The following snippets are actual lines I've heard other mothers say:
- I don't let my daughter watch TV, I'm a mean Mommy.
- I'm not crafty at all - my poor child will have no idea how to be creative.
- My son is so unhappy with me because I'm so tired by the time I get home, I don't want to play trucks with him.
- We don't really decorate or make a big deal out of the holidays - I'm like the worst Mommy ever.
- I have no idea how you have time for planning parties like that - your kids are so lucky; mine are stuck with me for a Mother.
What's the monologue inside your head sound like? Positive or Bad Mommy negative?
To all those women who have said those phrases to me, I've usually pulled them aside and told them three wonderful things about who they are as a person (not just as a Mom). Because we are not bad Mommies - we are tired sometimes and sometimes we burn dinner, we feel pressure to keep up with those other Moms in our social circles, and we feel horribly stressed when we can't maintain a work/life balance.
But we are human. And we are not perfect. And we are all wonderful in our own way.
So, I am challenging you to change your own inner Mommy-logue and make it a more positive dialogue. Because, if you are going to talk to yourself, at least you should enjoy the conversation. Here are my tips for staying positive:
- So what if that other Mother can do something better than you can? Make a list of at least five things that you are amazing at. Repeat it to yourself as necessary.
- Make up an insane/silly family tradition and celebrate it. Fun traditions are the ones that make the best memories.
- If you aren't good at something, either learn how to do it better or expand your network. For example: I'm a miserable camper, but that's why the world invented the Boy Scouts.
- Recognize that you are human. We all get tired, cranky or grumpy from time to time. You want your child to know that you are not perfect and it is OK.
- Remember that your child loves you because you are his/her Mom. And no one is going to replace you in their heart.
Tell me how you are going to replace your "I'm a bad Mommy" thoughts with "happy Mom" thoughts in the comments.