I just discovered I taped over the video of the first year of my son’s life. Instead of my chubby, bald-headed firstborn’s first smile and first steps, I now have American Idol season four’s long-haired Bo Bice belting out a country song and all of the shows that followed that night.
What kind of mother does that?
Apparently the same kind of mother who saved all her kids’ umbilical cords and the first diaper out of the newborn pack of diapers opened the day they came home from the hospital yet hasn’t written a single word in their baby books.
Chalk it up to one of many mistakes I’ve made along this journey as mom. I’m constantly beating myself up for these stupid mistakes.
We all start out the journey with a grand plan of what we will and will not do as parents. We decide we won’t make the mistakes we perceived our parents made. Then labor begins and those plans are wadded up and tossed in a dark corner where they linger, taunting us about our failings to be the perfect parent.
In all the years I’ve been a parent I’ve yet to meet a perfect parent. Instead I’ve found moms doing the best they can in any given situation.
Deborah Leoni-Willhite hasn’t met the perfect parent, either. In her work at Insight Out as a life coach helping moms find wholeness and balance (www.insightout-lifecoaching.com), she more often sees moms exhausting themselves working so hard to take care of the puzzle that makes up their family, just as society expects. "Moms today seem to have forgotten … they are a piece of that puzzle," she says. "That piece needs to be nurtured as well."
So many of us do try to do it all, putting our needs last and never getting to them. Leoni-Willhite offers this idea to that problem: Create a calendar and schedule time just for you—even just a half hour three times a week. "It’s their responsibility to their family to nurture themselves," she says about moms.
This month, we’ve given you lots of ideas to help you feel great about being a mom. I hope you also make time for you and give yourself a break if one of those little parenting mistakes pop up.
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