11/10/11

The Worst Mom

The other day Luke and I were in the car and I was telling him a story about Eli. I honestly can't even remember what the story was about or what had happened, which doesn't really matter at this point.

I ended the story by saying "which probably means I'm the worst mother in the world". Luke then asked me why I always referred to myself as the worst mom when in actuality I was a great mother.

I just shrugged his question off at that moment as another one of Luke's "annoying" questions, but it has weighed heavily on my mind and heart since that day.

Becoming a mother this year has been one of the most natural things I have ever done. Yes there were moments at first when I thought "WHAT HAVE WE DONE??" but for the most part becoming a mother was the easiest thing I have ever done.

I try not to let the little things stress me out, I try not to worry too much about if I'm doing the right thing or if Eli is doing what every other baby his age is doing. We are both individuals and our journey as mom and baby is our own, I do not want to compare.

But on that same note I always automatically assume I am a bad mom. It seems so contradictory to the above paragraph but somehow I have meshed the two together. I am confident yet insecure. I have peace yet I worry about how I am as a mom. I doubt myself yet I feel certain that I am doing what is best for my baby.

It seems like there is always one thing at the moment that I use to define whether I am a good mom or bad mom.

I remember the moment I realized that if I didn't get Eli clean nobody else (with the exception of Luke) would do it. I then started having anxiety attacks about getting his belly button clean.

Yes, you read that correctly his belly button. I mean, nobody wants a dirty belly button RIGHT?

I even asked the dr. what the best and most thorough way to clean a baby's belly button was, he thought it was hilarious. Why do dr.'s always think I'm funny? I'm serious.

So to answer to Luke's question, the answer is because I try and measure whether I'm a good mom or bad mom by how clean my child's belly button is.

Well maybe not just his belly button but I measure the good vs. bad mom debate by things that don't really matter. Yes it is important for Eli to have a clean belly button, but if I forget to clean it one day I am not automatically the worst mom ever. I allow the little things to define who I am as a mother instead of the big things that really matter. Such as my love for Eli and the guidance I am giving him.

So I have made it my goal to quit calling myself a bad mom. I have gotten into the habit of doing it a lot and I no longer want to say those words. They are unnecessary and as hard as it is for me to admit this they are not true.

I am a good mom.

Before becoming a mother I never could have imagined how much insecurity can plague a new mom. But I no longer want to let the lies rob me of believing that I am a good mom. Each time I have a "bad mom lie" come into my mind I have vowed to combat it with the truth. I am thankful for a husband that reminded me of this.

Now please excuse me, I'm off to google how to properly clean a belly button. Eli and I come from a long line of the deepest belly buttons ever. Both a blessing and a curse.

14 comments:

{K} said...

If it makes you feel better I have never even thought of cleaning my kids' belly buttons since their umbilical cords fell off!

I think all good moms have that nagging guilt feeling that we're a "bad mom" even when we know we're doing the best we can for our kids.

Pam said...

Funny and true, as usual. The biggest challenges for me are the things I'm uncertain about. Sure I give my Eli a very healthy diet, I change his diapers more often than is probably necessary, and I tell him I love him as much as is humanly possible. But is having him play by himself neglectful, or teaching him to be independent? Is continuing to allow a 4am waking nurturing, or robbing him of much needed sleep? It seems whatever decision I make on a given day feels like the wrong one.

I think in the end the worry comes from doing your best to make sure you do everything right, but still wondering if it's going to be "enough" for our kids to grow into happy, healthy adults.

Alex and Jill said...

You're a great Mom! Eli is so blessed to have you & Luke as parents.

Amelia and I have very deep belly buttons as well. I'm certain I don't give hers as much attention as it deserves during bathtime every night. :)

Dianna said...

The last paragraph cracked me up! I am sure he has a perfectly clean belly button. Such a raw and honest post. Thanks for sharing!

Ashley said...

Well, I have never, ever, even thought about cleaning Cooper's belly button. So....what does that say about me as a mom?!

You are a great mom Megan, and you're lucky to have Luke, who will totally call you out and make you say it out loud.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I often 'say' things like "I'm the worst mom!" or tweet something with the hashtag #badmom or whatever--but ultimately, I think I'm kidding. Mostly. I mean, maybe I feel guilty in that second for something I've done. But the truth is, in my heart, I know I'm a good mom. You do, too ;)

Maggie said...

I love the honesty of this post. I am not a mom yet, but I have not doubt that I will plagued the same way. Constantly using some insane ruler to measure how good I am or how I am NOT like this mom or that mom.

I believe that you are an incredible mom because of what I know to be true about you based off of this blog.

But I agree with you...a dirty bellybutton is no joke :)

Lauren said...

I know without a doubt that Eli is one blessed little boy to have you as his Momma!!!! :)

Malissa said...

I'm not a Mom but I can see that you are an excellent Mother to Eli. I have noticed that when people worry about doing something well it is generally not because they are actually bad at it but because it is very important to them. Bad mothers are the onea that truly don't care, that never give a thought to their child's overall cleanliness, let alone their belly buttons :) I think you're right to stop calling yourself a bad mother, not only because it is untrue but also because part of what you and Luke are teaching Eli is to respect you and also to have respect for himself and I believe your skills as a mother deserve respect.

Becca said...

I love this post. I think I am the same way -- but I also know you're a great mom and Eli's lucky to have you :-)

Life and Times . . . said...

I've been a mom for four years, and I still struggle with this. There are times when the fear that I'm a bad mother overwhelms me. But when I realized what a huge sin it is to believe that lie, I also decided I wasn't going to buy into it. This blog post was somewhat lighthearted but it was very, very true, and I think a lot of mothers needed to hear it today. Thank you for sharing your heart.

youcancallmeflower said...

hydrogen peroxide? :)

Lea Ann said...

I don't ever leave comments but I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. I think I may have an answer for you though!

My mom used to put baby oil on a Q-tip and rub it around in my brother's belly button. Somehow that would remove any dirt, lint, etc. She would use a dry Q-tip afterwards to remove the excess baby oil. Hope that helps!

Thanks so much for your encouraging posts. I'm glad you decided to keep writing!

Aja said...

Wait- we're supposed to clean their belly buttons?????
I kid :) You seem like a fantastic mom! I'm glad you recognized what you were doing and are planning to stop those thoughts when they creep in. Being a mom is tough enough!