See, you will absolutely love being a mom-but get ready to feel unprepared, overwhelmed and guilty, like, all the time. You’re about to discover, if you haven’t already, that there is soul-crushing pressure to be “The Perfect Mother.” And I’ll let you in on a crazy secret; most of this pressure will come directly from you.

Dear New Mommy,

Congratulations on your sweet baby!

Please allow me to lead the unsolicited advice parade with this: Now that you’re a mother, you really have to watch your fucking language.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about how much you like to curse; you can totally get away with that shit for a little while longer.

I am talking about the language you use about yourself.

See, you will absolutely love being a mom-but get ready to feel unprepared, overwhelmed and guilty, like, all the time. You’re about to discover, if you haven’t already, that there is soul-crushing pressure to be “The Perfect Mother.” And I’ll let you in on a crazy secret; most of this pressure will come directly from you.

Somewhere, you conjured an idea of what being a “good mom” looks like and you’ll often be convinced that you are not one. So when you can’t get your child to stop crying in the middle of the night, or when you forget to bring diapers to the park or when you misplace your toddler for five terrifying minutes at a Fourth of July Parade- you are going to say the meanest shit to yourself.

“You don’t know what you’re doing” and “you suck,” are just the beginning. You’ll tell other people that you’re a “bad mom.” And sure, you’ll be joking, but after you say it enough times, part of you will start to believe it’s true.

I get that you’re afraid you’re going to make mistakes. So let me assure you, you will. You’re definitely going to give your child something to talk about with his future therapist; you might even be the reason he needs one in the first place.

But when you make a mistake, please refrain from giving yourself a verbal ass kicking and here’s why:

One: It never helps, ever. Not once after calling myself a “bad mom” have I felt refreshed and encouraged. All it does is open the door for my mind to update me on a bunch of other shit I’m bad at, leaving me marinating in a pool of self-pity which is no fun for me or the other folks who live in my house.

Two: You don’t talk to anyone else this way. When your baby takes his first steps and stumbles, I bet you won’t jump up and shout, “You call that walking? You suck!” No, you will have so much patience for the fact that your child is new to everything. You will feel compassion. He will fall and you will kiss his wounds. Try that approach on yourself. After all, you’re new at this, too.

Three: Your child is learning from you. If you are mean and unforgiving to yourself, you are teaching your child that making mistakes is not okay and that being human is unacceptable and that he’s supposed learn how to do something by automatically being awesome at it the first time. Your child will essentially buy his therapist a vacation home trying to unlearn this.

And remember, when you’re in the midst of one of those inevitable hard days – Do. Not. Go. On. Pinterest. You don’t need to discover the mother who prepares her kid’s sandwiches in the exact likeness of Elsa from Frozen on the day you forgot to bring snack for the entire soccer team.

Here’s the thing, when you’re not fucking up, you’re going to be busy getting millions of things right – and taking all those moments for granted is the one mistake you should avoid.

With love,

A perfectly good/imperfect mom

PS Just a heads up, when you look in the mirror, you will still look pregnant and though you’ll lose the weight eventually, your body will probably never be exactly the same. You might be tempted to say some mean things to your body, try to remember that it made a fucking human being and say, “thank you” instead.



PYPEin

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  1. Cathy M says:

    My daughter and I were shopping the other day and she was totally criticizing herself about how fat she looked…and I thought to myself…”I did that!” My son will scold me for being too worried about him. And I know it’s a direct result of me worrying about him.
    But, what I do know is that if you asked either one of them what our family motto was when they were growing up…they’d say without hesitation “Peace on Earth Begins in your own back yard.” Or if you asked them what was my cure for when they were sick, again they would quickly respond “Vitamin C and Ecchinacia.” And when I was a screaming meanie over something that one of them did they would tell you that when the screaming was over I would always say “Even when I scream and yell I still love you!”
    One of the most healing processes that I went thru was giving myself permission to look in the mirror and say…”Damn, sometimes I just don’t want to be a mom!!” And then get a random hug or a picture from school or a goal during a soccer game…and I know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BEING A MOM!
    It’s the perfection in the imperfection…

  2. Aimee D says:

    Learning to be kind and just as forgiving to myself as I am to others is a practice. The ity bity shity committee likes to butt in. Thanks for the reminder.

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