdates, and the playground. I am a good mommy.
I have crammed so much into a day sometimes that I don’t get to read my children a book. I am a bad mommy.
I take my son on nature walks (weather permitting). I am a good mommy.
I let him eat lunch in front of the tv. I am a bad mommy.
I support his decision to rename himself “Poophead.” I am a good mommy.
I once let him go for about five days without a bath. I am a bad mommy.
I wore my son in a carrier (that wouldn’t cause hip dysplasia) until he’d no longer let me and now I wear my baby daughter. I am a good mommy.
I occasionally forget to physically reconnect with my son and try to make up for it by showering him with multiple hugs and kisses until he pushes me off. I am a bad mommy.
I let him wear his Superman costume out in public whenever he feels the need. I am a good mommy.
I have left the house without his jacket and/or shoes. I am a bad mommy.
I attend to the needs of my children as quickly as possible and never let them cry. I am a good mommy.
I give in to my Words with Friends addiction with one hand and rub their backs with the other when they wake during the night. I am a bad mommy.
I share my bedroom with my children. I am a good mommy.
I have been willing to sell my children for a decent night’s sleep. I am a bad mommy.
I love, nurture, feed, clothe, bathe, play with, laugh with, teach, praise, and adore my children. I am a pretty darn good mommy.