We live in a time where there is so much pressure for mothers to be perfect, do all of the right things, and provide an absolutely perfect childhood experience for their children. The idea of being able to balance both being a great employee and a great parent seems almost unreachable for most. This heavy feeling of Mom Guilt hangs over us. It’s hard not to watch other parents get involved in school events, be able to eat a meal at a restaurant without their children spilling a drink everywhere, or shop peacefully while their perfectly behaved child follows along obediently. So how do we, as moms, know if we are doing enough?
How Are We Doing?
I think it’s safe to say that all parents, especially new parents, want to know how they are doing. In so many aspects of life, there are benchmarks for success. Your child’s pediatrician will offer guidelines for when children should reach certain developmental milestones. However, there are no parenting milestones offered. We should be told that by the time your child is five years old, you will have cleaned peanut butter out of the carpet not once, but at least twice. Or that it is a right of passage as a parent to drop your cell phone on your sleeping baby at least once while trying to use your camera to see if they are still awake. These moments do not reflect perfection, but they do reflect reality.
Social Media as an Influence
First of all, stop comparing yourself to those seemingly perfect moms on Facebook and Instagram. While yes, you can get some good lunch box ideas, you can also find yourself going down the rabbit hole of parenting envy. Let’s be real here – these moms are only showing you what they want you to see. Their posts portray a pre-designed environment that often makes it look like parenting their five children while homeschooling, and cooking sugar/fat/gluten/nut free foods for them is the easiest thing they could ever do. This “snapshot” is not reality. We know this deep down.
We know that every parent has moments (some of us frequently) of frustration, exhaustion, and the desire to move to a tropical island and live out our lives as a tanned beach bartender at a tiki resort (ok maybe that’s just me!). I love to follow the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the moms that keep it real. They take the reality of parenting and find the humor in it. Those are my kind of moms. The ones that know that they aren’t perfect, but also know that their children think they are anyway.
Send the Right Message
When we compare ourselves to others, our children notice. To them, we are enough. If we show them that we are constantly doubting ourselves and feeling envious of others, we are not showing them how to be confident and self assured people.
Say Goodbye to Mom Guilt
Instead of looking at what you are not doing, take a step back and look at all of the things you are doing for your children. When I took a moment to do this myself, I discovered that I do as many things as other moms, we all just do things differently. We do what works best for our own families, and that is okay. What is most important is that children feel loved, feel safe, feel empowered, and are taught to be kind and compassionate people. Always remember that you are enough.
Know that it’s okay to ask for help. Life gets busy and everyone could use a helping hand. If you are interested in a Household Manager or Nanny, Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny wants to support you. Or, if you are just looking to relate with real moms, check out our #MomTruthMonday posts every Monday morning on Instagram and Facebook. It helps to know that we’re all in this together.
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.