No matter what acronym you have, SAHM (Stay-at-Home Mom), WAHM (Work-at-Home Mom), WOHM (Work-Outside-the-Home Mom) or INMNOM (In-Need-of-a-Mom’s-Night-Out Mom), there is no doubt your job is hard.
The day-to-day, nitty-gritty parts of motherhood are exhausting. But that is not why a mother waits up for her teenage son to come home on a Saturday night despite being awake for more than 15 hours. That is not why a mother of a toddler spends four hours researching online and another hour discussing with her doctor about whether or not her toddler needs vitamin supplements.
It is the uncertainty–uncertainty about the parenting choices we make, uncertainty about the kind of job we are doing at being mothers, uncertainty about our children’s futures, uncertainty about motherhood.
There is just so much that we worry about. Did I breastfeed enough? Is it OK that I never breastfed? Which formula should I use? Am I harming my baby by giving him a pacifier, by not giving him one? Did she have enough tummy time? Are her milestones on track?
Am I disciplining them correctly? Is it OK that I lose my shit and yell and scream once in a while? Is it OK that some days I feel like I just can’t handle it all? If I go back to work, will they resent me for not being home with them? If I stay at home, will I ruin them because I don’t have circle time in the living room every day?
Are they getting enough social interaction? Do they get enough time to play alone? Do they get enough time outside? Did I make the right choice for their education? Is this just a phase, or something more?
The list of crap we moms worry about goes on and on and on. It doesn’t help that every time we turn on a computer or TV, we are inundated by studies and opinions by doctors and psychologists all about the one topic we can’t seem to get enough of: parenting.
One day we read that if we don’t want to screw up our kids we need to do this; the next day we read no, we need to do that instead. It is enough to make a mom want to rip her hair out and scream at the screen, What the hell is it that I am supposed to do?!
Will we always know the right thing to do? No. Will we always worry if we are doing right by our kids? Probably. I think, though, that the uncertainty is what makes us good mothers. It is the uncertainty that makes us try to do better when we can.
And the reason the uncertainty is there is simple: Love.
Love is an unmoving rock amongst the rough seas of uncertainty and worry. We love our kids so much it hurts. We love our kids so much we worry if we can be certain that we are doing a good enough job being a mom.
Let me ask you this: Are your kids’ basic needs met—food, clothing, shelter?
Do your kids know just how much you freaking love them?
Then let me tell you this, Mama: You are doing a good enough job. I am certain of it.