Chances are, if you’re a mom- period- you’ve been around other moms. If you’ve been around other moms, you’ve probably experienced different “types” of moms. And, assuming you’ve experienced different parenting styles…and assuming you’re not perfect…you’ve undoubtedly experienced some level of feeling inadequate.
Am I saying something untrue?
In fact, in the mom world– just like the real world– you can’t always win and you may as well not even try. You will always offend someone. You will always be better worse at something than someone else. And you will always have something to live up to.
Except…what if you didn’t?
Take myself, for example. I’m a work from home mom (learn more about that here). But before I worked from home, I was a stay at home mom. And not a very good one. Here’s what I mean by that: to me, stay at home moms are like my own mother always was… on top of the laundry (one load a day keeps the messy piles away), orderly house, dinner at the table together every night, time for exactly one hour of daytime soap opera drama (okay, sometimes two!), and errands done in a timely fashion. Even on my BEST stay at home mom day, I couldn’t manage to accomplish everything on that list.
Or was it that I just didn’t want to?
Either way, as a stay at home mom…I felt inadequate to other stay at home moms. But then, I felt inadequate to working moms. Because, really, how did they manage to raise a baby and also take care of the house and also cook, all while working 40 hours a week? #impressive Plus, I felt like they must be smarter than me, little miss nobody staying home with a baby.
But then I found out, that some working moms felt inadequate compared to me. Like, somehow they must not love their children because they go to work or pursue other passions.
So here’s my question…is it really our label of what type of mother we are that leads to feelings of inadequacy, or is it simply our lack of self-worth?
Once I started working from home, I found that I didn’t quite so much compare myself to SAHM’s or working moms. I was finally in a position to just feel like me…to just be happy that I am able to be myself.
Okay, so sometimes I wonder if working outside while my daughter rides her bike makes me less of a mom than the one who walks beside her daughter while riding a bike…and when my husband has to take initiative to catch up on the laundry I wonder if my mother would scoff at me… but for the most part, I don’t really care. I’m in my zone of genius.
When you find your zone of genius, you stop comparing yourself to others who are in theirs.
I can appreciate crunchy granola mom without feeling the need to make my own household cleaners. I can feel love towards helicopter mom without feeling like I need to prove my own love for my daughter. I can feel gratitude for juggles everything mom without feeling like I need to compete in the school bake off. I can accept career woman mom without feeling the need to match her ambition.
At the end of the day, our inadequacy issues stem from a place much deeper than the proverbial labels that are placed on our parenting types. Am I work from home mom, now? Am I gym mom? Fancy mom when I pick up my daughter in heels? Hot mess mom when I don’t?
I’m a mom. And I love my daughter. And I know other moms who love their kids. And that, to me, makes them adequate. If you’re showing up in your kids life, you’re doing enough. You can feel proud. You can feel equal.
You can even feel a little superior, but only if you’re showing up in their life in high heels, on a break from work, with the world’s best cupcakes that you baked in your spotless chemical free kitchen.
Do you ever feel inferior compared to other moms? Did you take the quiz at the top of the page–what kind of mom are you?
If you’re a mom who’s doing her best, no matter where your zone of genius lies, then join us over at the Messy Mom Movement. If you’re not perfect, you’re perfect!