Being a mom in this day and age has a lot of requirements… and I often feel that I don’t stack up. I know I’m not the only one – I’ve had conversations with other women who feel the same way. This year has made me feel more inadequate than ever before, and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why that is.
If you don’t know already, we have one daughter in the 4th grade, twins in Kindergarten, and a three-year-old who I have at home with me full-time for a few more months before she enters pre-k. I started noticing a few years ago when our oldest started grade-school, that things had changed – a lot – since I was in school. She would come home and say things to me like “are you coming to my (fill-in-the-blank)?” or “You’re coming to my party, right?” It’s not that I don’t want to be at certain things or participate in my kids’ activities, I just wasn’t aware that I was SUPPOSED to be at everything.
Maybe it was because I was a child of the 80’s and so many moms were trying to be “working moms” back then and they just couldn’t be everywhere; but I know my mom wasn’t at every school party that I had unless she was the room mom. My parents didn’t even make it to all of my home games when I was in junior high and high school! They definitely didn’t go on any field trips with my class. It didn’t make me a bitter person and I sure didn’t feel “un-loved” because of it. It’s certainly different now…
Not only do you feel like a horrible mom when your child comes home and asks why you weren’t at some sort of event you didn’t know you were supposed to be attending, but you feel like the other moms and teachers are talking about you, too. There ARE parents who honestly don’t know these things – and I am one of them! I think there needs to be a parent meeting at the beginning of the school year to teach us exactly what is required of us – you know, besides helping with homework and reading for hours.
And, that’s just the beginning… When you DO help with something, your way of helping is never as good as someone else’s. For example; you’re asked to make something “sweet” for a party and you make chocolate chip cookies – and yes, you actually MAKE them and you don’t BUY them from the store last minute. However, so-and-so’s mom slaves for hours making cake pops and a gourmet punch that she found on Pinterest that everyone raves about, and you feel like your efforts were for nothing. Can anyone relate here?
This year has been an eye-opener for me. Thank goodness at least one of my children will get into school and won’t have to explain to her teachers “I guess my mom was confused” – at least, I hope she doesn’t! Things could change in the next year before she gets there and I’ll have more to feel bad about.
Like I don’t feel inadequate enough already. Like I don’t spend enough time wondering if the efforts I put forth with my kids is good enough – not only for them, but for their teachers and coaches and everyone else involved in their lives. I always know I can do better, but I have beat myself up on several occasions for “not getting it right” this year.
As women, we feel like this quite often – not just with our children, but with our husbands, our jobs, and, of course, ourselves. Facebook and Pinterest has made it even worse. We see what people post on there and wonder if we should be doing everything that everyone else is doing! We want to be the best at everything and it is a struggle, because it’s not possible. At least, it’s not possible to be the best AND have any sort of balance to our lives (which is another subject I will be writing about soon). We all have our strengths – we all have our weaknesses. We have to know when to say NO and we have to know when to ask for help. We have to know that we are all more alike than we think and we all suffer from insecurities. We have to remember that we can’t feel bad for not being everything to everyone – because no one is. We have to quit comparing ourselves to others – because we don’t really know what their journey is all about.
As long as our children feel loved – as long as we are continually trying to better ourselves and the lives of our loved-ones – as long as we are loving people like Jesus does and we are teaching others to do the same – we are enough.