Some women are naturally better at being a mother.
It’s well known that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Regularly evaluating our abilities—through discussion and self-reflection—creates the opportunity for us to learn, grow, and improve.
Unfortunately, it’s become taboo to evaluate one group of people’s skills and abilities: mothers. It’s as if constructive criticism and encouraging personal development are not allowed in the same conversation as anything related to being a mom. Without this key growth tool, most women never take advantage of opportunity to reflect on their maternal performance and make changes that will help them improve.
The truth of the matter is, not many women want to honestly discuss how they are handling motherhood because it’s a sensitive subject for those who are struggling more than they’d like to admit.
I mean, look around: The vast majority of ‘mommy blogs’ on the internet celebrate all of the missteps and fails that a lot of moms typically go through and place these issues on a pedestal. Instead of using them as lessons and opportunities to grow, they focus on convincing others that it is the way that it is and to embrace it.
You’re trying to tell me that perpetually struggling the entire time I’m raising my kids is inevitable? This mama ain't buying into that bullshit and I urge you to do the same. That’s why I’m flipping the script on motherhood—encouraging other moms to self-reflect in order to grow, rise above, and do better.
Don’t get me wrong; there is no shame in struggling. There IS shame, however, in knowing that you are, and not doing a damn thing about it.
Mommin’ is a collection of skills and abilities that you use every day to fulfill your role as a mother. This role requires you to multi-task, manage, supervise, console, clean, budget, cook, schedule, coach, counsel, listen, delegate, discipline, nurture, lift, teach, chauffeur, plan, motivate, love, work, and the list continues. Some women naturally fall into their responsibilities as a mom, while others “struggle with the juggle,” so to speak.
Does that make one mother more valuable than the next? Absolutely not. No person is inherently more valuable than another, regardless of their strengths. It simply makes every mother different, traveling a different journey that is all her own.
If you feel like you’re drowning and can’t keep your head above water tackling all of the responsibilities of being a mom, I want you to take a step back and think about the reasons why. I may not know you, but I do know this:
It’s not because you’re incapable.
It’s not because you’re a bad person.
It’s not because you’re not good enough.
It’s likely because these skills don’t come as easy to you and you don’t have the right mindset. There is good news though! Even if you haven’t fulfilled your position thus far as you would’ve liked to—whether you have a 5-month old or a 5-year old + more—you can start working towards a happier, empowered motherhood experience today because it all starts with you.
The first step is to cut the crap and acknowledge that you are struggling; I’m not talking about in a light-hearted joke during coffee or an Instagram post about your 5-foot-high pile of laundry with the hashtag #momlife.
Stop making excuses why you keep fighting with your partner;
Why the household chores never get done,
Why your children suffer from a lack of discipline,
And why your body is in the worst condition its ever been.
After finally being honest with yourself, you need to write down all of your strengths and weaknesses on a piece of paper. Better yet, you need to get a journal and use this list as the first page of a new perspective and fresh plan. Make no mistake, you cannot compare your list to anyone else’s. Every single woman will do a great job at some things as a mother, and not-so-great at others—remember, not all mothers are created equal.
After you’ve made your list, it’s time to hold yourself accountable. Talk to your partner and get together with fellow moms; lay it all out on the table everything you are having a difficult time with. Openly admitting your weaknesses, instead of hiding them and pretending they don’t bother you, is the only way you will no longer be held back by them. You must also give permission to your loved ones and close friends to tell you like it is when they see that you’re struggling with something. Just as you need involvement from your loved ones to be held accountable, it’s just as important for you to be a positive supporter of other mamas’ journeys as well. Together, great things happen; the same principle applies to personal growth and development, especially as a mom.
If you don’t feel like you have anyone you can openly trust and depend on (I certainly hope you can trust your partner, but that’s for a different blog, different day) to help you climb out of your current position, I want you to reach out to me. Yes, me. I want to hear your stories, your obstacles, your struggles, and your wins. I want you to know that no matter what, you have at least one person here that will encourage you on your journey to be better—even when society is trying to tempt you to be satisfied with less.
It’s about damn time we change the conversation from celebrating our “never-ending problems,” accepting that they are normal, to acknowledging that the struggle does not have to be inevitable. We can be so much more, do so much more, and suffer so much less—we just need to get out of our way and let those who are close to us offer constructive criticism and encouragement when we need it.
Hiding behind humorous posts on social media ends now.
Saying passive-aggressive comments to our partners ends now.
Pretending that we are happy with how everything is going ends now.
You may not be the same mama as the next but your family deserves your best. You may not be as much of a natural as some other women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a badass mom. While it may be your initial reaction, don’t be envious of others doing better than you (right now.) Befriend them. Go out for coffee—or even better, wine—and ask for their guidance and support. I can assure you that they will ask for the same in return in the areas they struggle with. No matter how much a badass mom is killing it, she will always have room for growth and improvement.
The journey to our “best self” is hard, but it never ends; if it did, we might as well be dead.