You Are Still A Good Mother

You heard your infant whining over the monitor at six am this morning. She was ready for the day, but you ignored her so you could get the five extra minutes of the sleep you so desperately needed.

You are still a good mother.

You fed your toddler a piece of white, non-organic toast with off brand peanut butter for breakfast this morning because it was fast, easy and required no dishes to clean up. You don’t have the energy to scramble cage free organic eggs and cut up fresh fruit into little shapes like you have pinned on your latest Pinterest board.

You are still a good mother.

Your infant is crying, and you make her a bottle from water and powdered formula. When she was born you decided not to breastfeed.

You are still a good mother.

After breakfast you brought your toddler into the living room and let him watch tv, instead of doing sensory activities with him, or playing outside.

You are still a good mother.

It is a beautiful day out, and he asks to go to the park. You don’t feel like getting everyone ready, yourself included, so you tell him “maybe tomorrow”.

You are still a good mother.

When lunch rolled around, you popped a premade toddler meal that contains preservatives into the microwave and let him eat it.

You are still a good mother.

After lunch you try to put both kids down for a nap You are exhausted, so you decide to try to take a nap too, even though last night’s dishes are still in your kitchen sink waiting to be washed.

You are still a good mother.

Neither kid will sleep, and your toddler says he isn’t tired, although his attitude says different. You take them for a ride in the car so they will hopefully fall asleep. The money you spent on a sleep training course was a waste, because even though every mom in your Facebook mom group swore by it, your babies refuse to nap.

You are still a good mother.

You come home and let the tv babysit them again while you wash those dishes.

You are still a good mother.

Before dinner your toddler asks for a cookie for what feels like the millionth time. You finally break and give him two cookies to stop him from a tantrum, even though it means he will probably eat less of his dinner.

You are still a good mother.

You skip bath night even though both babies have food in their hair.

You are still a good mother.

You tuck your toddler in, forgetting to brush his teeth, and read him his nightly story.

You are still a good mother.

And of course, this isn’t what you do every single day.

You play with your kids and teach them. You take them to the park, feed them well balanced meals and give them baths.

But in a world filled with picture after picture on newsfeeds of other moms depicting the perfect lives; trips to the park, Pinterest perfect snacks and all- it is hard to not feel like a less adequate mom than them.

Remember this…

No matter how hard your day may have been and whether you feed your kids organic meals daily or whatever is on sale at the local market- if you bring them up knowing they are taken care of and loved…

Then you are still a good mother.

5 Things I’d Tell My 20-Year-Old Self

I’ve been finding myself reflecting on the past decade often. While I firmly believe that your 20s are a time in your life where you learn and grow, there are some things that I would go back and change if I could.

If I could write advice for myself at 20, here are 5 things I would make sure I knew.

The people that you love will not be around forever.

Visit them as often as you can. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, and neither are the people that you love. It is easy to assume that there will always be next week, next year, next Christmas. But that is not the case. It is easier to make time to visit someone you love now, rather than regretting missing that visit with them after they are gone.

It is okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.

You’re going to make a lot of them. Some of them are bigger mistakes than others. Some will affect other people rather than just yourself. Seek forgiveness from those you hurt, as well as yourself. Use your mistakes as a lesson to become a better person. Learn, and move on. Just make sure not to make that same mistake again.

Relationships take work.

A whole lot of work. Many arguments can be avoided when two people work harder to communicate and listen effectively. Try not to jump to conclusions, and keep your temper at bay. Don’t be afraid to love, but protect your heart at the same time.

It is never too late to try something new.

From trying out new hobbies, to switching careers, it is never to late to redefine yourself. Just because you have a degree or experience in one thing, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new. Change is a part of life. You’re either getting better, or getting worse. Nothing stays the same

Not everyone is your friend.

Sometimes that even means someone who you think is close to you. Be careful who you share personal stories with. Sometimes a “friend” can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A true friend supports you, stands behind you, and wants to see you succeed. Sometimes friendships come to an end. Learn from them, cherish the good, and use your experiences to grow.

Featured on The Huffington Post