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Motherhood is not a competition. There are no ribbons given out, no season finales and no lifelong achievement awards given by third parties. If there were, I am sure that most of us would kick it up a notch and compete with the image of the best.
The problem is that so many seem to treat it as if it is a competition meant to eliminate the weak and give cadence to the image.
The truth is... are you ready?
Motherhood is not perfect. It is a messy, necessary, act of love that is also peppered with confusion, frustration, exhaustion and self doubt. At least mine is. And every other mother I have talked to.
Competitions, by nature, are meant to reward someone for excelling at something above all others. How can you possibly excel one mother over another?
Now, yes. There are moms that are abusive and mean and truly should not be parents. I am not talking about that obvious group.
I am talking about the mom who gets up in the morning, decides that she is last on her list for the day and would give her right arm for her kids to feel loved, safe and secure. We all want our kids to be the best they can be. We all want to set good examples. We all want our kids to be pillars of the community and respectable to others.
We all want what is best.
So when I hear moms and media and the outside world judging me because my kids drink chocolate milk at night or they are not night trained I cringe. I hear it all over too. On television people judge others because they let their kids have too much screen time. Or they tear someone down because they stopped breastfeeding too soon. Breastfed too long. Or didn't breastfeed at all!
There are a lot of ways to raise a child. And no one way is the absolute. If there was a perfect mom, she would have written a book, sold it to Hollywood and created an empire figuring out first what all of us try to conquer on an hourly basis.
It is OK that you stay home with your kids. It is OK that you work. It is OK that you have a nanny, a maid or a mom who takes your kids for you. It is ALL OK!
This is motherhood! And despite the ugly truths, it is a beautiful, special journey that we all get to go on in an attempt to get it right. The sooner we start to realize that the end goal is all the same the sooner that we get to relax and enjoy our children and, in turn, embrace each other and our differences.
Because, in the end, my way does not have to be your way. Even though we are all trying to achieve the same thing.
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