Mom to Mom

dear sweet mom who feels like she is failing.
August 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Found this blog online.  A friend shared it on Facebook and it ws so sweet I thought it should be spread here too:

dear sweet mom who feels like she is failing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

You're not.

If you and I were sitting in Starbucks and you had your fave drink and I had my Carmel Macchiato I'd look at you, and I'd tell you the truth - you're not failing.

I know. I'm guessing, you'd wipe away the tears, and look up, and try to nod your head, but inside, inside well, you'd think that those are nice words but seriously she has no idea. You know why I know? Because I've sat in a coffee shop, across from a friend, a friend who looked me smack in the face and told me that I wasn't failing and that I was doing a great job.

I wanted to tell her about the dishes from yesterday sitting on my counter. And how the pile of storybooks wasn't read again. And that I'm a week behind in laundry. And that I got really really irritated at the mixture of 13 toys all dumped in a pile that two days ago was sorted into 13 labeled boxes. I wondered if she knew that some days, some days I get up and just go through the mom motions without even really finding much joy. It felt like drudgery.

How could she tell me I wasn't failing?

Yet, I wasn't. 

Somehow in the mixed up media world we've got these thoughts of moms being perfect. Society doesn't give us a break. I mean read this article in the New York Times about the pressure on moms to look a certain way after they give birth. And then? Then we're to be ultra creative, crafty, humorous, happy, chipper, up before dawn, to sleep after dark, with our sinks shined, and the laundry folded, and tomorrow's breakfast in the crockpot, with tomorrow's dinner - pulled from our once-a-month cooking thawing in the fridge, while we work out for 20 minutes on odd days and 40 minutes on even days, and our hair is always done, we're makeup ready, our fridges are stocked, and the craft closet bursting with ideas for that quick perfect afternoon art project that we'll place on our recycled wood and mod podged adorned hand painted chalkboard.

And, in reality, it's 8am and we're just getting up. The baby was up all night, or the toddler sick, or honestly, we were just tired. We get our coffee and flip on facebook and our stream is flooded with stuff people have already done {I always tell myself -- different time zones} and we're racing to catch up with this never before except for the last hundred years perfect never feel like you're failing mom ideal that is exhausting.

You know what my friend told me? She told me to slow down. Slow down? How in the world when I felt like I was failing was I to slow down? I had way way way too much to do and I needed to read that parenting book to work on my attitude and and and...and. And she told me enough. And that I was a good mom. 

You know, you're not failing.

You need to start to see all you do accomplish in a day. All the smiles of encouragement, meals made, clothes changed, books read, and more. Just like I wrote yesterday - we make mistakes {ten things moms need to remember} - we just need to learn from them. We're out of breath, racing, and exhausted, but truly not failing. Failing means stopping. Not getting up, not trying, not giving. That's not you.

I want you to stop telling yourself you're failing. Instead I want you to replace it with I can do this

You can do this.

Those soundtrack words and feeling about failing are just feelings. Don't let them define you anymore. If you hear I'm failing replace it immediately with I can do this. 

If you were across the table from me that is what I would tell you.

And, of course, I'd tell you  do one thing. I'm going to write and say it again and again and again. Write your list of things you want to do, need to do, and would love to do today with your family. And then, do one thing from each list. If you stumble, brush yourself off, and start again. Don't worry that the neighbor across the street seems to be doing twenty or the pinterest pin tells you that the perfect home can be achieved in 6 Easy Steps. This is your life - and you - you are the perfect mother for those children. God knew when he blessed those kids to you. 

Remember that.

You are a good mom. You matter. You are making a difference.

You can do this. One step, one day, at a time.

From me, one mom in the midst of motherhood, to you.


  • EmmaZate
    August 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM
    Wooo! Praise you for posting this, and praise the woman who wrote this! We all need to hear it!
  • cjsix
    by cjsix
    August 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM

     huggingThanks I needed to hear that...there is so much truth in what you shared here. We all have days and sometimes weeks where for one reason or another we feel like we aren't getting done everything we want to do. Sometimes it is because of sick little ones or sick mommy others we just get sidetracked or busy with things that we didn't a friend who calls and is having a bad day and needs a listening ear. There is a wonderful poem that was shared with me many years ago when my oldest was a baby and it helped me put things into perspective some.

      Song for a Fifth Child

        by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

      Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
      Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
      Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
      Sew on a button and make up a bed.
      Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
      She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

      Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
      (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
      Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
      (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
      The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
      And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
      But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
      Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
      (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

      The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
      For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
      So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
      I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

  • NicholasMama608
    August 29, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    This was on my Facebook on the perfect day.  My mom was over and started talking about how DS needs his hair cut(it does need a trim but that's it) and how it looks SO horrible and I really need to get that done.  I had a sink full of dirty dishes and the dishwasher was full too.  It was 2pm and I still didn't know what I was going to do for dinner.  I have 2 loads of dirty laundry that need to be done.  Living room needs to get vacuumed but the rest of the house is clean.  Toy box was dumped upside down in DS' room and his bed was unmade because he decided to jump on it for the millionth time today and I had to tell him to stop yet again.  He wanted to watch Pinky Dinky Doo(he's 4) which according to my mother is a "baby show" and she told him he needs to grow up and watch big kid shows.  I was out of milk when she came over(I was going to the store I was just going later in the day).  Oh and I still have school supplies to get for DS to start homeschool preschool next Tuesday.  Breakfast was dry Cheerios because DS and I slept late, and I had to go to my friends house at 7am to feed her cats since she's out of town and asked me to do that for her.  Lunch was PB&J with pretzels because I wasn't arguing with DS over eating a leftover hot dog from last nights dinner, or PB&J.  I had my other friends 2 kids come over because I'm babysitting this week for her while she works double shifts(finishing her night summer job but had to start back at the school when public school started on Monday).  And I found out the library DVDs are both overdue.

    So it's been a long stressful day and it's only the middle of the week.  So when I saw this and read it, it was like "OMG this is exactly how I feel today!"

  • mom2gr8tgirls
    August 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM
    I'm blaming pregnancy hormones...but I totally cried when I read this.
  • SlapItHigh
    August 30, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    true story

  • splatz
    by splatz
    August 30, 2012 at 9:36 AM
    Love it!
  • sumannie
    August 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM
    Sooooo true. Thanks so much for that. *claps* i dont know why woman feel,the need to be so perfect in other ppls eyes instead of being perfect for just our selves and our families. We are perfect just the way we are.
  • luvmybug
    August 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    this is awesome!

  • gilbertgrl627
    August 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I really needed to read this today. I have been thinking exactly that (that I'm failing) because I can't seem to keep up with things. It sucks. But to know that I'm not alone in this helps.

  • ilovemykids732
    August 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Thanks, I needed this more than I can explain...

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