The Secret Fear That No Mom Wants to Say Out Loud
In a day and age in which there's a shooting seemingly every day, there is so much for a mom to fear. A part of me can't help but wax nostalgic and idealize the time in which I got to be a child and grow up. Now, times feel scarier by the minute. If a mom thinks too much about what's going on in the world, she might go crazy. This is something we can all explicitly state and share with each other: today's world is scary. Many of us are afraid. It's socially acceptable to share this.
But there is one fear that no mom wants to dare say out loud.
One thing that we all think from time to time, but dare not say because, well, it makes us feel ashamed.
Inferior to our peers.
The mommy wars exist not because they have to for survival, but because inside of many of us — all of us, I daresay — is a fear that perhaps we are doing this motherhood thing all wrong. That perhaps we really don't have a clue about what we are doing with our children.
The secret fear that maybe we don't know what we are doing at all.
That maybe, as a mom, we are just not good enough.
Let's be honest — mommy wars also exist because we are all (well, I think) evolutionary mammals striving to survive and thrive in a modern-day world that changes faster than we can gather another breath. If we aren't parenting our kids effectively or making smart choices, our kids and our own selves won't do well.
This need to survive and thrive is innate, but the mommy wars don't serve any real purpose. They don't make us better as mothers or as humans.
We might all be better served if we could share socially with our peers that on some days we totally doubt what we are doing as mothers.
That as convinced as we are that we're making the right choices for our families, a small voice in the back of our heads says, "Are you really so sure?"
Thanks to mom instincts, we can probably safely make tons of great choices for our little ones, but sometimes our mama gut is a bit more uncertain, more quiet.
And to say this to other women who should, in theory, be supportive parts of some universal tribe of moms is scary.
People judge. People judge because they are trying to assess whether their choices as mothers are indeed correct.
People judge because they are afraid that maybe they don't have all the right answers and that what they are doing with their kiddos may simply be wrong.
But here is the beauty of having another day. Here is the beauty of those "mistakes." We can still change. We can still learn and evolve. Although our children learn from us, dare I say, we learn even more from them.
And there are, of course, mistakes that are irreversible in life . . . but there are so many opportunities to change what we do as moms and dads as well. We can decide in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, even months to change what we are doing.
To step outside of our mothering comfort zone and try something new.
That secret fear that perhaps we are doing it all wrong is most likely false.
It's more apt that we are doing some things incorrectly, and other things very, very, very right.
But we aren't subhuman or superheroes. We are just moms with big hearts, big responsibilities, and a lot of love to give our kids.
So maybe, as judgmental as other mothers can be and as fear-invoking as this statement might be to other mommies, it's time to say aloud what we are thinking on the inside:
We are afraid we are doing it all wrong. And that's OK.
Today, you may make a mistake.
Tomorrow you may — again — make a mistake with your kids.
But as all the minutes and hours that you spend with your kid add up, the balance shows that, Mom,
you truly are doing a wonderful job.
So keep trudging forward.
You've got this.