So you're scrolling through your phone and you think that other mamas have their life together so much more than you, right? You see their Instagram square of a perfect image that captures a crisp, clean home and you wonder why your little heathens can't allow yours to look like that. Then there's the mom who cooks amazing meals all from scratch, the mom who swears she never yells at her children and then the mom who has the six week old who "supposedly" sleeps through the night.
I'm here to tell you that it's all crap and as it turns out, you're probably not too shabby. Sure you may feel like you've lost all sanity and well there may be times that there are NO clean towels in your home, but I guarantee you that you're doing a fine job just like those mamas whose feeds you stare at.
So do you want to do know how to be a bad ass mom?
For starters, stop comparing yourself and stop believing people's feeds are "real." All of those moms that you follow and admire are probably losing their shit just as much as you are. They crop out the messes on their pictures and they filter the heck out of their photos to make everything seem sunny and pristine. Social media can be so amazing for the purpose of support, advice and inspiration; but it can also be so damaging to a mother because it allows us to compare ourselves to so many.
Next, you should do YOUR thing and to heck with the unsolicited advice. Being a bad ass mom means that you have your own mama instincts that you'll live by and to heck with those that tell you you're doing it wrong. If you want to co-sleep then go girl. If you want to breastfeed until your baby is four then kudos to you. And finally, if you want to occasionally give your kid a sugary pop tart for breakfast with a tall glass of chocolate milk, then girl rock on. You have to follow your own instincts when it comes to things like sleeping training, co sleeping, breastfeeding, supplementing, CIO, etc... You can't just do what others tell you to do, because then often times it may make you feel like you chose the wrong route. Follow your heart!
Don't be afraid to ask for help. This goes great with the above comment. I'm not a fan of unsolicited advice or comments that make you feel like your way is the wrong way - but know when you may need to ask for help. Whether it's asking your mom, grandma, Facebook or Google, there is nothing wrong with admitting you need advice on raising your littles.
Don't sweat the small stuff. I do believe there are tiny, pointless battles that just aren't worth it. Children need to learn how to communicate and express what they're feeling, don't feel like your child has to be an angel 100% off the time. We all have children that act a little crazy sometimes (or a lot) so don't sweat that your child may not be as well behaved as others. No child can be perfect and there's so much going on in those brains that we will never understand.
Don't be a proud "shitty" mom. I know that seems weird, but I swear I occasionally see people who are loud and proud because their child eats a crappy diet or because their child is uncontrollable so they just "give up." Well sure you shouldn't sweat every little thing and very few children have a perfect diet, but give yourself some credit. Sometimes I think people boast about certain things because they don't know how to change it -- like a kid's diet. No one said your child has to have an organic, sugar free diet -- but strive to teach them balance. In everything. Don't give up, Mama.
Strive to be more. This may seem contradictory to what I've been saying, but I believe a bad ass mom is a mother who knows that perfection is impossible, but yet they always strive to be more or to do better. This can come in many forms -- whether it is to have more patience, yell less, spend less time on your phone or ensure that your children do get their fruits and veggies in at least one meal, then you're being a bad ass mom because you're realizing where you may need improvement. I believe ALL moms have things they can improve on; just as our children grow, so do we.
Stop complaining. I probably need to work on this sometimes - although truthfully I'll usually just whine to my husband. But I do see many who constantly complain on social media and I do feel like the more you complain, the unhappier you'll be. Again, I even need to work on this and I do think it's totally okay to once in a while throw a rant out about your sleepless night, but don't "FML" your life away every day. Many would beg to be in your shoes.
Know that you're totally normal and probably fine. I say this as I see SO many mamas post and ask in desperation about wondering if they need medication or help because of many different things (a bonus of support on social media). Now, I won't get on a medication post but what I will say is that I often think we forget that mothers are supposed to have some anxiety. We are supposed to worry about our children day in and day out because we are their caregivers and we love them more than life itself. It's totally okay to have a day where you cry too much and even a day where you think your life is falling apart and you can't handle this. It happens to us all - ask me about last Tuesday. I do believe there are definitely situations that you should speak to your provider about, but just remember that even the best of moms have the worst of moments too.
Have me time. I believe this goes well with the statement above. Having time for yourself helps SO much. It is like a reset button that makes you a better mother and wife. Heck, it may even make you a more pleasant person. We all need "me" time frequently whether it's a few hours in the tub or a few hours on a solo date. You'll come back feeling super bad ass.
Get outside and take care of yourself. Again, this is huge to mental and physical health. The outdoors is a refresher for us all and a win for your children's health. Getting a decent diet, decent sleep (ha what the hell is that) and some exercise (okay now I'm pushing it right) is important for us to keep functioning. And let me just say exercise is SO hard for us mamas - I can't go to the gym. But I can strap my kids in a stroller and go for a walk or a jog. Anything to clear my mind and feel better!
Finally, tell yourself you're amazing. Those moments where your children start singing their ABC's for the first time, or when they say "thank you" because you gave them a snack or when they show empathy to your bo-bo - remember that YOU taught them those things. You're helping mold them into little people with big hearts and you're doing amazing! Relish in those moments and tell yourself that you're doing something right. I guarantee you that you'll find many moments throughout your day that show you just how much you've got this!
So mamas whether you have one child or four; whether you work or stay at home and whether you freaking choose boob milk or formula, you've got this. You're amazing and you're bad ass. Don't harp on the small things and don't, please just don't, compare yourself to others that make you feel any less. If anything, use them as inspiration. I love finding mamas I can relate to on Instagram and then letting them inspire me to be more in the areas that I know I can improve in.
Find inspiration and light in every moment. Find joy in the little things and don't sweat the small stuff. Life happens, shit can get real and motherhood can be freaking hard. But you're mama, and you're pretty amazing.
Share your thoughts below about what you think makes a bad ass mom!