Being a business owner takes a lot of hard work and is extremely challenging. There’s a pace in life business owners have that keeps them going and going to reach those goals. It’s exhausting. BUT…
Nothing in life is more challenging and requires more hard work, motivation, or patience as MOTHERHOOD. IYKYK.
Being a mom is a lot of work! You have to change diapers, give baths, do laundry, pack lunches, cook dinner, help with homework, wash baby bottles, breastfeed or pump, stick to sleep/feeding schedules, discipline, do chores, make the kids do chores, do after school activities, sports, gymnastics, piano lessons, etc. – you name it. What don’t moms do?
All of that is OVERWHELMING – and it is very easy to feel defeated as a mother. Sometimes…you feel like you’re failing. #parentingfail…am I right?
But today, you don’t have to feel defeated. You don’t have to ever let yourself feel like a failure. You can feel and know that you’re good enough. Vic Bowling, from bitofselfcare.com, is guest blogging today about how to accept that YOU ARE A GOOD ENOUGH MOM. Let’s read what she has to say…
7 Steps to Accepting That You Are a ‘Good Enough’ Mom
Wouldn’t you agree that sometimes being a mom feels like being a super-hero?
We are expected to know the answer to everything there is to know; remain calm under pressure; know all the nursery rhymes by heart; be artistic enough to draw anything there is to draw and do voices of all the animals better than the animals themselves.
But the thing is that those same moms get by on 5 hours of sleep or less, have a to-do list longer than Route 66 and try to make sure everyone is happy and content.
But wouldn’t you also agree that sometimes we, moms, are the ones expecting too much from ourselves? We pile things on, try supporting other members of the family while juggling full-time jobs or other commitments. And we do it all with a smile, saying: “I’ve got this!”
It is obviously a lie. But we would not admit it. Ever.
What do we do instead? We start blaming ourselves that we are not good enough when one tiny thing does not go according to plan.
And then we send ourselves on a guilt trip by imagining what a perfect mom looks like:
She always looks pristine, while keeping a high-flying corporate job and a super successful side hustle. She has a bunch of tidy and well-behaved kids, and her house is always clean and clutter-free.
And we start despairing. Because we are not even close to that picture of idyllic motherhood that we have in our head. We keep on thinking that we are ‘not good enough’ and we ‘should be able to do better’.
The more we do – the more inadequate and not good enough we feel. It’s a slippery slope, I am afraid. Because our brain will support whatever our attention is at. If we think we are not good enough – we will always find proof supporting our claim! Psychologists call it confirmation bias:
So how do you help yourself and admit that you are more than good enough?
I’ve chosen 7 tips that I have personally tried out. Let’s go through them one by one.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
No two snowflakes are identical.
And we all are unique. Comparing yourself to others means that you think you are identical to that person in some way. Which is not true.
You can only really compare yourself to yourself from the past.
Even then it’s not the best use of your time because you might only remember the positive things about your past actions, forgetting all the hoops and loops you had to jump through.
Write Down What You Are Not Good Enough About
Writing down your ‘imperfections’ will help you to see where you are going wrong.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- In what way am I not good enough?
- Why is it important to be good enough in this particular instance?
- What do I need to do better and why?
When I did this exercise, I jotted down things like: I don’t cook enough from scratch, my hair is a mess, my skin feels dry, cannot do anything about my baby crying a lot, especially at nights.
As you can see that some of my points are rather trivial: so what that my hair is a mess? So what if our lunches and dinners consist of ready-mades and chocolate brownies? I’ve just had a baby!
And that’s exactly what I told myself: you’ve just had a baby, be gentle with yourself. And it helped!
Also, this exercise showed me that I needed to change my skincare routine and prioritise “me time”. And that was a very positive and useful outcome indeed.
There Is No Such Thing as Perfection
Perfectionism does not exist. You know it, I know it. But as new moms, we try being as good as the Instagram influencer who always looks fantastic no matter what she’s going through.
Then there are films, books, other moms that we think have it all figured out. We try to be as perfect as we can but fail because:
- There will always be someone better – according to our today’s view of the world. Tomorrow it will be something else.
- We don’t know the real story behind those beautiful pictures and smiling faces. What we think of as ‘having it all’ might be a well designed and staged film set.
- The grass is always greener on the other side.
Remember that sign on the bar wall? – “Free beer tomorrow.”
It’s always there and it’s always tomorrow because tomorrow never comes. So just accept it that there will always be someone looking or doing something better than you. But it does not mean anything. At all.
Release the Valve of External and Internal Pressure
We, moms, are susceptible to what other people say. This is because we are not always thinking straight: our hormones are all over the place, we haven’t slept properly in years and we have too many things on our mind.
So it’s not surprising that when someone says – “Why aren’t you doing this?” Or “Why can’t your kid do that?” – you might feel like crying or shouting that they should mind their own business.
What you ought to be doing is this: pause – smile – reply: ‘Thank you for your opinion, I’ll think about it.’ And then think about it. Or forget about it.
Decide What Is Important to You at This Moment in Time
I have a confession to make: my house is never ever super-clean. Apart from maybe, Christmas time.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dirty or anything. It’s just not spotless. I might have a few places I have not dusted in a while, a few windows I have not cleaned like forever. There might be books and toys scattered around the floor at all times.
But I have learnt to accept it. I can live with it, my husband can live with it. Even my mother-in-law doesn’t say anything when visiting us. And believe me – she is not the one to keep her opinions to herself!
So how did I stop getting obsessed about it and why am I ok with it?
So one day, when my little one was napping, I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown because I tried to do it all and failed miserably. I decided to use the Time Management Matrix to figure out what I am stressing out about and what is important at this point in my life.
It helped me to realise that many things on my to-do list that I thought were urgent and important – were not that important at all when I saw them as part of ‘an urgent/not urgent’ quadrant.
It helped me to breathe again. I would highly recommend it to anyone who cannot figure out how to prioritise tasks.
Speak to Other Moms
If you think you are the only one thinking you are not good enough and suffering from general mom’s guilt – speak to other moms. See what they are struggling with.
It will help you to realise that even the most perfect looking mama has some part of her life where she feels she’s not good enough.
Look Into Your Child’s Eyes
That’s the best “I am not good enough” test detector there is.
It might sound silly, but try sitting your child down and looking into his or her eyes.
And tell me if you see the following:
- Can you see expectations?
- Can you see evaluation?
- How about a comparison?
- Or maybe you see reproach, disdain or any other negative emotions?
If you do – then it’s probably a mirror that you are looking into.
The look that you will most definitely see in your child’s eyes is the one of pure love, adoration and devotion.
They don’t care if we are messy, tidy, good cooks or not, perfect hair, nails, clothes. All they want is for us to play with them and be happy, sing songs and perform silly dancing routines to an imaginary sound of music.
So there it is, ladies. Nothing new or ground-breaking, isn’t it?
But the trick is to remember to go easy on yourself, especially after you’ve just had a baby.
There is no cleanliness police.
There are no goblins that might be released if you don’t do what other people say.
And most importantly, there are no first prizes or medals given out for looking like a Glamour model at all times.
Remember to accept yourself every single day for what you are – just you. And it’s more than enough because you are one of a kind – just like a snowflake.
About the Author
Vic Bowling is a freelance writer for hire, dreamer and self-motivation aficionado. From a project management background, Vic is passionate about telling stories that ignite imagination and help to achieve goals. If she’s not busy working on a new article or navigating through social media intricacies, she enjoys spending her time practicing yoga with her toddler trying to clamber over her. Visit Vic’s personal blog bitofselfcare.com or connect on Instagram.
You are a good enough mom – you are more than good enough, you are amazing. Vic’s steps are great for truly starting to give yourself the credit you deserve as a mother.
Don’t let the overwhelm of motherhood (or business!) keep you from feeling good enough – and take the steps necessary to realize that despite all your imperfections, you are the perfect mom to your little ones.