“I’m the good mom.”
“No, I’m the good mom.”
“Take it back!”
“Never! You’ll never be as good as me!!!”
Imagine two moms duking it out over their workplace and household achievements. Demanding that, because of one of their children’s achievements, they must be better than the other. Grappling at every tangible piece of evidence to be the good mom. Mud slinging and hair grabbing. However, one sees right through the charade (mind you, with her judgment glasses on) and keeps fighting the “Good Mom” fight.
Aren’t there always three sides to every story: her side, your side, and the truth? Where lies the truth, then?
Ever had a scenario play out exactly like this? Just like children taunting each other to have the best of the best and prove their place? I doubt the majority has, but we probably have had a conversation with more disguised words, even if only in our minds. Thinking up a situation and leaving ourselves tormented over our place as a Mother.
Mom 1: “Joseph got into the school we applied for! I am so excited. This is something we hoped for and just knew would happen. It’s going to be so great for our future. He has worked so hard!”
Mom 2: “Nice! My Lucy wanted to be in at the beginning of summer as early enrollment. She also received a scholarship.”
Mom 1: “Oh…well that’s nice.”
Mom 2: “Yes, it is!”
See what happened? Lack of rejoicing with one another has led to hurt feelings. But why? This still can’t be the truth. Wrapped up in another mom’s response we most likely will be let down.
Defeated, we take our toys and go home. Behind that closed door, we look to our kids for the “good mom” status. You may be thinking right now, “No, I can’t do that! They are harsher critics than anyone!” Hear me out. I’m not saying look at them picking a booger and eating it while going down the slide backwards. Most certainly don’t look for “Good Mom” to be written all over their face when they’re facing the Principal, again, with a possible suspension from school. What I’m suggesting is that we look to our children and inward for the “enough.”
Is enough in the things we do that others see? Is the enough in going to bed dog-tired, having worked our fingers to the bone? Is it enough to wrap their lives up in pretty little bows like a gift to be received by society?
Close, but I still think we are a bit off…we can extra-curricular activity the fun right out of our kids’ lives. We can also under-stimulate our kids. Messy windows don’t make you a good mom just as clean windows don’t make you a bad mom. Your child getting into the gifted program doesn’t make you a good mom. Your child not being able to read in first grade doesn’t make you a bad mom. Having a perfectly put together outfit for each child doesn’t make you an uptight bad mom. Letting your child pick their clothes doesn’t make you a good mom.
Now, where’s the line? Well, it is where we draw it.
What matters in this quest for feeling enough? Poll the audience. Most likely our kids don’t really care whether the windows are clean and they don’t mind if they are looked over for the gifted program. We show them the way in the words we use, in the ways our hands are used to uplift and encourage, in the time we spend with them.
Neatness and tidiness can bring about joyful order, however window cleaning can wait so that you can bake a cake together. Your studies are important, but don’t compare your achievements to another. Do your best. “You are enough, child.”
Momma, your best is enough for them. When you feel enough, then so do the ones you are raising up.
Urso Photography can capture the “Enough” of being a Momma in photograph and video. Let her surprise you by asking your kids, “What do you love about your Mom?” Their answers will surprise. Visit her studio in Chattanooga for your custom session.