Today I let my son drink a nasty, not-even-100% juice drink. I always told myself I’d never, ever let my children drink those things. Yet, here I was, standing in the convenience store aisle, my son begging for the cool looking juice drink, and I gave in. I was hot from the muggy day, desperately needing a nice cold drink myself, and waiting for my husband to get off work (yes, on a Saturday…again). In that moment, the tantrum wasn’t worth it.
We sat outside in the shade drinking our not-so-good for us drinks in peace, and I realized that one little fake juice drink wasn’t going to kill him.
In my less than two years as a parent, I’ve done many things I thought I’d never do. Bringing the baby into bed with us, waking him up from a nap, letting him eat Cheetos at a party, losing my temper with him, and even temporarily working outside the home…the list goes on and on.
Some of those things, like losing my temper with him, I regret. I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect and that I make mistakes, but I definitely accept that I made mistake. Most of those things, though, I don’t regret for a minute.
I honestly wish I didn’t come into motherhood with so many opinions and ideas. Maybe then I wouldn’t have woken up exhausted on day 5 of motherhood, crying with guilt because I finally gave in and let my screaming newborn son sleep on my chest in our bed. Maybe then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on the internet searching for what was wrong with me as a mom, since my 3-month-old didn’t follow the “rules” of how a baby that age should be sleeping or for how long. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like I needed to pretend that my son only ever ate organic, healthy food, and didn’t even know that junk food, artificial colors, or GMOs existed.
Motherhood is tough enough without trying to live up to all these expectations that we set for ourselves. The truth is, God created me to be Miles’ mommy. He knew that I would be the best mother to Miles just by being myself. Miles would not be any better off with the perfect, ideal mother that I dream of being. Honestly, trying to be that perfect mom steals too much time, joy and energy that could be spent just enjoying being with my son, and enjoying being his mother.
As the years pass on, I’m sure I will do many more things as a mom that I promised myself I’d never do, and that’s just fine. The more I let go of those pre-conceived notions and ideals I have, the better mom I’ll be anyway.