Modern day motherhood feels rife with judgements and expectations. Every person I meet or book I read seems to have an opinion on every aspect of how children should be raised. With all this noise from society, its easy to fall into a pit of self-doubt around my own mothering. The internal and external judgements of how to do it right can leave me feeling like I’m always doing it wrong. So pervasive is this attitude, that it seems radical, over-confident, or even off-putting to profess pride in my own parenting choices.
And yet, I’m proud of the momma I am.
I’m proud that I celebrate the miracle of my children’s lives and hold them with delight.
I’m proud of the overwhelming strength of my body that grew these babies, nurturing the tiny bodies within, then overcame my own limits to bring them into this world.
I’m proud of the beautiful nursing relationship I built with each child, endlessly holding them to my chest, day and night, as my arms grew weary and my eyelids grew heavy.
I’m proud of sharing sleep with my babies and the exhausting, amazing bond that it’s brought to our lives.
I’m proud of trusting my gut instincts, and my own children, above all else when my heart screams no to the “shoulds” of society.
I’m proud every time I’ve answered my children’s cries, listened to their needs, and embraced them with love.
I’m proud of giving them the freedom to grow into their own selves rather than forcing my own expectations.
I’m proud of sitting down to share meals with my kids. Of laughing together with oatmeal-smeared faces, ignoring the piled dishes and messy floors.
I’m proud that I stop to play with my little ones. That I take time to build blocks and read books and paint pictures.
I’m proud when I slow down to meet their meaningful pace rather than hurrying them to keep up with mine.
I’m proud when I respond to their most trying times with a soft heart and positive spirit.
I’m proud that when I fail and yell, I can embrace my kids, and myself, with grace and say, “I’m sorry. I love you. Let’s try better next time.”
I’m proud that I show my children my whole heart – what makes it smile and what breaks it wide open.
I’m proud of loving my children – deeply and abundantly and imperfectly – but ultimately with everything I am.
These points of pride are things that are not always easy; they do not always come naturally to me; they do not always feel right in the short term. Each choice comes with a trade off, something else at which I feel I’m failing. And in the moment, I do not always make the “right” choice, the choice that makes me proud. But perfection is not the point. Showing up and trying, day in and day out, is enough to be proud of.
So for today, I choose to take a step back and be proud of the mother I am. I choose to celebrate the small successes that stream through the scattered failures. These are the things I choose to hold onto and remember about motherhood. These are the meaningful moments that make me a momma.
I’m proud of the momma I am, and prouder still of the momma I’m becoming as I learn more and grow wiser with each passing day.