I was talking to another mommy recently and she was facebook chatting to me about baby led weaning. On the other side of the smartphone I was virtually nodding away till I couldn’t pretend any more and I had to ask her, what exactly is baby led weaning? After a virtual pause at her end she very patiently explained it to me. In case you are a brave soul to admit that you didn’t know that too, it means letting your child feed themselves from the very start of weaning without resorting to mashed and pureed stuff.
Now my daughter is 5 years old and I don’t have a very good memory but I was pretty sure I weaned my daughter to real food pretty quickly and there was a very short period when she used to eat the mashed and pureed stuff. It may or may not have been baby led weaning but she was weaned alright. Today she eats everything the family eats and is generally healthy.
But I digress. The moment I declared my ignorance about what seems to be one of the most googled topics for new moms, I felt a bit of a failure as a mom and I have to admit, it’s not a new feeling.
Every time a mom talks about some new version of phonics they are using for their kids, how they read at least 3 books before hitting the bed, how they have used art journaling or some other new fangled way to talk about feelings with their kids and so on, I feel like a failure.
But this feeling never lasts for more than 5 seconds. Never!
Why? Because pretty early in my motherhood journey I had discovered a term for the kind of mom that I aspire to be- It’s called the GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER.
GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER
She is no super mom, she is not even a great mom but she is the perfectly imperfect mom.
Motherhood has been extensively glorified in our society and while it’s beautiful to read all the quotes and cards extolling the virtues of the perfect mom, the fact is that is pretty hard being the perfect mom.
The moment you become a mother, a multitude of people open their treasure chest of advice for you (including us bloggers), add to that latest studies and research in child development, brain research, genetic research etc. and parenting has almost become a science and every time a mother gets the formula incorrect she feels like a failure.
What’s a good enough mother? A good enough mother does the best she can in the circumstances she is. Basically she adapts to her environment. She may not always do everything that she wants to do or her kids want would like her to do but she is okay with that.
For me being a good enough mother means that
I am okay with giving Maggi to my daughter once in a while.
I am okay with her watching Television while I race against my deadline.
I am okay with being relieved when my mom volunteers to take my daughter for the weekend.
I am okay with her sometimes falling asleep while watching Charlie and Lola on the ipad.
I am okay with pretending to work when I am absolutely not interested in the playing pretend kitchen for the nth time.
I am okay with her being an average child in her school.
I don’t want to live with the coulds, woulds or shoulds. I just want to love my child.
You know what’s the best gift about being a good enough mother?
You give permission to your child to be good enough too.
When as a mother you accept that you are just human and are not perfect, you automatically give breathing space to your children to be human too and revel in the comfort that their mother will still accept them and love them unconditionally.
Here’s the thing- You are the only mother your child has. At your best and at your worst, they love you no matter what. It’s time you started to love yourself too.
Are you ready to be a good enough mom?