Okay, this is not a curse. I repeat, this is not a curse. It’s totally a blessing, but. . .it is A LOT to live up to. I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about what we do for our kid’s birthdays and holidays. We felt at different times like we weren’t doing enough. She has two kids and I have five. When I had only two, I remember freaking out on Christmas Eve every year because I thought back to my own Christmases. There was only me and my sister, but my mom looked like she robbed Toys ‘R Us. It’s not just in my imagination memory, I have pictures to prove it. I think we had every Barbie of the 80’s in our playroom.
I was comparing myself to my mom and never thought I could measure up. I was a stay-at-home mom and was crabby/frustrated/unfulfilled in my mid-twenties. I voiced my insecurities about how she was always nice and I felt like I was always mean. She said, “It’s because I wasn’t always with you.” She was and is a successful business woman who I’d put on a pedestal years 1-12 and 20-30 something. From 12-20, I did still think she was amazing at times, but you know teenagers. I don’t do it anymore because it doesn’t serve me, her, or my kids. You get mad at people more often when you put them on a pedestal because then they can’t be human.
I remember the “good mom” looked like my mom, who lavished us with cool stuff, vacations, and love. I knew she was a smarty pants, but I also compared myself to the stay-at-home moms I knew in my twenties. I thought I could never keep up or reach that status. I couldn’t financially afford it. It seemed like people were always taking their kids to a museum, doing a cool class, or whatever and I doubted if I was cut out to be a mom. I also wasn’t as crafty, clever, or patient for some of what went along with my idea of all that. I was just trudging through at times. I never doubted I had enough love, just seemed to lack some of the patience, organization, and momish skills some had. I thought this “good mom” shouldn’t have tattoos, curse, be angry EVER, have sex appeal, and she should look like a modern day Donna Reed, only in khakis. I laugh at some of my silly notions now.
Every generation has strived to be more in some way than her mom was, usually in the way of career, success, or even the home you live in and we’ve all had more opportunities than those women who came before us. I mean, really if you had a crappy mom, it’s easy to do better than she did. If she wasn’t able to afford to do certain things that you wanted, maybe you can easily strive to give more to your kids. But what if you had the nicest, most giving mom, who spoiled you with love AND stuff? What do you do then?
You be the best version of YOU that you can. Comparing yourself to your mom or the “good moms” in the neighborhood isn’t good for your kids. Teach them by your example. Instead of trying to play the role of the “perfect” mom, give them a juicy version of a person. They don’t want a one-dimensional ideal. Love yourself. You’re good enough.