As moms, we are pre-wired to drive ourselves crazy trying to "do the right thing" and attaining the impossible goal of becoming the perfect mother. However, there is no such thing as the perfect mother. This woman is a figment of the imagination, a mythical creature that we paint in our minds using pigments of our childhood experiences, what we always wished for, what we believe our kids need -- combined with the advice of experts and non-experts alike, and the cultural norms of the society in which we live.
All of this information comes together and forms a picture of how motherhood “should” look and then we spend our time attempting to mirror that look.
The trouble is, as mothers, we set ourselves these standards and then feel bad when we don’t meet them. Instead of feeling like failures because we haven’t achieved the fabled motherly perfection, whilst holding down a full-time job, having a perfectly designed and always spotless home, volunteering to run your daughter's Girl Guides Patrol, being a whizz in the kitchen and a goddess in the bedroom, we should adopt a new standard.
These “life rules moms need to accept into their daily lives” will help you recognize that there are some elements of your life you cannot change. Instead, embrace them and learn that being “good enough” is the standard with which we should all be satisfied.
20 The Bottomless Pit
When I was little, I had a book about a magic pot that made endless amounts of porridge, but you had to know the magic words to make it stop, or it just kept on going.
Being a mom is like being given this constantly producing pot, but nobody gave you the phrase to make it stop. As a consequence, you spend much of your time feeling like you have an never emptying laundry basket or a child whose belly is never full.
Accept that some things in life are without an endpoint. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you feel better.
19 An Electronic Nanny
We all know too much screen time is a bad thing. It is obvious we should not be plonking our kids down in front of a TV or handing them a phone or tablet to keep them amused and wholly or barely unsupervised for hours on end.
In reality, you will, at some point, be grateful for the chance to bribe your little one with a half hour of Peppa Pig in return for being able to sit down and recharge, prep dinner without their “help” or commit your scheme for total world domination to paper before you forget what you are planning to do.
This doesn’t make you a bad mom; it makes you a typical mom who knows how to make sensible use of the tools available to her.
18 Elastic Clocks
Time shouldn’t be split into am and pm. It should be before kids and after kids. In the days before you had a child, clocks behaved as you would expect. If you had to be somewhere at 1 pm, you could estimate how long it would take you to get ready, travel and manage to be there on time.
Once you have children that concept goes out of the window.
Babies and children are so creative with discovering every new weird and wonderful ways of making you late; it would be impossible to anticipate them all. Instead, accept the fact you will often have less than half of the time you need in which to achieve something and if you’re late, run out of time, or take way longer to do something that you wanted, well, you did your best.
17 Flip Flops Are Healthy
Yes, it is important to be consistent with your children. By providing an unchanging set of rules, expectations, and values, you not only give your kiddos a framework in which they can explore the world, but it also provides your child with clear guidelines on what to expect from you.
What some parents don’t know is that it can be healthy to change your mind or move the goalposts. You, your child, and your lives evolve, and it is better to change your rules, or parenting style than to rigidly stick to something that is no longer appropriate for your family, just, for the sake of consistency.
Go ahead, change your mind, you’ll love how it feels.
16 Better, Not Better
We hear all about how difficult it is to have a newborn and how much hard work they are to care for. This is true, but the focus on this stage can give the impression that it gets easier from there when the reality is - it does, and it doesn’t.
As your child ages, you merge from the brain fog and exhaustion of providing 24-hour care to a tiny, wriggly, bottomless pit of needs; there is less of the physical strain. Instead, it is replaced with a mental and emotional pressure that ebbs and flows for the rest of your life.
If you are struggling with a toddler, and grappling with the thought that “it should be better by now” learn to accept there is no cure for being a mom, it never “gets better” it only changes and you will always have days where it all feels too much.
15 Frightful Friends
It is a sad reality for many moms, once your child starts to socialize, they will, at some point, make friends with somebody you can’t stand.
It is bad enough when their new best buddy is someone in kindergarten, and there is not much in the way of interaction outside the classroom, you’ll quickly discover how little time it takes to pick up bad habits from other kids.
Once the tween and teen years arrive, you might have to put up with a friend who isn’t so bad you have to break things up, but you can’t bear them anyway. It may be on this occasion you have to pick your battle, not say anything negative and put up with them in order to avoid unnecessary drama.
14 You’ll Catch Hideous Ear Worms
At some point, your child will form an inexplicable attachment to a children's show. This show will have many, many features designed to delight your child. These elements will have the unfortunate side-effect of driving you totally insane.
The most bothersome ingredient in many kids shows is the theme tune. This perkily upbeat combo of high notes and strange lyric will play at the beginning, the end, and at multiple times during the show. It is a foregone conclusion that one of these theme tunes will burrow into your ear, possibly forever.
Sometimes, at night, when everything is dark and silent, I am still haunted by the sound of the opening credits of Thomas The Tank Engine.
13 Accidents Happen
Admit it, we’ve all done it. There has been a report on the news where a small child has been in a preventable accident, or a friend tells us a story where a little one has been needlessly hurt, and you’ve thought, “Where was the kid's mom when that was happening?”, “Wasn’t anyone taking any notice?” or “How could they have been so stupid/careless?”
The thing is, although we are, generally speaking, inherently judgey when it comes to kids having accidents, it doesn’t matter how careful you are, how observant, how responsible, there is always the possibility that it could happen to you.
12 Resistance Is Futile
Despite your excellent planning skills, your exemplary multi-tasking, and your enviable ability to actually do things instead of sitting and thinking about doing them, at some point, you have to accept you are not in total control of your life.
Trying to do your best is a good thing, getting bent out of shape because things have not gone to plan because of something over which you have no control is not. Do not try to fight against the mishaps, changes, and deviations to the plan, learn to go with them, it will make you and your family less stressed in the long run.
11 In One Ear...
It doesn’t matter what you say or do, once you are a mom, everyone and their mother will suddenly become a parenting expert and feel free to heap unsolicited advice upon you.
During pregnancy or when you are waiting for your adopted, foster, or step-child to join you, the “help” will be of the general “this is how to be a mom” variety. Once you have a child in your clammy, fear-fuelled arms this changes to nuggets of often uninformed information about everything you say and do.
Learn to politely nod and say “Oh interesting; I’ll have to think about that” and then ignore any advice you feel is stupid - which is usually most of it.
10 Crystal Clear And Awkward
Few of us could truthfully say, hand on heart, that we have never dropped an F-bomb, or something similar in front of the kids. Your intentions might be good, but the reality is, no matter how hard we try, we can’t always censor ourselves and not only that, sometimes going into the bedroom, closing the door and letting rip with a verbal diatribe is healthy.
Your language is not the point of this entry though; it’s your little 'uns. Your child is going, at some point, to let rip with a beautiful, loud, and clear swear word, in a very public place. People will turn and stare. Most of them will look like it is the most shocking thing they have ever experienced.
Accept it, smile sweetly, loudly tell your child not to swear and then get on with your day.
9 Time To Go
When you have children, the closer it is to the time you have to leave the house, the more likely it is that the horrible little buggers will manage to either:
A. Look like they have been dragged through a hedge backward giving the impression you made no effort to make them look nice before leaving home;
B. Find some previously unidentified substance and spread it across themselves, usually leaving them sticky, filthy, or both;
C. Get naked.
Always get yourself ready to walk out of the door before getting the kids ready, it gives them less opportunity to cause chaos before you leave. Slightly.
8 Changing Like The Weather
As your little one grows into a slightly bigger one, your budding person will develop particular tastes in clothes, food, toys, etc. and you will have to walk the tightrope between ensuring they are able to enjoy the things they like and teaching your child that they cannot always have what they want.
It is almost guaranteed that the day after you go to the store and do a big monthly shop and bring home six family size boxes of Rice Krispies, eight giant boxes of Goldfish crackers, and a tanker full of apple juice your child will happily announce they no longer like Rice Krispies, Goldfish, or apple juice and that they are never going to eat them again.
7 The Secret Child
When you and your child are first getting to know each other, the relationship between the two of you will be pretty intense. You will be the expert on this tiny human, the best interpreter of every little sound, facial expression, and movement. Mom will know better than anyone else in the world. Every. Last. Detail.
One day, you will reluctantly leave your precious one with another person, to whom you will provide a long list of likes, dislikes, how to do things, etc. And when you pick kiddo up again, you will hear they acted in the exact opposite way you predicted. Accept the fact your little bundle has one version for you and other versions for other people.
6 But I Really Want To
It is a reality that once your children get to a particular stage, they will start to show an interest in sporting, artistic, or academic activities and begin asking to attend events and join clubs or teams. This isn’t so bad when you can find local free events or when your kiddo participates in a free school led activity.
But eventually, the time will come when your little rug rat wants to do something that costs big bucks.
What you have to accept is not that this will happen, but that your child will be entirely in love with an activity until they finally convince you that it is worth shelling out for the uniform and equipment, then the shines rubs off, and they lose interest.
5 A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Untruths
When you are having one of your better moments, you know, the kind of day where nobody has vomited on you and your socks match, you might be tempted to spend some time online stalking a few people you used to know or hoping to find a bad picture of your perfect sister-in-law.
Don’t do it.
People mostly post their best versions of their life online. Behind the glamorous depiction of every perfect candid shot on Instagram, there are 463 other shots that weren’t used because they weren’t good enough.
Do not be downhearted when you see other people having a happier, shinier, more sparkly and fun life than you. It is all a giant untruth. Unless of course, your sister-in-law posts a photo of herself covered in vomit. In that case, it’s real. Feel free to enjoy.
4 Too Tired
When you spend your life in a semi-permanent fog of overwork and sleep deprivation it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming when your little humans are bushed, they will want to go to catch some zzz’s. This is not so.
As difficult as it may be to wrap your head around it, you will need to learn to accept a simple truth, one you won't like at all. The more tired your child is, the less likely it is they will go to sleep without fighting tooth and nail to remain conscious.
3 Don’t Be Shy
Once your child is mobile enough to follow you around the house, you will no longer be able to pee alone. Ever. Well, maybe by the time your youngest child finally realizes that standing talking at mom while she sits on the toilet is actually a bit gross you might be able to empty your bladder unaccompanied, but don’t hold your breath. Or your pee.
Instead of trying to rush to the washroom before your kids catch-on and rush in with you, accept the inevitable and set some boundaries. For me, it was agreeing to leave the door open if kiddo stayed outside, out of sight down the hallway. Then, I could wee without being watched and only had to put up with a called out play by play commentary of Paw Patrol.
2 The Least Worst
There are plenty of decisions to be made when you are a parent: “Do I breastfeed or use formula?”, “Do I go back to work when my maternity leave ends or stay off a bit longer?”, “Should I dress in camo and hide in the garden for the next five years, or do woman up, act like an adult and go back into the house and be a parent?”
One of the things you have to accept when you become a mom is that sometimes you are faced with a decision that doesn’t have an option that is 100% positive.
Sometimes, you are forced to pick between two not-so-ideal options, and you have to choose the least unpleasant one.
1 Sharing Is Caring
When you want to keep something private, the more embarrassing, gross, or explicit a story, fact or event is, the more likely your eight-year-old is to tell everyone about it, preferably in a crowded location.
Do not bother getting worked up when your little one overshares. They understand the idea of privacy, but that principle is easily overridden by their amusement. Instead, focus the time and energy you would spend being distressed on learning to maintain an air of casualness and an unembarrassed game face. This will be useful when your child is onstage during a school performance and tells the audience daddy slept in the car last night because he came home drunk and mommy was angry at him.
Reference: This One Mom's Experience.