The sky was barely light, and already I had woken up two sleepyheads, coaxed them through eating some breakfast, made sure they’ve got their clothes on the right way and finished the school runs. No time for coffee or primping my sleep-deprived face. I suppose I should be thankful I remembered to breathe!
And then, I saw it. That calendar on the wall that told me that today was Friday, not Thursday. Which meant that my son was wearing his PE kit when he had no PE lesson in school today, and that he had no crayons in his bag for art class. All because I told him today was Thursday when he innocently asked. And the mummy guilt wells up.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Maybe you’ve been there, done that. You’ve felt horrible about the ways you feel like you failed your kid.
But dear mum, I’m here to tell you that you are doing a good job. Here’s why.
#1 You know that motherhood is hard
This is obvious, you might say. But the fact that you recognise the responsibilities and weight of being a mum already speaks volumes. To you, motherhood is not just about keeping your children alive for another day or filling their tummies with food. You see the need to encourage, to affirm, to discipline, to direct. In short, you care enough for your child to worry about doing a “good job”.
Did you know that it didn’t matter to your kids that you forgot to give them something for school or picked them up late today? They’re just over the moon that you care. Even if they throw a massive tantrum while showing it. Late or not, you made it. You cared.
#2 You choose to keep trying
Motherhood IS hard. Whether you’ve got one kid or two, babies or teenagers, being a mum is probably one of the hardest things you have ever done. The job is often thankless and tiring, plus it feels like you’re on duty 24/7, even if your kids go to school. And the job never really ends, even when your kids are all grown up with families of their own – ask any grandmother and they’ll tell you that!
And mummy guilt is real too. From the little things, like forgetting to give them recess money for the day, to the bigger deals like losing them at the shopping mall while you were browsing the sales section.
And yet, dear mum, you never give up. You pick yourself up from the floor, wipe up the spilt milk and your tears, and live to fight another day.
#3 You are an amazing multi-tasker
CEO, taxi driver, cheerleaders, housekeeper, teacher. The list goes on. You might not feel like Superwoman most days, but did you know that you hold down most of these 52 job titles on any given day?
You juggle all of the above jobs. Not just today, but every day. You’re doing a phenomenal job at this motherhood gig, and don’t you doubt it. So if your colleagues ever comment that being a mum must be so much easier than coming to work, just show them that list above and see how they respond.
#4 You know the importance of personal time with your child
It can be hard to make time for our kids to do all the things we want to do with them. You might berate yourself for having to miss out on various performances and outings because of lack of time or money or energy.
But no matter how busy your day might be, you always make time to talk to your child or do something together. It could be just a simple meal at the dinner table, or helping him with his homework, or even combing her wet hair after her bath. Know that it’s the little moments like these that matter so much to your child, and that count much more than you might imagine.
#5 You know that you’re not perfect
Because no mum or person really is. There’s no such thing as a “perfect mum”, only glossy interviews in magazines and selective snapshots on social media. You know what’s really going on behind the scenes, because chances are you’ve done it yourself before, so don’t let those picture-perfect images fool you into believing that other mums have got it all together.
Milk spills. Crayon scribbles. Torn books. Crumbs on the floor. Decapitated toys. Homework struggles. Drippy noses. Tangled hair. It’s all part and parcel of motherhood, and mothers, too, are human.
So expect to get mad, disappointed and overwhelmed at times, and know that it’s all quite normal behavior really. No mum is perfect, but the beauty of motherhood is in grappling with these emotions, coping with you and your child’s mistakes and failures, and rising to your feet again to face a new day.
By Dorothea Chow
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