Motherhood is very important to me–it’s my life. I can’t wait for this little girl to come into my world. I’ve always wanted a daughter. I love being a boy mom and Rhys is the best bud I could ever ask for, but I’m so excited to share my life with a little girl as well. My friend, Sharlee, has a daughter around Rhys’s age. She is a great example to me as a mother (especially a work-at-home-mom). Today, she shares how she decided to stop the mom guilt for the sake of her daughter.
I didn’t want a daughter. Or more accurately I should say, I didn’t think I wanted a daughter. Many people are surprised when they hear that. I think that most people assume that because I’m a woman, I would want to raise a mini-me. The truth is, though, that I was not very confident in my ability to raise a confident woman–I didn’t think I had what it takes.
We didn’t find out the gender of our baby until she was born and the minute she was placed in my arms, it all fit. All of it. Especially her being a girl, a daughter. My husband and I often describe that feeling as being an “Of course we have a girl!” Like we somehow knew all along, but forgot. In her birth story, I describe the feelings I had about being an inadequate mother being swallowed up in the realization that I wasn’t just a mother, I was her mother–I was exactly what she needed.
That realization changed my life and I have since then made great strides to be the mother she needs. I think every mother changes dramatically with the birth of every child. I think, though, some of my changes were changes that I’ve seen specifically (for me personally) as the mother of a girl. I started living my life as the woman I hoped she would someday be. I worked on becoming more confident, on becoming a better wife, on becoming kinder to those around me as well as to myself. I worked on my relationship with exercise and health. I worked on taking care of my house. And, of course, I made time to play and enjoy her every single day.
It was a lot. Many days I found myself falling short in one or all of those categories. Living up to the ideal example for my daughter was impossible. If something slipped or if I was not being the best I could in one of the areas I was hoping to work on, I would feel guilty. I would feel as though I was not being the best version of her mom I could be and I started to feel the much discussed “mom guilt.”
But then one day I looked at her and thought of all the hopes I have for her in her lifetime. One of the hopes I have for her is that she become a mom someday as I hope she can find the joy that has surpassed all others that I have found in motherhood. My daughter is so good. She has such a good heart and so much going for her–she’s smart, funny, sassy, assertive, tender, and much more. I know she’s not perfect and her shortcomings will showcase themselves more as she grows, but I know she has the potential to be a fantastic mother. And with that: I don’t ever want her to feel like this. She shouldn’t ever feel like this.
Knowing that I never want my daughter to feel guilty for falling short in areas that she’s striving hard to improve, allowed me to give myself more grace. I want her to know it’s okay to make time for herself throughout the day. I want her to know that it’s okay to ask for help. I want her to know that it’s okay to let something go from time to time if you need to. I want her to learn to trust herself and do her best and not beat herself up about the rest.
If I want those things for her, I have to emulate them. I have to be that woman instead. I have to be the woman without guilt–or at least the woman who doesn’t swim in it. I have to be the woman who knows she’s trying her best, but also knows she’s imperfect and is okay with that. If I really want to be the mom I need to be for her–I need to ditch the guilt.
What events in your life have changed you and in what ways?
Sharlee lives in Idaho with her husband and 3-year old daughter. She is overwhelmed with describing herself in 2-3 sentences. She loves being a wife and mother, is opinionated as all get out, loves to talk, and is passionate about the world of education.