Monday, February 7, 2011

The measuring stick

Last night I was laying in bed and praying before I fell asleep when I realized that I was feeling discouraged about being a mom. Then I had to stop and ask myself “Why?”

We had a good day yesterday. I went to work for a few hours and then ran a couple errands. A took the monkey to school with him for a bit and then we all landed at home for lunch. After lunch A and the monkey both took naps while I watched a movie and worked on a couple projects. We skipped church (I know, we’re sinners ;) ) in order to have a relaxing evening at home after a long week and it was just that. The monkey was happy and didn’t throw any major fits. We played and cuddled and then put her to bed. All in all, a good day.

So what was the problem? Why was I feeling like I was failing as a mom? As I laid there on pondered this I realized the problem is there is no measuring stick for success as a mom. How do I know if I am doing it right? If I did all the best for her that I could that day? This is especially hard when I can think of a million things I could have done better at the end of any given day. I could have read to her more, I could have played with her more, I could have gotten her to eat more veggies...the list goes on. But, I can’t always think of a lot of things I did really well, I mean I can think of things I did OK, but really well? Not as much.

This lack of a measuring stick is hard for me as a perfectionist. I want to know what I am being measured against and how I can tell if I am succeeding. I want to know when I have done it right and when I am exceeding expectations. Basically, I want to know when I am being a good mom. I want to be able to point to that measuring stick and say “see, I’m doing it right.” When there is no measure of success it feels like failure.

So what does it mean to be successful as a mom? How do I measure it? I am not sure that there are answers to these questions, but I am pondering them for now. I am sure I will eventually come to the realization that I need to give up the measuring stick and be content with giving mothering my best every day. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet, but I am realizing the need and that is a start.


  1. It sound like you're doing a great job with her. My children are 15, 13 and 10 and I've come to realize if I can go to bed at night and know that I've tucked them into bed myself, it's been a good day. And on occasion it hasn't been happy for all 3 at bedtime. Even at 15, there are still occasional meltdowns, but overall I think anyone who ponders if they are doing a good job being a mom, must be! I've enjoyed reading your posts.

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, it is always great to hear from someone who is further on the journey!