Maybe (Probably) You’re Better Than You Think, Mom
What if all the things you think you do wrong every day – you know the things you feel all that mama guilt about – simply fell away in a moment of sheer appreciation for all your incredibleness? Well, that’s pretty much what happened for these moms and the effect was transformative (for them, and for me).
This short video shows a number of moms talking about themselves as mothers (the footage focuses on the negative, with moms expressing remorse for tempers, lack of patience, and not enough focused one-on-one time). Then, we see (along with them), videos of their children describing them lovingly, saying how pretty, smart and wonderful their mothers are. “She’s my hero,” one girl says in a bright, loving tone echoed by the other children filmed. It’s enough to make you cry, it’s so sweet, so special.
I saw this video yesterday and I sure cried! I just about wept. I was so moved not only by how these women were shown their goodness, their enough-ness as reflected to them by their children, but also by the specialness of this journey we call motherhood. I promptly shut my computer, went to my toddling 15 month old daughter and hugged her. She said brightly, “Vamos?! Vamos?!” (let’s go in Spanish and her way of asking to go for a walk) to which I nodded tearfully smiling, “Vamos!”. We walked around the neighborhood, played in the sand, and just enjoyed being together.
During that walk I began realizing how deeply I enjoy being a mother, how beautiful and amazing it is to love and be loved by this little person who looks at me with all the wonder of an astronaut gazing at the moon… and then some in spades! I realized that I am enough, just as I am. I realized that I have everything I need to be a fantastic mother.
I also recalled a visit to our pediatrician a few months back where I expressed doubts about my mothering, worried that my none-too-casual worry warting were tainting her somehow. The pediatrician (a holistic doctor who has three children herself) looked at me a little dumbfounded. She said, among other supportive things, that my daughter has so so much from me, that she’s never met a mother more committed to breastfeeding (against our odds, btw), that my daughter gets more than anything else, love and commitment from me – the things that matter most.
It’s so easy for us to focus on the negative. There are so many things in this world that we want not to happen, not to go wrong. There are so many things we are taught to fix. There is a way that we’ve been raised to view the world in terms of what needs remedying, what needs to be made better. We’re very busy trying to avoid something bad – so busy, that the good all around us is in my opinion, often outright lost.
What if we allowed ourselves to focus on the good of the world, good of our days, good of our lives? What if we reflected on the joys of our relationships with our children, the smiles, the closeness, instead of running through lists of “wish I hadn’t's” and “hope X doesn’t…”? Easier said than done, right? Well, hopefully more reminders like this video (and my pediatrician’s pep talk) and sweet “Vamos!” moments cross our paths when we most need it. Heaven knows I needed it yesterday, and there it was! I hope it hit the spot for you, today too, mama. Because you? YOU are someone’s hero, and you are a lot better than you think.