It’s strange how the best job and the most challenging job are the same: being a momma. You hear people say it over and over, you read it in all the books, but I don’t think you truly understand it until you become a momma yourself.
I’m a type-A personality — I’m a planner, a to-do list maker, a person who prepares for what is to come, and before it even happens, has a back-up plan – just in case! I’m dependable, an over-acheiver, a workhorse, and people can entrust me to do the job, do it well, and go above and beyond expectations — because, trust me, no one else has higher expectations than I do of myself, and I’ll be damned if I don’t hit them. And, if for some reason I don’t hit those expectations, I will beat myself up about it — forever. It’s a blessing and curse, and I’m a work in progress. I’m learning everyday how to relax, be more “in the moment,” and to not be as tough on myself if I fall short of what I “planned” out in my mind. And, as much as I may not want to admit it, I thrive on words of appreciation, words of encouragement, and praise for a “job well done.”
When I worked in the corporate world, I would seek out ways to separate myself from the pack. Whether it was something like bringing donuts on Friday to make everyone smile, finishing a project a week in advance to be ahead of the curve, or creating a process improvement to make everyone else’s job easier — I was your girl! And, I loved hearing that I was awesome, even if I played it off being modest or negated it by saying I could always be better — it still was motivating to hear. It pushed me a bit further, and I liked being the one my boss could depend on to produce quality work.
One of the difficulties in leaving the corporate world to be a stay at home momma is the questioning of whether or not I’m doing a good job. There aren’t any projects due, deadlines to hit, quarterly evaluations to hear feedback on what I can improve on — and my boss, well — she’s two. And her vocabulary consists of very profound (and important) words like “cat,” “ball,” “tree,” “car – beep beep!,” and “PINK!” Sure, I can find success in the sheer fact that she’s alive and healthy — but there’s this unspoken fear of am I doing it right? Am I doing enough? Is there anything else I could be doing to be a better mother?
I know many mommas ask themselves these questions. And yet, we do everything we can, put our heart and soul into raising our beautiful little humans, but then lack confidence in whether we are “good enough.” Or waste time comparing ourselves to other Moms, thinking we aren’t doing enough because “so and so did x, y, and z today and I was so tired I let my little one watch movies all day.” Why do we do this?
When your little one is so little they can’t really communicate to you, it’s tough to know — or to feel, rather — that you are doing a good job, or that they are happy with your “progress” in this hard, time-consuming job of being “Momma.” But really, it’s all about the little things — and even if they can’t use the words to say “You’re doing great! Keep it up! You’re on your way to getting a raise/promotion!” — sometimes, it’s the unspoken words, the extra snuggles, the sweet little smiles and kisses that confirm it — you know, I might just being doing okay after all.