How often do you tell yourself you’re a good mom? And more importantly, how often do you really believe it?
Being a mom is dang hard. In fact, it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had BY FAR.
As with any job, there are wins and there are fails. Sometimes we totally kill it and our kids tell us they had the best day ever, and sometimes our kids scream and yell that they hate us and wish they lived in a different family, even if all we did was tell them they had to eat their peas before leaving the dinner table.
We often tend to focus on the negative and spend too much time worrying about when we mess up and make mistakes. We complain about the lows and the fails instead of enjoying the highs and celebrating our successes. Somehow we forget that without the fails, the successes wouldn’t be as sweet.
Sure, it’s easy to talk bad on motherhood. Every single day we have to clean up messes and wipe boogers and hands and tiny bums and try not to lose it when our kids cry because we made them macaroni and cheese when they asked for macaroni and cheese. But aren’t you glad you’re the one who gets to clean those messes and wipe those boogers and hands and tiny bums? Even in the hard parts of motherhood, there’s a positive side.
I don’t know if it’s just a woman thing or a human thing, but it’s unfair to ourselves and to everyone around us when we focus on the negatives. It brings us down, the people around us down, and if it becomes a habit, it can be hard to break out of.
What if instead of getting down on ourselves when we fail or mess up, we really tried to own and enjoy our successes? Not in a braggy, showy way, but in a personal, internal way. And yes, I know that’s easier said than done. I’ve been working for years on becoming more positive and not dwelling in the negative, and I’m definitely not a pro. But I do know that if we own our parenting successes, we’re going to be better, happier mamas for our children.
How to Own Your Parenting Successes
Figure out what success means to you.
First, you have to decide what parenting success is. Does it mean your kids ate fruits and veggies with every meal? Does it just mean that your kids are enjoying their lives, are safe, well-fed, and protected? Does it mean that you’re planning crafts and lake days and checking out new playgrounds every week? Parenting success is going to look different for every mama, so make sure you know what it looks like for you. And remember, at the end of the day, a child who feels loved is going to become a better adult than a child who got a 99% on their test and feels like they let their parents down.
Admit when you’re wrong and accept your failures.
When we talk about being more positive, it can be easy to include not being negative in that conversation. But I think that if you ignore your mistakes and suppress negative feelings like sadness or disappointment, you’re just going to create a bigger problem. All feelings are allowed, because they are all valid and we all feel them at one time or another. Instead, acknowledge the mistakes you make, feel those negative feelings, and then move on.
Remember that success comes after failure.
Very few times in life will we be successful on the first try. Most of the time we try and we fail and we learn and we try again and eventually, we get it right. We learn from our mistakes, especially in parenting. That might be trying to potty train too soon, trying to get our babies to sleep through the night, trying to figure out how to enjoy the tricky time between getting home from school and bedtime, or learning how to set boundaries with your teenager. We’re going to mess up, but then we get up and we try again. And that makes those successes even better, because we learned, grew, and overcame (even if things got a little tense in between).
Don’t compare yourself to others.
We are never going to be able to enjoy and own our parenting successes if we’re constantly comparing them to others’ successes. Sure, we may have gone grocery shopping with a newborn, but that other mom you follow on Instagram went grocery shopping with her newborn, her toddler, and her 5-year-old. If you compare yourself to others, it’s going to make your wins less meaningful, and you’re not going to be able to enjoy them as much.
Be confident and don’t question yourself.
Can you own your parentings successes without being confident that you’re a good parent? If you’re always questioning your actions and decisions, are you going to be able to enjoy when you totally nail it? Probably not. No, you can’t just become more confident overnight, but you can remember (and tell yourself) that you are the only one who can be you, which includes being a mom to your children. You’re a boss, girl, and you’ve totally got this.
Share your successes with people you care about who know you best.
No, you don’t want to point out every single win you have on social media. But it’s good to share your successes with a spouse, a best friend, a parent, or a sibling. Ideally, someone who is your cheerleader and who will be happy for you, no matter how small the success is (even if you’re just sharing that you went a whole day without your baby having a blowout). It’s important to be able to celebrate your successes on your own, but it’s also fun to celebrate them with others!
Reflect on the things that went right each day.
One thing that has really helped me own my parenting successes is to reflect on what went right each day. Sometimes I write them down in my journal, but most of the time it’s just in my own head. It really helps me to focus more on the positive and what I got done than what went wrong and what didn’t get done. And bonus, pointing out our successes as mothers will help us become more confident!
Yes, we’re going to mess up. We’re going to make mistakes. But that’s part of life. No matter what we’re doing, we’re going to have ups and downs. And since motherhood is a full time, 24/7 job, we’re going to have lots of ups and downs. But the successes outweigh the fails 1,000 times over, so it’s important to place our focus on what went right rather than what went wrong.
If at the end of the day your kids know you love them (even if they go to bed mad and it’s only deep down that they know it), you’re doing a great job. Don’t get down on yourself for your mistakes, your fails, or your shortcomings. You are such a rockstar parent, and it’s time you give yourself some credit. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB, MAMA!