When I first started writing this blog post I kept it short and simple, talking about my quest to become a more positive mother. But after reading it over and over again I realized something…it was so impersonal. So I decided to re-write it, open up and get real.
From the moment my son was born, I have worried about being a good mom. Every day since his birth has been filled with questioning on whether I am making the right choices for him, and in turn, my daughter.
I’m sure every parent does this, but recently I found myself reflecting on the kind of mother I am becoming and had a realization – I am being too hard on myself. I have spent too much time criticizing myself for mistakes that I’ve made, or not giving myself enough credit for the good things I have done for my kids. When did I become so negative?
I think some of this negativity that I feel as a mother stems from how I was feeling at the beginning of my motherhood journey. As a new mom, I was overwhelmed, had no idea what I was doing and was always second-guessing myself.
The first few weeks of my son’s life were probably the most challenging I’ve had as a mother thus far. I struggled with breastfeeding and made the decision to stop and exclusively formula feed after one month. The guilt I felt about making that decision stayed with me for a very long time. It was the first time I felt like a failure as a mother. From there I started to feel depressed and in my darkest moments, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to be a mom. With time and support, I have come to know that I am a good parent, but I still have moments when I wonder “Am I making the right decisions? Am I being a good mom?”
So I am choosing to start fresh and to let go of the negativity. I might make mistakes, but rather than beating myself up about them I will make sure to learn from them and try to take something positive out of the experience. I also need to recognize when I’ve done something good for my kids and embrace those moments.
What I am learning from this self-reflection is that to be the best mom to my children I need to be a more positive me. Not only is it a good lesson to teach my kids, but one I think we should all practice daily.