When your children are young, life is busy. There are days when you can barely figure out how everyone made it to bedtime alive. Between juggling school, homework, activities, social lives, social drama, work, meals, laundry, exercise, etc it can be very hard to keep your head above water.
Anyone who thinks it’s easy is fooling themselves. Being a mom is hard. Many days it’s unrewarding. Depending on how many kids you have and how close they are in age, you may not ever remember half of what you did as a mom because you live in a fog half the time.
But somehow, you make it through. Somehow, your babies grow up and become functioning adults. This is where I am now. I am well on the other side of the super hard part of motherhood. My daughters are now adults. Sometimes it’s weird to think of them as adults because in my mind, I can still see the littles they once were.
I recently went on a spur of the moment weekend trip to visit my girls, who both live in Colorado. I decided on a Monday to go and was there on Friday night – very UNLIKE me (who meticulously plans everything).
We had a great couple of days together and as my oldest dropped me at the airport Monday night, I found myself sitting and waiting for my flight thinking about my role as a mother. And, I found myself thinking, “was I a good mom?”
It was a weird thing to pop in my head. My girls and I are close. We have been through a lot together and have weathered some tough times together. We had had a conversation on the way to the airport that had me reflecting on all the “mothering” I had done when they were teenagers. Of course I like to think I was a good mom, but sometimes I have doubts.
Coming from a history of divorce, I know I am far from perfect. When I look back I am filled with doubt as to how I handled pretty much everything. I have to force myself and remind myself I was doing the best I could at a simply terrible time in my life. But, did I do a good job for my girls?
Now, they are both navigating adulting and they must deal with the shadows and baggage from their past, as we all do. I can’t help but wonder if I was the cause of some of their baggage. Knowing this is surely the case (who doesn’t have some issues with their moms from some point in their lives?) my hope is that when they reflect on their growing up and the role I played in their lives, they know how much I loved them. Even though I surely made mistakes, I hope they can forgive them. (I once threatened to remove the door from my daughter’s room because she was….. well, she was being a teenager!)
If you are wondering the same thing some time – “Was I a good mom?” – cut yourself a break. Believe me, you were, and you are. Be kind to yourself. I truly believe at any given moment we are all trying to do and doing the best we can. And that should be enough.
So, “Was I a good mom?” Yes. Without a doubt.