Dear Mama Who Feels Like A Failure
Dear Mama who feels like a failure,
I see you sitting there with your head down, shoulders slumped, looking completely defeated. I see the small tears welling up in your eyes as you confess the greatest fear of you mothers heart, “I feel like a failure.”
Every day, you wake up and give your best to those around you, thinking little about your own needs. You make meals, fold laundry, kiss boo-boos, and read bedtime stories. From dawn to dusk, you are caring for others, inside and outside of your home. At the end of the day, when you finally have a free minute where you aren’t needed, you catch yourself on your phone scrolling through photos of your kids, remembering all the good parts of the day and overlooking the bad. You are a wonderful mother and everyone around your knows it; everyone but you. You are convinced that you are a failure.
Why do you feel this way? Maybe it’s because you’re having to give your infant formula when you desperately wanted to breastfeed. Or you feel guilty that you kiss your babies goodbye and head to work every morning. Maybe you are worn out because your toddler still doesn’t sleep through the night. Or you are frustrated that it’s been two years and you still haven’t lost your baby weight. Whatever the reason, you feel like you aren’t measuring up to motherhood.
The standard for motherhood is pretty high these days. Instagram is filled with chic moms who lose their baby weight in a matter of weeks. Pinterest has endless recipes and checklists to assure that everything in your home is perfect and beautiful. Google has an answer for every parenting problem you could imagine. Every day, you feel the pressure to “have it all” and give all you have to achieve this unattainable level of perfection. But, every day, you don’t quite measure up.
Motherhood challenges us to grow as individuals and pushes us to do more than we thought we were capable of. However, we are still finite beings with limited physical and emotional resources. We have strengths and weaknesses; good days and bad days. No one is superwoman; no one is capable of constant perfection.
As we care for our children, there will be things we excel at and things we can improve on. Times when we succeed and times when we fail. None of us are perfect. In the history of the human race, there has never been a perfect mother; you and I are not going to break that mold.
When we fail, it doesn’t make us failures. Failing shows us our limits and areas where we need to grow. Failing teaches us humility and perseverance. Failing gives us clarity and insight into what we value most. And when we are honest about our failings, we can free ourselves and those around us, including our children, from the bondage of perfectionism.
So, Mama, please know that you are not a failure. Every day you give your kids your best. Your best may look different from day to day, it may not be Pinterest-worthy, and it might never be perfect, but it is all you have to give. Keep giving your kids your best and stop feeling like you need to give them perfection. They don’t want a perfect mother; they just want you. And just you is more than enough.