The world wants me to believe that I'm not a good mother, and it tells me in the most ridiculous ways.
These, for example.
All over Facebook and Instagram, I see friends who had precious matching shirts for every day of their Disney trip. You know who didn't? This girl. We were lucky enough to be able to afford a trip to Disney, much less have outfits coordinating with the parks and princesses we'd be seeing that day. My kids wore their in-closet Target bargain clothes, and the voice in my head wants me to feel badly about it. Sometimes I do, and then sometimes I remember that THEY GOT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD. So never mind.
Don't forget these:
I don't have monthly pictures of my babies' first year complete with stickers showing their age. It wasn't a thing back when they were born, and now I feel like they'll need years of therapy because they won't know how their six month pictures compare to their seven month pictures. Just what kind of mother am I? (One who's lucky to have pictures of her children at all, I think. Especially the second one - she did not sleep through the night for TWO YEARS, and her brother was only 15 months older than she was, so it's a wonder I even was cognizant enough to take pictures at all. Which I did. And those pictures exist somewhere in my house. I know they do. One day I'll organize them, like when I have grandchildren and retire.)
And let's not forget these:
Ah. Maternity pictures. Again, I was pregnant before these were a huge fad (thank goodness), and yet I feel like I've cheated my children somehow of seeing just how cute and stylish I was when they were in utero. (Or, as the case may be, how roly-poly I felt and how often I wore their father's pajama pants. But whatever.)
I don't have any of these either (yet another parenting fail):
Exquisite newborn photos taken at the hospital. How could I not have any of these? Oh yes. I remember. One, because my son's delivery turned into an unexpected C-section when he decided to come into the world rear-end first. Two, because I looked like a hippo with all of the fluids they pumped into me during surgery, and then I looked (and acted like) a crazy woman when I turned out to be allergic to the drugs they gave me. So, nah. Newborn pictures didn't need to happen in the hospital then.
What about the other time? Ah. Yes. The daughter who decided to be premature despite a day's worth of drugs trying to keep her in, followed by a repeat C-section, followed by her stay in the special care nursery because (bless her 5 pound body), she didn't know how to eat. And let's not forget that all of this happened at Christmas. Christmas, for goodness' sake, when I had to leave her at the hospital and go home to be Santa for her (sick at the time) brother. Newborn pictures at the hospital? They didn't happen then, either.
Let's keep going.
Of course - a snowman breakfast. What's the use in having a snow day like today if you don't make a snowman breakfast, complete with snowman poop? It's a waste of a day, I guess. (Unless the roads are clear and you can take the kids to IHOP like I hypothetically might have done this morning. Pancakes still count, even if they're not shaped like snowmen and aren't wearing bacon scarves, right?)
Everywhere I look, the world shows me where I don't measure up, and it wants me to think I'm a failure as a mom. (Ok, on Pinterest. I look on Pinterest. And Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But that's pretty much everywhere.) But you know what? I'm not. I'm not a failure as a mother. I love my kids and I give them everything they need (and deprive them of some of what they want. Saying no builds their character. I also make them put away laundry and eat vegetables that make them gag. Character. It builds character).
I try my best every single day to instill in them what matters. I give them rules, I require them to help with chores, and I tell them ad nauseam that I love them. ("We know, Mommy. You tell us all the time.") Isn't that what really matters in a mom? I know it is. So you know what Pinterest? Forget you and your taunts of my motherhood mediocrity. You're not the boss of me. (But you do have some really good recipes, so I'll see you later, ok? Just quit telling me what to do.)