Sometimes motherhood can feel like a grind. Like a hustle from the time your child wakes up until you put them to bed at night, with all the things in between – work, errands, dinner, collapse on the couch and then do it all again tomorrow. And even though you’re completely exhausted, you start to wonder:
Am I doing enough as a mom?
Because out of everything you’re juggling, raising your kids is the most important. And you want to do it right. (And for those of us from whacked families, we especially want our kids to have the ideal childhood we never had.)
You look at Pinterest and see moms who are so crafty they sweat glitter or hit up Instagram and find muscle-moms who use their babies as weights and work out every. single. day.
You go to Facebook and see friends who are jetting off on vacations with their mini-mes or are giddy about stacking blocks with their toddlers or love breastfeeding so much they’re going to do it until their child goes to kindergarten.
But what if you’re not like those moms?
They look like they have motherhood figured out while you’re barely holding it together. Here’s the big reveal: There’s no secret mom sauce that you’re missing.
When you’re doubting yourself (especially after you’ve had a mommy meltdown – oh my guiltness!), read this list. I’m pretty sure you’re going to be ticking off several of these signs that you’re an awesome and adored mom:
#1: Everyone is fed.
It seems pretty basic, but this is how I measured my success as a mom when I had a newborn, a one-year-old and a dog that all needed me in the mornings. I felt hectic and rushed (and it was loud) when the baby and toddler wanted to eat at the same time and the dog needed to be let out to go potty. But once everyone was fed and settled, I felt like I had checked off the biggest to-do item on my list. #CelebrateEveryWin
#2: You figured out how to soothe your baby.
It’s surprising really how you don’t automatically know how to soothe and calm your newborn. I mean, that person lived inside you for nine months you’d think you would know, right? But when you discover what works best – rocking, white noise, a nipple, that one annoying song, whatever – count it as a parenting milestone. You’re on your way to knowing your child better than anyone else does.
#3: Your lap is the hot spot.
If when you finally sit down, your lap is filled with one or more kids or a pet or both, it’s a sign that everyone wants to be near you. You are the happening place in their world. Like: they would wait in a red-velvet-rope line for HOURS (and maybe they did because you just got home from work) to snag the lap spot.
#4: Your kiddo confesses.
You would have never known about the candy wrappers hidden under the bed or that they got in trouble at school for talking too much. But your child wants to tell you about everything going on their life. That’s a sign that they feel safe talking to you about stuff, even when they know you won’t be happy about something they did.
#5: You get flowers.
Dandelions, lots and lots of dandelions. And heart-shaped rocks and feathers and all matter of “treasures” your little one finds. Your child obviously thinks you deserve to be showered with gifts.
#6: You’re in 75% of your child’s drawings.
Ok, this one may not last long, but enjoy being your child’s muse, if only for now. Petite Picasso or not, your toddler’s stick drawings are masterpieces worthy of wall or frig space, especially if you’re depicted with hearts, flowers or a crown.
#7: They want their friends to meet you.
I’m not sure where this one came from, because I’m not a stickler about manners and such, but my kids love to introduce me to their friends. At the mall playscape, at school, at the park. Whenever they meet someone who they’re excited to play with they bring their new friend to see me. Introductions are made and then they run off to play again. It’s super cute, and I take it as positive sign that my kids want to include me in their worlds (and that they’re not embarrassed of me…yet).
#8: You have drawers full of craft supplies.
Even if you never made a craft in your life, you have drawers, boxes or piles of craft supplies ready for whenever your child gets a spark of creativity. And you proudly display those finger paintings or popsicle-stick houses. Because you would do anything to encourage your little one to pursue their passions.
#9: There’s dust bunnies in your hallway.
And Play-Doh on the floor. And piles of laundry waiting to be put away. And although it drives you crazy every time you see it, you know that spending some time with your kiddo – cuddling and cooing at your baby, playing with your toddler, reading a book to your preschooler – is far more important than housework. Because really, anyone can clean your house, but only YOU can be your child’s mom.
#10: Your child is becoming a cool person.
Like someone you’d want as a friend: kind, loving and fun. If that isn’t the surest sign that you’re doing a good job, I don’t know what is.
When you’re stressed and overwhelmed and feeling not good enough, look for these simple-but-important signs that you’re actually doing a great job as a mom. You’ll probably find other indicators not even on this list, but just as strong of signs that you’re on the right path. You got this! Now go back to doing your mom-thang with the confidence that you’re doing just fine and that every day is an opportunity to get even better at doing the mommy hustle.
P.S. Have you joined the Mommy Crib Notes Facebook Group yet? It’s a moms-helping-moms community where I hang out and answer any questions you have about becoming a mom and caring for your baby or toddler. Other moms chime in too, and if we don’t have an answer, we at least have tons of encouragement for you! Will you meet me over there?