If you look long and hard enough on an overwhelmingly bad day, you’ll start to feel surrounded by things that prove you’re losing the battle called Awesome Mom. But hold up, Mama—there is a whole bunch of real life chaos and crazy that shouldn’t have a thing to do with determining your level of Awesome. I hereby present to you five things that moms should not base their self worth on.
1. Do not base your self worth on whether or not the dishes are done.
Or the laundry.
I’m not sure if you realize this, but the dishes are never going to be done. Neither will the laundry, or the dusting. (Do people dust anymore?)
This is because kids and husbands exist, along with our clothes wearing, food eatin’, house livin’ selves.
Tired of trying to keep your house spotless for guests? Read: I’m Done Cleaning My House For You
Now, this isn’t permission to live in a rat’s nest, but it is permission to take a look at your home and be realistic about the fact that messes are cleaned…and then messes are made again. It’s a scientific fact—probably something else that Newton or Edison discovered but don’t get credit for.
The condition of your busy home in the midst of your busy life has nothing to do with your level of awesome.
Repeat after me until you believe it.
2. Do not base your self worth on how well your kids are doing academically.
Here’s the thing. I want you to make a list of all the things that you struggled with in school. The things you just couldn’t make stick in your brain. Maybe it’s a historical date or a mathematical formula or a scientific concept.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Now tell me how any of those brain-based struggles are because of your Mom. Or your teacher.
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The truth is that kids are good at some stuff and not so good at other things and it doesn’t always have to do with the person who tried to stuff the how to and what for of it into their head. It was true with you growing up and it’s true with your kids, too.
My husband has tried to explain gears to me.
My children have tried to explain technological things to me.
In both instances, I’m totally lost. It wouldn’t matter who was trying to explain it to me— those things just don’t jive with the way my brain works.
So do your awesome best, mama, but realize that’s all you can do.
3. Do not base your self worth on how many pairs of yoga pants you own.
I only own one pair, thank you very much, but that’s only because every time I go to buy more, they’re out of my size.
(Y’all be hoarding the yoga pants?)
I get it—the whole “take pride in your appearance” thing. If you get out of your jammies, take a shower, brush your hair, and slap on some lip gloss, it can make a world of difference in your mood and your productivity level.
But girl, SOME. DAYS.
Some days are full of the can’t evens.
You know which ones I’m talking about. And we all have those days.
Even so, you’re still awesome. You’re still rockin’ this mom thing. You kept the kids alive. You kept yourself alive. Your kiddos learned something—even if it wasn’t the thing you had written in your planner.
And you know your husband still thinks you look mighty fine in those yoga pants. (Wink, wink.)
4. Do not base your self worth on how far ahead into the future you have meal planned.
For goodness sake, yes: mealtime is easier when there’s a calendar telling you what to make. It eliminates that 4 pm ohemgee what should we eat for supper freak out.
But take heart, mama. The fact that you don’t know what you’re eating on June 14th of 2034?
If you don’t know what you’re having for supper tonight, take comfort in the fact that millions of moms before you have survived and thrived and shown their awesome, regardless of the fact they cobbled a supper together at the very last possible minute…
…every single time.
5. Do not base your self worth on how often you lock yourself in the bathroom with chocolate, wine, or your child’s bag of frosted animal crackers.
We all lose our cool.
We all yell.
We all freak out.
We’ve all had that time when we wanted to run away, to be done, to have someone else take over, to just make things go away for ten minutes of quiet. It’s quite possibly an actual rite of passage in mothering.
So take a breath and look in the mirror.
Your kids love you.
Your spouse loves you.
Your dog loves you.
Your sister from another mother loves you.
Isn’t it time that you started loving you…just because you’re you?
Fist bump, mama, because you’re worth it. Now let’s go do this day.