I have always been driven by success. I was that keener kid in class who would show up early and raise my hand to answer every question. I would stay after and talk about assignments, even handing in things early. I was the teacher’s pet, coaches pet, trying to do everything the best, earn those A’s, high fives or gold stars. I loved being recognized for my skills, passion and hard work.
THIS has been my biggest struggle with motherhood. It has actually been my biggest struggle with most of the adulting that I have done. I have learned that I am a “words of affirmation” person. I need this verbal praise to feel complete and accomplished, this is how I receive love. Just like every mama out there, we tend do a lot more giving than receiving and even when we have supportive partners who show appreciation, the day to day can be a struggle. It can be hard and in a way that is very difficult to convey to others who aren’t “in-it”. It can wear you down as it seems nothing is ever simple. We spend our days with our tiny humans, meeting every demand, trying our best to provide, support and guide with no expectations of appreciation but I have to admit when the day is done, and I have no idea if I did a good job, I struggle.
Some days I feel pretty proud of myself, we have a great day, there were no tantrums (in public), we ate healthy, learned something new and maybe even exercised and guess what my one year old says… nothing, she just gives me a hug and a kiss and goes to bed. She does this when I have a bad day too, when I feel like I have ultimately failed as a parent she still says nothing (she can’t talk yet) but she gives me a hug and a kiss and still goes to bed. So even though I have this personal desire to achieve and be the best, I am also learning to be comforted by the fact that there is no such thing. The truth is there are no gold stars for parenting the best, there isn’t a World’s Best Mama award and even better there isn’t a World’s Worst Mama award. There is just the day to day act of providing, supporting and loving our littles.
You got this, Mama!
So although it seems silly, I have started giving myself my own gold stars to help me out of this parenting rut. This is my personal reflection to help me rediscover the highlights of our day no matter how small it may seem. So today I gave myself a gold star for making a delicious slow cooker soup in 20 minutes while my little one played with a truck, another gold star for keeping my cool when apparently putting in her jacket was the WORST thing ever and finally a gold star for taking some me time when my husband got home because I really needed it.
This season of life can be hard and if we don’t stop to recognize the positives in the ordinary moments, so many of them will be lost.