Monday, February 2, 2015

On Being "Real"

Lately I've seen so many articles and posts telling me how I can be a "real" mom, but most of these guides contradict one another.

You're not a REAL mom if your house is messy.
You're not a REAL mom if you can't live with a little clutter.
You're not a REAL mom if your kids go to daycare in their PJs.
You're not a REAL mom if you spend sweet, sacred time choosing outfits.
You're not a REAL mom if you hit the drive-through and load your kid with fries.
You're not a REAL mom if you don't relax and treat them every now and then.
You're not a REAL mom if you don't encourage healthy habits early.
You're not a REAL mom if you don't teach them to take pride in imperfections.

I beat myself up about plenty of parenting decisions. I often struggle with knowing whether I'm doing enough for my children and whether I'm a worthy charge for these three little lives; however, I do not struggle with what it means to be real. No matter which way the pendulum swings on the topic du jour, I know for a fact that I am a real mom. No quotations needed. Want to know my tried and true method for achieving this coveted title? It's super easy and involves only two little steps. Are you ready for this?

STEP ONE: Create {and/or adopt} a child.
STEP TWO: Love your child.

What, that's all? Yeah. That's all. There's no set of rules that make you more "real" than the next mom. Methods of cleaning, teaching, feeding, and raising in general are not the factors that make you real. It's the love. No matter how you get from STEP ONE to 18+ years down the road, as long as STEP TWO is in there, you're real. I don't care if you do things differently than me. It doesn't amount to a hill of beans if you breastfed your babies, home-school your kids, or do laundry standing on your head. Different does not mean wrong. There are millions of ways to get there, and the road every mom takes is the right one for her. The options you choose along the journey are not what make you real, it's the journey itself.

Parenting is hard enough without adhering to a standard. Don't we have enough rules in all other areas of life? Shouldn't we be able to do what we think is right without worrying if it's acceptable to someone else? Easy fix: stop worrying.

It's my opinion that there's no road map to "real" motherhood. If you love your kids, you're already there.

 photo signature_zpsf6106f25.png

No comments: