Be a GEM – Good Enough Mother

Be a GEM, a good enough mother.  Parenting is no place for perfectionism.  The longer you hang onto high standards, appearances and raising perfect little angels, the more you will suffer.  You might have a strong inner critic who holds that bar way too high.

Parenting children is an experience that changes you from the inside out.  Nothing in life compares to the love, fatigue, frustration or guilt you feel when you are a parent.   To add to the intensity of emotions is the fact that your basic needs don’t get met.  Your sleep is interrupted.  You can’t relax and eat a meal without little ones getting up and down.

Who would have thought that going to the smallest room of your house where you used to sit in solitude is now a public space?  Multi-tasking at a whole new level!

You might find yourself saying or doing things that you don’t feel great about.  This happens.  Let yourself feel healthy guilt, which motivates change but don’t go to shame.  Guilt says, “What I did was unacceptable.”  Shame says, “I’m unacceptable.” Watch that thought. It just isn’t true.

While your circumstances won’t be changing anytime soon, your way of thinking can. 

  • Your children will give you their most demanding behaviour because they have their strongest bond with you, not because you are a bad mom.
  • You will have times when you don’t feel loving simply because your self-care is absent.
  • It might look like other parents have it all together, they don’t.
  • You will have times when you just don’t know how to handle your kids, that is normal.
  • It’s not selfish to take time to yourself when possible, even if you do nothing.
  • A messy house is a sign that somebody lives there.
  • Saying “good enough” is not lazy; it saves energy for things that matter.
  • When your kids are acting like kids, you probably aren’t being judged and if you are, tell yourself, “It is none of my business what you think of my kids or me.”

While pain is a part of life, suffering doesn’t have to be.  We suffer when mistaken thinking creeps into our life circumstances.  If you hold the bar too high, it could be that your inner critic is taking over.   Fire her! Okay, so she will never totally disappear, just don’t give her permission to run the show.  Tell her… you are a good enough mom.