Being a mom is hard.
I’m sure you already know that.
If you’re like me and other moms I know, your days are filled with moments where:
a) You feel like you’re not doing a good job
b) You wonder if you’re doing a good enough job
c) You hope your children grow up to be decent people despite the job you’re doing
d) People are crying
e) All of the above
And then there are moments where you know you’re doing well. Those seem few and far between sometimes and I had one. I had a moment with my 4-year-old that made me think, “I’m doing a good job raising this person. I am so proud.”
I share this not to toot my own horn, but because I know that as moms we are hard on ourselves. And sometimes we miss the moments that tell us “I am a good mom.”
We tend to ignore how well we’re doing and focus on the flaws, the moments where we could have made a better choice, or when we let our emotions get the best of us. We miss everything we’re doing right because the negatives and challenges seem to stand out more.
But then there are moments that are easy to miss where your child shows you that yes, you are doing a good job.
We went to Jules pizza, and I was feeling slightly guilty that we went to “flat pizza” again instead of eating at home. But I was tired, Jules is close to home, and by the time we got back it would almost be bedtime.
My son likes to choose one of handful of games that they keep there for kids. This time he chose one called “Family Dinner” which is a box of questions.
When I realized what he chose, I told him he might not like it.
Thank goodness he didn’t listen to me.
He liked it. He listened to the questions, answered them, and then asked for another question. And then another. It was fun.
And then we came to this question: Would you rather win an Academy Award, an Olympic Medal, or the Nobel Peace Prize.
My son has no idea what any of these are, so I said, “Would you rather get an award, or a prize, for being in a movie, being really good at sports like karate or soccer, or for being a really good person.”
He sat and thought about it, and I thought for sure he would say he’d like to win for one of the first two.
But then he said “For being a good person.”
And in that moment I knew. I am doing a good job.
All of the times where I’ve tried to help him learn to be a good person, where I’ve shown him how to be a good person, talked to him about what it means and why it’s important, and all the times I remind him how important it is- it’s sinking in.
I was so proud. And I told him that I was.
It would have been easy to miss this moment. I could have told him that the game was too hard and had him pick something else. I could have been checking things on my phone because I was tired and didn’t really want to “mom” anymore.
But instead, I said yes, my 4-year-old and I sat and played a game of asking questions, and I realized I’m doing a good job.
I’m sure tomorrow I’ll have many moments where I question if I’m raising a good person; if I’m doing enough to help him be kind and thoughtful, and respectful of others. But right now, I know that I am.
These are the moments that we need to hold onto; that we need to take notice of and let sink in. Take a photo if you need to. Do something to have tangible evidence that you are doing a good job.
Because being a mom is hard. It can be thankless and there’s very little confirmation if what you’re doing is right, is working, or is having a lasting positive impact. So when you have those moments where you see that you’re doing a good job, don’t blow them off. Don’t skim over it or think that it’s not a big deal.
It is. You’re doing a good job. Notice it, enjoy it, and feel proud about it. And then hold onto it.