Ever since I became a mom, I allowed that to be my whole identity. Especially because I stayed home for so long, it was all that I knew. I am a very introverted person and I need time to myself to recharge, which was very difficult to do when the kids were younger. I would also feel guilty for wanting to do things without the kids and I would question if I was really a “good mom” even though I would sometimes prefer to spend time with other adults instead of the kids. I found myself thinking “if I think I’m a bad mom, what must everyone else think of me?”
These negative thoughts were my depression speaking and were 100% not the truth. I know I am a good mom because my kids tell me all the time. They know they are loved and that they are my main priority in life and that is all that I care about. As long as I am telling myself that I am a good mom it does not matter what anyone else thinks of me (besides my kids). Just this morning on the way to school today, I was telling both kids how much I love them (as I do every day) and they said their typical “yeah, yeah you always say that” then J said something that made me tear up. He said “mom, you are my hero”. I have been given plenty of compliments in my life but I am not sure what I did to get so lucky to deserve that one. It melted my heart and reminded me that I have so much to be proud of and thankful for.
Just because I enjoy spending time with adults and need a break from my kids does not take away from the fact that I do also enjoy spending time with my kids. It is all about a balance. I love having “girl time” where I can vent to my other mom friends about our daily life struggles, and I love having date nights with my husband; on the other hand I also love taking my kids on adventures and seeing them explore new things, and I love doing life with them each day. I have come to the realization that I am allowed to love both of these things and neither makes me a good/bad person.
There’s a saying I heard recently that really resonated with me that I want to share: “where you invest your energy, you invest your life”. Back in 2022 I was stuck in this negative cycle and all I could think about was negative thoughts and my depressed and anxious feelings, and as a result, every aspect of my life suffered. Now that I am focusing on all the things that bring me joy and am placing my energy there, I find myself feeling so much more fulfilled and confident in my decisions each day as a person and as a mom.
Another thing I heard recently was: “It takes so little to be considered a great dad, yet also so little to be considered a bad mom”. I hate that in our society that is factual. Recently, I was at a family party and somebody commented on how great all of the dads there were, while the moms (who were also still participating with their kids) got completely overlooked. The gender gap is still so real and unfair. But what I have come to realize within myself is that being a “good mom” or “bad mom” is all how I view myself. If somebody called me a bad mom today I would tell them that they are crazy and don’t know what they’re talking about. But a few months if someone would have called me a bad mom, I, unfortunately, would have believed them. The pressure to be a good mom is too much, and I am proud to be on the other side and confident in motherhood and knowing that of all the things I have been successful in my life, I can just add motherhood to that list.