You ARE a good enough mother
It's part of the job description of a mother to always want to do more, be better, focus harder and spend more time. At the same time, the media and your friends can often make you feel like you're not doing nearly enough to be the perfect mother who never loses her cool, has a yoga-toned body and whose children excel in maths and music. Some days, you just feel like a bad mother and it's all you can do to get to wine o' clock.
But while there really are bad mothers in the world (of course there are), chances are that if you're reading this article and worrying about it, then you aren't one of them. Most of the time, all children need is love and food, and if you've covered those bases the rest just falls into place. In fact, you probably don't even realise what a great mom you are!
To remind you, this Mother's Day, here are some of the ways you're doing a fabulous job even though you probably don't even notice:
Every day, you organise their lives
Until you had kids, you were responsible for yourself. Sure, you might worked for someone or supported a partner or looked after your own mum but that's just a drop in the ocean compared to the hard work of being totally and utterly responsible for every aspect of another human being's life. From wiping noses to doing school lifts, you're making their lives possible every day. Well done!
You know what they like and you feed it to them
When you're shopping for groceries, you think of the things that they like and the things that they don't. You cut the crusts off their sandwiches and boil their eggs just right. You pack their favourite fruit in their lunchtins, and every now and then you give them the perfect treat. That's a whole lot of consideration going on right there.
You're their go-to gal
If they scrape their knees or someone else hurts their feelings, nothing makes it better faster than a hug from mom. You'll always put down whatever it is you're doing to give them what they need, even if it's not at the most convenient of times (like when you're leaving for a meeting or chopping an onion).
You put their happiness and development first
Moms think about their kids before they think of anyone else. It started when they were tiny babies and you often forgot to go to the loo and carried on later when you limited your own social life to make sure they finished their homework. It isn't always fun, but you're giving of yourself every waking moment (and plenty of the sleeping ones too).
And here are some that might surprise you
While having children is an exercise in sacrifice (even though it has its enormous rewards), sometimes you're even helping them grow when you get it all wrong. Here are some of the things that you probably beat yourself up about and the reasons why you shouldn't.
Your house is in a mess
You've taught your children that everyone's human and that there are more important things than perfectly arranged sofa cushions. You've let them feel comfortable in their own home, and shown them that their presence (and all that comes with it) is a welcome part of your life.
You lost your temper
You showed them that people are fallible, and you taught them a boundary if they push that button one too many times, sometimes even the people that love them the most can snap. Kiss and make up and DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT.
You snuck away for a quiet coffee
You taught your children that everyone needs space, and that they sometimes need to fend for themselves, just for a little while. And didn't you feel re-energised and ready to tackle the bedtime challenges because you treated yourself? Remember that sometimes it's good to be selfish, just for a bit.
Take the good with the bad
As their mother, you are the model for all the other relationships that your children will ever have. That doesn't mean you should teach them to expect perfection and sacrifice; rather, you should be showing them the value of give and take, mutual care and encouragement, and consideration and respect. You're probably already doing a brilliant job.