being a mom

We Are All Great Moms When We Play To Our Strengths

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I know we can all tend to get bogged down by the Pinterest-perfect lives depicted by other moms. Or maybe we are jealous of that working mom that seems to have her act together in every way possible while we struggle with a mountain of laundry, just trying to squeak by. We all have our good points as parents and of course, we all have weaknesses. However, we are all great moms when we play to our strengths.

An area of parenting that I’ve always felt bad about is the fact that I don’t bake. Well, I make brownies from the box sometimes (and my kids think it’s the best day ever- so sad) and I have been known to attempt pumpkin bread every year around this time but other than that, nope. I have never made a birthday cake for my kids- all they have ever known is Wegman’s and they get to pick from their cake book. I felt awful about it- the fact that my kids won’t really have those memories of kneeling on the kitchen chair and helping me pour in ingredients. They won’t get to lick the spoon or taste test the first batch. This used to bother me a lot and I would see homemade cakes at their friend’s parties and feel terrible that I always phoned it in.

Recently, I decided I was doing myself no favors with that constant negative thinking. Even joking around about it made me feel bad deep down so I decided to stop. In the last few months, I have made a concerted effort to focus on my strengths as a parent and not dwell on my shortcomings. I have since discovered a lot about myself as a mom and surprisingly, much of it was positive. I have always beat myself up for being impatient with my kids in certain situations but I can also be tons of fun and very laid back. In fact, I would say I am the latter about 90% of the time so why do I focus so much on that measly 10%? And I might not know how to bake or sew but I love music and I have dance parties and let my kids “perform” for me whenever they ask. I never say no to reading a story and I’m always good at homework help. I may freak out and worry over minor illnesses but when accidents happen, I am fantastically calm in the moment. Actually, I stay positive almost all of the time and I think that’s a great strength for my kids.

Letting go of the negative thinking and constant apologizing for my shortcomings was a huge moment for me as a parent. When I stopped beating myself up and allowed myself to not be perfect at everything, I felt free. I won’t make apologies anymore and will just try to let my strengths compensate in the areas where I lack. I will try my best and that’s really all I can do. Owning my parenting flaws yet, not feeling the need to do penance for them is a big shift for me.

Everybody has flaws and mothers are obviously no exception- we do ourselves a huge disservice when we choose to focus on what we do wrong because chances are, we are doing most things right. I really believe the secret to being a great mom is congratulating ourselves for what we do well and forgiving ourselves for the areas where we could stand to improve. Being a positive force for our children can only yield good things and it starts with how we feel about ourselves.

(Image: Goodluz/Shutterstock)