My oldest turns 5 tomorrow.
While the day is all about him, I can’t help but look back at myself from 5 years ago. The day I became a mom.
I was a completely different person.
I was a new mom who was already stressed out that I was getting it all wrong.
Don’t we all feel that way at times though.
Like just have to get it perfect. There has to be a right and wrong way to be a mom.
But here’s the thing. We learn through experiencing life. We learn by doing and changing and growing.
And, yes, we learn from making mistakes.
So maybe you feel like you are getting it all wrong as a mom, and it is stressing you out.
If that is the case, I hope today you are encouraged by these simple truths to be the best mom YOU can be TODAY.
Here are things to remember when mom life is stressful.
1. Everything in life is a season.
Sometimes you just have to get through the season instead of trying to fix it.
That’s a hard concept to embrace because when you are in the middle of the season it can feel like it will never end.
- The newborn stage when you are surviving off of very little sleep.
- The toddler stage when you are constantly chasing after a child who automatically is attracted to dangerous situations.
The season can feel like too much and like you are never going to get out of it.
I felt this way when my son was going through a difficult phase and I was talking to 2 friends about it. One friend was telling me everything that I was doing wrong and offering all kinds of “advice” to fix the situation.
The other friend simply said, “It’s a phase. It will end. Don’t push it.”
The later friend was right! She was also much more encouraging. That day she helped me realize that I don’t have to stress and fix everything.
As a mom, that’s an important lesson to learn. What seems difficult to handle will be over soon.
2. Comparing is never a good idea.
I’m all about learning from other moms and even women who aren’t moms that have great ideas to share.
I mean, that’s what my blog is about, right? I share ideas to encourage and help!
However, I hope you never compare yourself to me.
I don’t have all the answers. I’m still learning and growing and changing. And so is everyone else that you are tempted to compare yourself to.
You will always be able to find someone who is better than you in a certain area and someone who is worse. Comparison only leads to feelings of inadequacy or pride.
The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday.
When my son was about to turn 3, I overheard a couple of mom friends talking to each other about their 2 year olds who could sing the alphabet, count to 20, and were learning the names and values of coins!
For a split second, I started comparing.
“My son who is almost a year older knows his colors and shapes and can count to 5. Most of the time. I must be a bad mom. I’m not doing enough.”
BUT then I stopped and told myself the truth.
- I’m not those moms.
- Those boys are not my son.
- Our personalities and abilities are unique.
- There is no point in trying to catch up to what they are doing.
Instead, I focused on teaching my son when I could and allowing him to learn at HIS own pace.
3. Good enough is better than perfection.
I grew up thinking I had to do more and be more. And if I wasn’t perfect, than something was wrong with me.
I lived in fear of what other people thought of me and being a mom made perfectionism even harder. Because as a mom, it wasn’t just me who had to keep up appearances it was my child who had to be perfect and do things the right way!
Well, I quickly learned that running after perfection is a never ending job. It will wear. you. out.
Instead, motherhood has taught me to be okay with “good enough”.
I’m not saying be lazy or not do your best. But most of the time, nothing really has to be perfect. Instead good enough is usually, well…… good enough!
Here’s a really simple example.
The first time I put up the baby car window shades 5 years ago, I spent way too long trying to get out every wrinkle.
It is virtually impossible to get out every wrinkle, but I was determined that it had to be perfect incase “so-and-so” saw it and criticized me.
Well, just last week I put the shades up and didn’t think twice about getting all the wrinkles out. Because good enough is good enough!
Read more about how perfection may be holding you back.
4. No one has all the answers.
Do you ever feel like everyone else knows it all and is doing motherhood better than you?
I’ve got a secret for you….Your mom, mother-in-law, and best friend feel the same way. Even if they don’t say it.
When you are a mom, you get all kinds of advice, and some of it is good, but the majority of it can be forgotten about. As you grow and change and learn about your children, you will know what is best for you and your family.
It’s so easy to get caught up researching mom stuff on Google, reading blogs, listening to Granny’s advice. You name it!
But the best place that I find clarity as a mom is when I take my questions to God and ask for wisdom. (James 1:5)
He alone knows you and your children better than even you do. I cling to the promise that when we ask God for wisdom, He gives it to us.
Isn’t that a comforting thought as a mom. We don’t have to have it all figured out. We just need to ask God for help.