Tuesday, September 1, 2009

An Ode to a Mom : Good Enough

Over the past week since I started writing this little blog, I have been thinking about being a mom a lot more. As I go about the mundane chores and the daily tasks that make up my life these days, I am living in the moment a bit more, thinking of the little things I would like to write about. As these topics come into my mind I so often think to myself being a mom is nothing like I thought it would be. That the days are made up of little stolen moments as much as they are of diaper changes and snacks and cries and laughs. That while I am not that mom I thought I would be, that the reality is something different but just as good.

It always brings to mind all the women who have told me over the years that they are not sure they would be a good mother. I wish I could go back to these moments and tell them that I have learned there is no such thing as a "good mother". There is only a mother and that they will be really good at it some days, but really bad at it too.

Yesterday morning I thought about all of this because of one friend who confided her fears to me at my baby shower; how she knew that her soon to be husband would be a wonderful father but she wasn't so sure about herself as a mother. But yesterday morning this same friend welcomed her own baby girl. At home in her bed with her husband by her side she pushed and labored and ushered her child into this world. I had thought of natural labor myself, in the same way that I think I will only have one thin mint, but can't really fathom the strength and love it takes to do that. Already she is one amazing mom.

We are far from her now and I wish I could be there, if only to be there when that moment eventually comes. You know that moment moms, when the magic seems to break and nothing seems to work and you look down at this squalling child and think "Oh my god, what have I done". You need a mom friend at the moment to tell you that they know how hard it is and it will pass and you are such a great mom and everyone thinks these things and if they don't well they must be some kind of bionic robot. That you are such a good mother! Forgot the "breastfeeding support" kits when you leave the hospital, they should hand out a card with all of that written on it instead.

Yeah, there are bad moms out there; hell I am one of them some days. And there are women who are not meant to be a parent. But none of them are the ones who have confided in me that they couldn't do it, that they wouldn't be a good mother. Because they can and if they do, I hope I can be there to remind them of how wonderful they really are.

So while this was meant to be an ode to one lovely new mom, it is really an ode to myself and to all the other mothers out there. In case you need to hear it, yes you are a good mother, you really are.


  1. The best piece of advice you've ever given me on motherhood is this:

    YOU are the best parent for your child.

    It's the only advice I hand out uninvited. That, and buy a Munchkin Snack Catcher. Best. Invention. Ever.

  2. Thanks - this was what I needed today after forgetting to pick up my kid from school. :(

    I work full time outside the home, and my work is my passion. I love my kids, but I often feel I am not there for them enough. I'm sure they often feel that way too. I know my little one felt that way while standing in front of his school today. But I've made my choices and I know what I need...and I know my kids do NOT need a depressed and angry mother who feels like a big chunk of her life is missing - which is how I felt when I briefly tried to stay at home. Yet these bad mom moments come along, and it just feels awful. I just don't know what the answer is, if there even is one.

    Enjoying the blog - hope to read more from you.