When my daughter was a baby I was in overdrive. I worked outside the home, in a job that required 50 hours of time on a slow week and up to 70 hours of my time during crunch weeks. While I was being Super Career Woman, I was also determined that I would be Super Mom too. The problem was, I didn’t quite understand what being Super Mom truly meant.
For the first couple years of my daughter’s life, being Super Mom equated to what I now consider incredibly superficial and ultimately irrelevant things. Things that in the big picture absolutely don’t matter. Things that my daughter won’t remember or know unless I tell her. Things like being determined to cloth diaper, making *all* of her baby food from scratch, only allowing organic foods to enter her body and dear gosh there would never be sugar anywhere near her. No TV either. And all her toys would be wooden and there wouldn’t be a commercial character anywhere in sight. And of course all her clothes would be made of organic cotton or bamboo.
I laugh now at how much I just did.not.get.it. How I put such emphasis on these things that have nothing to do with our relationship or connection. I overwhelmed myself doing all the “right” things, when perhaps allowing myself to be human and having faith that my child would survive to see her next birthday, even if she did play with a plastic Disney Princess tea set. I focused on the outside things, not the inside things. I lost myself a bit, thinking that if I controlled all these outside things *that* would mean I was good mama. And dear god, I so desperately wanted to be a good mama.
Fast forward to today. This morning my daughter ate Oreos for breakfast (hey, she had organic milk with them, so it’s okay). She was outside in her pool before 10am and before the temperature had reached 65F. I did manage to get some apples and sunflower seed butter in her before she snacked on a cupcake. Lunch consisted of chili cheese fritos, a hamburger patty, three green beans and then some more cookies and milk. Yep, I’m going for that Mother of Year award, Nutrition division.
I played Barbies with her today. We did some painting together. We snuggled and watched a couple of TV shows. We cleaned our living room, dining room and kitchen today, without tears or screaming. I gave her lots of hugs and asked her for help and mentioned how she always makes the shoe rack look extra awesome when she organizes it.
We had a great day.
I finally have it (mostly) right. It’s not the outside stuff, like whether every meal is fully nutritionally balanced or whether she has branded character toys, it’s the inside stuff – the fact that we played together, that we created together, that we worked as a team cleaning our home – that matters.
It was quite a process of letting go and realizing what truly matters and what doesn’t. I was guided by not only my own instinct, but also by great mama writers and bloggers. Women who have been there and done that. Women like those in the Mindful Parenting eBundle (note this is an affiliate link – I appreciate your support). Parents and organizations who know what is important for us to focus on our relationship and connection to our children and all the rest is truly small stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter.