I am an active mom. I take my children to the park on my days off. We bake pies together. I give them piggy back rides every night and read extra bedtime stories. I can honestly say that when it comes to motherhood, I’m pretty awesome.
So why is it that sometimes I feel like a “bad” mother?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad mom at all. But I tend to constantly talk myself down. While I’m digging through a giant pile of clean laundry to find a shirt for my son to wear or when my daughter really wants to wear her pink princess dress but I had no time to wash it. It’s times like these that I feel like the worst mom in the world.
And of course I tell myself this over and over again. Why couldn’t I have taken some time out to fold that laundry? Or sort out those socks? Why do I always prioritize everything over household chores?
Some days every step I take in the living room results in something sticking to my shoes. Raisins, clay, stickers, old cookies, you name it. I dare not look underneath the couch because I’m pretty sure there are dust monsters living under there.
You should see our master bedroom, it’s a mess. There are heaps of stuff everywhere and it keeps piling up. I know that I could clear it all up if I just spent one afternoon sorting through everything, but I never get around to actually doing it.
And it’s making me feel like a terrible mother. Sometimes I think, “what kind of a mother am I, letting my kids live in this house?” A house where there are crumbs on the table and last night’s spaghetti still sticking to the sides of their chairs. A house with dirty dishes in the kitchen counter but somehow the dishwasher is always running. And how come I didn’t clean up yesterday? Well, because I had to work every day. I had to teach yoga at night and we had those friends over for dinner.
But one rare and special day, I had some time off. So I was able to take the kids out to lunch and we visited the dinosaur museum. It was the best day in the world. The sun was shining, they laughed, we roared at every dinosaur we saw and when we finally got home, we planted ourselves on the couch with a cup of tea. As my son and daughter cuddled up beside me, my daughter sighed that she had the best day ever while my son murmured that he thought I was the sweetest mom in the world. I felt blessed that I could give them such a happy day.
But even at that moment, that little voice spoke to me again. “I probably should have spent the day mopping the floor and mowing the lawn. However I chose to vacuum real quick that morning and throw in one load of laundry before we left….”
I took a pause and looked down at the happy faces of my kids. It was then that I decided to silence that little judgmental voice forever. Instead of trying to be the “perfect” mother with a clean house all the time, I will give my children all of my undivided time and attention, and stop worrying so much about the spills or the stains.
After all, when I’m older, will I remember the fact that I had a clean floor, or will I remember the laughter of my children happily echoing through the museum halls?
Written By: Alyssa Demkes
Dutch girl Alyssa is a yoga instructor and a mother of two beautiful children. She also enjoys reading english classics and philosophy books. (You’ll often find her in dusty old bookstores) If she’s not there, she’s probably in the kitchen preparing healthy and delicious food for her family. For Alyssa, perfect happiness is sharing a home cooked meal with her loved ones. She shares her discoveries and thoughts on her personal blog and is happy to also share the love via Happygirl Yoga.