If someone asked you right now what you wish you were better at as a mom, do you know what you'd say? I bet you do. In fact, I bet you'd have a couple things pop into your mind. Or maybe, you'd actually have a list of things you'd change- things you wish you were better at, more of, less of...
I do. It's not hard for me to think of ways or times I fall short. It's not that I think I'm an exceptionally bad mother...I'm not overly pessimistic, or complete unfair to myself. It's just that motherhood is hard, and I am indeed far from perfect. And just about every day I'm hit with an example of how I could have been more patient, more loving, more present, more fun, less worried, less stressed, less tired...
So yeah. I could be better. But- every once in a while...I nail this whole motherhood thing. That's right. Even a blind squirrel (that's me) finds a nut once in a while (that's...um...I don't know, some sort of metaphor for successful parenting). So while it's easy for me to rattle off a bunch of things I could improve, I think it's important to recognize the wins when they come, and I'm working on getting better at recognizing them, and soaking up those rare mama moments of confidence and pride.
My most recent success story was a couple of weeks ago, the night before Piper was going to start at daycare. She was obviously worried about it, but wasn't saying much. We knew her well enough to know it was going to be a tough transition, so we tried to be as proactive as possible, telling her all about school, explaining what might be new or seem scary, and reading a book about a little raccoon who didn't want to go to school (It's The Kissing Hand, and it's awesome). I wasn't sure much of it was soaking in, but then, as I turned off the light and tucked her in, I bent down to give her a kiss, and she said in a tiny voice, on the verge of tears:
"Mama, I'm nervous to try new things."
Ugh. Break my heart. But also- I was so proud of her for putting words to her feelings, and sharing them with me. I told her how good it was that she could explain how she was feeling, and that we would help her if she got scared. I stayed for a bit, and we talked about all the things that weren't going to change, and about what she could do if she got nervous (talk to her teacher, cuddle her toys from home, remember her kissing hand...) She relaxed a bit, and snuggled into bed without any tears. And as proud as I was of her, I was also proud of myself. I had a real parenting moment- an opportunity to show love, and wisdom, and guide my little girl through something hard...and I had done it. I knew the next morning would be tough. I would struggle to get out of bed early enough, I'd have to rush and use my stern (mean) voice, and most likely both kids would cry at daycare dropoff, sure that I was abandoning them during their time of need (spoiler alert: all of those things happened). But in that moment, that night, I felt good. I was good.
So good for me. And good for you. Because I know that I'm not the only one stumbling around feeling like a blind squirrel- but I also know I'm not the only one who occasionally finds these beautiful, perfect nuts of motherhood success. So even just for today, push that list of to-do's and to-change's aside, and focus on the last awesome thing you did. In fact, brag about it here...I'd love to hear about your recent "nailed it" moments. Let's celebrate those mama moments together.