I’ve noticed a weird trend and I’m not sure if it’s a recent thing or not…
But somewhere there seems to be this idea that we are supposed to look back on every memory of parenthood and miss them… we’re supposed to love the tough moments and the hard days because that’s what good mothers do. Even if, on the rare occasion we’re not loving this particular moment right now, we’ll look back and treasure these precious moments of motherhood. We’ll miss these moments… even the tough ones.
And maybe you will.
But it’s okay if you don’t.
You don’t have to love the 5AM wake up call now, and you don’t have to love it later either.
You don’t have to love pregnancy.
You don’t have to love breastfeeding.
You don’t have to love the Target tantrum or the days you felt like you were stuck in an endless loop between the dishwasher and the washing machine.
You might look back on some days of life with kids and shudder.
You can love your kids without adoring every single habit and quality.
You can love motherhood without relishing every single minute.
But maybe you do, maybe you cry on the first day of kindergarten and miss the midnight breastfeeding snuggles and that’s okay too. How sentimental you are about these moments, or which moments you do or don’t enjoy about motherhood does not determine how “good” of a mother you are.
There are many aspects to the “mommy wars” but I think that the most upsetting part isn’t parenting styles it’s the HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE IT competition.
I loved being pregnant and I have encouraged moms to find the joy in it… but I understand why it’s not for everyone. If pregnancy isn’t your favorite season of parenting you’re not doomed from the start. I had a miserable time breastfeeding my second and a wonderful time breastfeeding my third but I don’t love them differently as a result. Sometimes raising children can just be difficult. Not “difficult but…” Just difficult.
We accept that we don’t have to love every single part of our lives… why do we set the expectation on ourselves and others to love every single part of parenting?
So, for the moms who don’t love everything I say this:
For better or worse our crappy days are just that. They’re crappy days. You don’t have to love them, you just have to get through them. And if you’re making it through and doing your best (whatever your best is under the circumstances)… I think that’s good mom enough.