Raising kids is an awesome responsibility. It's also a great blessing. It's difficult to experience that joy, though, if you're worried about being perfect. Among the moms I’ve talked to, this is the number one concern. They want their kids to feel happy and secure, and in the course of raising them, take on responsibilities they’re not meant to carry.
My friend and collector, Lauren, has some advice for moms who worry about their performance. “Your kids are going to be who God meant for them to be,” she says. “You cannot force them to be someone or something they're not.” As mom to three young girls, Jane, Nellie, and Molly, Lauren says the sooner you embrace that the happier you and your kids will be. Though she'll be the first to admit it’s easier said than done. Like a lot of moms, she practices taking her own advice.
Since becoming a mom, she's learned to give up control in some areas and be more Type A in others, like in teaching her kids manners. She gets a lot less sleep these days, too.
“If you’re worried you’re not being a good mom, you are probably a great one,” she says. Her advice is to stop comparing yourself to other moms – everyone has their own set of circumstances and pressures. We would all do a lot better if we stopped the “mompetition” and came together to support and encourage each other.
When I asked her what advice she’d give to a new mom, she said she would tell them not to be so hard on themselves. No one is perfect. Moms shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time off to enjoy themselves. Go on date nights with your husband. “It’s important to stay sane if you are going to take care of the family,” she says.
And for the single gals out there, appreciate those hung-over mornings, Doritos, and Laguna Beach marathons.