A letter to any moms out there,
I had an interesting experience today while out at the pool with Myra. I was happy and just enjoying spending some time playing in the sun and water with her when a women decided to approach me and give me a nice long lecture... A woman I don't even know. She was not even at the pool and decided to march on over, through the gate and start yelling at me from the other side of the pool so that EVERYONE at the pool could hear what she was saying to me. She went on to insist that I put a hat on my child because the sun was VERY dangerous. While she may have been correct (I meant to put it on her but accidentally forgot it in the apt. and was not going to walk all the way back for it when my child only lasts at the pool for an hour tops...), I told her that the baby was fine and that I had put sunscreen all over her fuzzy head. Well to her the sunscreen was clearly not enough, because that just made her even more mad. I continued to play in the pool with my child while the lady stared at me waiting for me to listen to her... as if she were my mother. Starting to feel extremely uncomfortable I looked at her and then she proceeded to basically tell me I was not a safe mother and on and on and the poor baby and blah blah blah...
I was so embarrassed but really did not want to give her the satisfaction of me going and getting the hat so I just stayed right where I was, smiled slyly and nodded until she left. Once she was gone I booked it out of there lickity split ready to rant and rave and write a long post about people needing to mind their own business and how it is between our spouse and God cause nobody knows our situation. But lucky for me I have had to learn in my life to get over crap quick. I now just have a funny memory of some lady yelling at me to put a hat on my child because the sun is dangerous...? hahaha.. I call it making memories.
Anyways, as my day went on I thought about how there are so many women out there who are constantly told in different ways that they need to parent differently. Women who are trying their best everyday to be the parent that they saw themselves being when they were young, but learn quickly the day they have their first that it really is not as easy as they thought it would be. And then I thought instead of that preachy post, I should let all of you know that you are GREAT!
I am sure it happens to every mother out there. We feel constantly judged, compared and just darn not good enough. I know as a child that there were occasions when people made my mom feel that she was being a bad mother, that her parenting choices were poor. Now, as her child, let me just say that she was a wonderful mother. I had the best dang childhood ever. And I guarantee you, I guarantee that when your kids are our age they will look at you and tell you the same thing. They will tell you that they had the best childhood ever and that they love you... and that is what matters.
We all make little mistakes along the way, but I just wanted to tell all you moms that you are WONDERFUL! Yes, YOU. Whether you breastfeed or not, are able to get your kid to eat vegetables in the day or just get them to eat a grilled cheese because even just getting them to eat that is a struggle. Even moms who work outside of the house, yep...you are still a great mom. Or even the mom who yelled at her child cause the baby wouldn't stop crying and the two year old kept banging on the piano and the three year old was climbing on the counter... It's all good, you are a great momma!
One of my favorite men, Jeffery R. Holland once said,
"It is clear that some of those Rhode Island-sized shadows (speaking of bags under our eyes) come not just from diapers and carpooling but from at least a few sleepless nights spent searching the soul, seeking earnestly for the capacity to raise these children to be what God wants them to be. Moved by that kind of devotion and determination, may I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you."
Before I was married I had a life changing experience. It was the simplest and yet the most life changing. I was in my room having anxiety and panic attacks about an audition that I completely blew. My life was not going the way that I had "planned". I was scared about my future and felt so lost. In that moment the doorbell rang. It was a young boy with Down Syndrome and his sweet mother. The young boy was one of my moms students and they had decided to bake a pie and drop it off to my mom to thank her. Watching this mother with her child and the joy he had on his face from the simple gesture of taking his teacher a pie with his mom made me cry.
They left, I look at my mom, put my had to my chest with teary eyes and said, "Oh my Gosh!!!! That is what life is all about!" From that moment on all I ever wanted in life was to be a mother.
Now, I know that it is just one of those moments that when written out doesn't sound all that extreme or life changing, but to me in my life experiencing it I felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that there is nothing in the world more important than raising his spirit sons and daughters.
Just the mere fact that you are a parent is amazing. We are all trying our very best everyday. And IT IS good enough. YOU are good enough! And know that not only do I love you, but Heavenly Father does as well and there is no doubt in my mind that everyday he smiles because of the job that you are doing.
And do you see that sweet face of Myra's? That was tonight, after a day at the pool with no hat. And she is just fine. Happy as can be. Because whether I felt it every moment today or not, I WAS a great mom today! Not perfect, but GREAT! And that is what matters.