Mommy guilt is something we're all familiar with. But what about mommy pride? Don't we have a lot to be proud of as well?

We All Have Mommy Guilt, But What About Mommy Pride?

Mommy guilt is something we're all familiar with. But what about mommy pride? Don't we have a lot to be proud of as well?

Mom guilt finds all of us, in one form or another. It’s a lifelong side effect of pregnancy that doesn’t ever fully go away.

At the end of the day, I usually feel like I’m a crappy mom for a million different reasons:

  • I drank a cup of coffee before I changed the baby’s diaper. Selfish.
  • I yelled at our toddler when she wouldn’t eat any of the food I put in front of her. Weak.
  • I said “no” way more than I said “yes.” Strict.
  • I talked through clenched teeth more than I’d like to admit. Harsh.

The people who say, “enjoy every moment,” must have conveniently forgotten what parenting is like.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Actually, the closest I’ve ever come to a rainbow was that one time the baby sharted multicolored bits of crayons. (Negligent.)

It seems no matter how hard I try, I always fall short of the mom I want to be. But I know if I dwell too long on what I should’ve/could’ve/would’ve done differently, I’ll eventually make myself crazy.

Why am I so quick to forget the parts I got right? After all, I was a pretty good mom today too:

  • I built a fort out of pillows and blankets. Cool.
  • I waited ten minutes for my toddler to “buckle herself in” (read: finally agreed to let me help buckle her in.) Patient.
  • I put away my phone and cuddled with the kids on the couch. Thoughtful.
  • I kissed boo-boos and hugged away tears. Compassionate.

I want the very best for my kids. Not the mediocre, not the average — the very best. That includes expecting perfection from myself. Turns out I’m only human, which makes that goal unattainable at best and self-destructive at worst.

“Mommy guilt” is something I hear about all the time. “Mommy pride?” As far as I know, I just now made that up.

But moms SHOULD be proud, damnit! We brought life into this world! We’ve survived in the most sleep deprived conditions and cleaned up unspeakable things. Most importantly, we’ve loved with the entirety of our being. A mother’s love is special; it’s nurturing, kind, and unconditional.

The more I look for moments to be proud of, the more I find that the good outweighs the not so good.

That’s the dance that we continue to do every single day. We make mistakes but almost always find our footing. Isn’t always pretty, but we find a way to make it work the best we know how.

Sometimes we stumble but, if we’re lucky, we learn how to balance a little better tomorrow. And that’s something to be proud of too.

A version of this post was first published on Ramblin’ Mama.

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