How I Learned To Stop Mom Shaming Myself

April 23, 2015 April McCormick 1 Comments

Since the day I found out I was pregnant I started second guessing my abilities to be a good parent. I bought book after book on best parenting practices. I asked a ridiculous amount of questions of been-there-done-that parents, and followed them around studying their every move.  
I was determined to be the best damn mother. 

The only thing I learned from hours of reading was that every author, parent, doctor and specialist contradicted the other. My mom following mission taught me that EVERY child is different from the next, so if something worked for one kid, it may not on the next.

Once I became a parent, it didn't take long to realize that parenting was going to be one hell of a journey, strangers judge, Moms shame, and somewhere in the middle, you figure it out.


When FTD and I brought Ollie home from the hospital we were not only clueless new parents, but terrified. The first few days home, FTD and took turns staring at our newborn while he slept, to make sure he kept breathing.

Slowly, but surely, we got the hang of being first time parents. Of course, we still trolled the Internet looking for vindication of our parenting ideas and methods.

We needed some sort of virtual ass tap letting us know that we were good parents. 

I eventually learned that my driving need to be vindicated for being an awesome parent was directly related to my overflowing love for my son. I felt, in some deranged way, that being the perfect parent was directly correlated with how much I loved my son. I have never in my life known a love like I have for my son. He is my world, and I want the world to know that.

Surely, winning 'Parent of the Year', would prove that! 

Wrong.

I don't need to prove my love!  I don't need to be the perfect parent to prove to the world I love my son.

I love my son. Full Stop.

Not being the perfect parent doesn't change that. 

Three years into parenting, I am so far from perfect, but dammit, I've got it down. Once I removed the unnecessary pressure to be the perfect mom, I started enjoying being a mom. I accepted my failures as learning lessons. I learned to take it one day at a time and forgive myself when I fell short on patience.

I've learned to have faith in myself and my abilities as a parent, and above all, follow my heart and trust my instincts.

I've learned to put my dreams of being the perfect parent aside, and just take it one day at a time. Some days, I have outstanding parenting days. Some days, are filled with fails. But in the end, it's the sum of all the days that matter.

Now that I have stopped setting myself up for parenting failure with lofty goals of perfection, life is easier. Parenting is more fun.

Parenting is super hard, so why make it harder on myself? Why set unattainable goals?  Why add so much unnecessary pressure? I've finally learned that, Perfection should not be a word in my vocabulary. 

The key is to enjoy the parenting ride and not mom shame myself. I have to accept the fails, learn from mistakes, trust myself and let the sum of the days add up to the beauty that is being a parent. 

1 comments:

Blog Archive